Israel National Library shares rare Hanukkah artifacts in new video series


Inside the National Library of Israel. Photo: © Herzog & de Meuron; Mann-Shinar Architects, Executive Architect

To mark the eight days of Hanukkah, the National Library of Israel released eight clips in eight different languages, each featuring a rare artifact related to the Jewish holiday.

The artifacts come from the vast collections of the National Library and some of the material in the videos is appearing publicly for the very first time.

Each clip has English subtitles and is approximately 2-3 minutes long. They are presented in Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hebrew, German, French, Russian and English. All the videos are already uploaded to the National Library website, but every Hanukkah day a new clip will be posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Hebrew clip features a recording of legendary Moroccan-Israeli artist Jo Amar singing the traditional Hanukkah blessings during the official candle-lighting ceremony hosted by the President of Israel in 1957.

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Other elements highlighted in the films include a rare print of a medieval French text which features what is believed to be the earliest written mention of latkes; a Hanukkah booklet prepared for German Jewish soldiers during World War I; an 18th century manuscript of the “Book of Antiochus” from the Jewish community of Boukharia; a rare libretto of Ladino Hanukkah verses printed circa 1828 during the Ottoman Empire; a Hanukkah recipe printed in Polish and Yiddish in Warsaw just before the Holocaust; and late 19th century Hanukkah flyers from Italy and India.

The eight videos were produced as part of the National Library’s “A Look at the Jewish Year” series, which provides information on the Jewish calendar and holidays while providing an overview of the world’s collection of manuscripts, of Jewish books from the National Library of Israel, printed materials and more.


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