As the Jewish community in France ushers in the celebration of Hanukkah, a palpable tension hovers in the air, precisely two months after the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and an upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents within France. This year, the 'Festival of Lights' is marked with an unusual blend of joy, resilience, and caution.
Interior Minister's Directive for 'Extreme Vigilance'
In light of the escalating threat of terrorism and ongoing global turmoil, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has dispatched a telegram to all prefects across France. He urges 'extreme vigilance' during the religious event, necessitating an amplified security presence during the arrival and departure of worshippers, gatherings, and services.
Protection of Jewish Places of Worship
In the aftermath of the Hamas attacks, Darmanin had already announced comprehensive security measures. Every Jewish place of worship is now under the watchful eyes of the police and the gendarmerie. These measures are designed to mitigate the threat and ensure the safety of the Jewish community during their sacred festivities.
Celebration Amid Caution in Nice
In Nice, members of the Jewish community express mixed feelings of anticipation and caution. For them, Hanukkah is a time for light and joy, a sentiment they hope to retain despite the looming fears. Rabbi Pinson from the Loubavitch community emphasizes the symbolic significance of Hanukkah as a propagation of light and a prayer for peace in France, Israel, and the world. In the Alpes-Maritimes city, hundreds are invited to witness the lighting of the menorah's first candle, with a significant police presence planned until the end of the celebrations on December 15th.