Dec 8, 2013
Menorah at Controversial Station
Photos by Chelsea Dee and Dina Hendel

A train station in Israel at the center of recent controversy was the location of a unity Menorah lighting by Shluchim Avraham and Nechama Dina Hendel.

by Ben Bresky - Arutz Sheva
Photos by Chelsea Dee and Dina Hendel

A Chanukah menorah candle lighting ceremony took place place every night of Chanukah at the Tachana Rishona (First Station) complex in Jerusalem.

The historic Ottoman train station dating back over 100 years was recently refurbished and opened with restaurants and coffee shops this summer. Controversially - particularly for the city's large Chareidi-religious community - although some restaurants are kosher, others are not and are open during Shabbat with music and other outdoor activities.

But Rabbi Avraham and Nechama Dina Hendel of Chabad of Baka said that rather than protest, they have chosen to set up a large menorah for the entire community.

"There was a spiritual glow this Chanukah at Tahana Rishona, thanks to daily menorah lightings, including lively music, dancing, and the distribution of hundreds of doughnuts," Rabbi Hendel stated. "Jews of all religious affiliations and backgrounds have been invited from the crowd to light the huge menorah and recite the brachot."

Other attractions at the candle lighting ceremony have been dancing yeshiva students from the Rapp Yeshiva in Nachlaot and a fire juggler. On Monday, a group of wheelchair-bound Jerusalem residents joined in the dance circle for the most touching dance of all.

One of the candle lighting ceremonies was dedicated in memory of local community member Ira Feldman z'l, an immigrant from the United States who died unexpectedly two weeks ago.

Another lighting was dedicated in memory of Rabbi Hendel's brother Levi z'l, who passed away on Chanukah in 2006 at the age of 13.

He and three other Chabad volunteers lost their lives in a car crash on the road to Eilat on their way for a volunteer program on an IDF army base to deliver traditional Hanukkah doughnuts and candles, and to help with holiday celebrations.

The Beit Levi- Chabad of Baka community, a warm haven for olim, was founded in Levi's memory and strives to emulate his selflessness and love for fellow Jews.

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Opinions and Comments
Kiddush HaShem
Avremel and Dina Hendel are exemplary shluchim doing incredible work in the Holy City. Focusing on spreading the light, always b'achdus, is surely the way to bring Moshiach speedily.
- your fans in London
(12/8/2013 2:10:28 PM)
Yasher Koach!
Keep up the great work, Hendels! We're so proud of you.
Your fans in Pittsburgh
(12/8/2013 2:54:14 PM)
true inspiration
the hendels are doing such amazing shlichus of the Rebbe in true spirit of ahavas yisroel! So heartwarming to see~hatzlacha rabba! Your fans in toronto
(12/8/2013 3:02:58 PM)
Your fans in LA
Rabbi Avremel and Nechama Dina Hendel!
You continue to inspire us- being exemplary shluchim of the Rebbe, bringing light to your surroundings with utmost sincerity and kindness. You are real people and it shows in everything you do! Keep up your holy work with tremendous hatzlacha and revealed goodness...!
(12/8/2013 3:12:03 PM)
the hendels are an extremely dedicated couple, so kind, so genuine, so accessible, and wonderful role models of what it means to be true chasidim and shluchim!
fans in london
(12/8/2013 5:09:46 PM)
Chabad of Baka is amazing!
The Hendels are so welcoming and giving! The community continues to grow and the classes they offer are insightful and inspiring!
Keep up the great work!
Didan notzach!
(12/8/2013 7:10:47 PM)
Tzvi Bergstein
Yasher koach to Rav Avraham and Rebbitzen Necham Dina Hendel!!
(12/8/2013 7:17:12 PM)
the american chabad house in isreal!!
thank you so much Rav and Rebetzin Hendel for filling such a critical void! I made aliyah full of excitement, but quickly lost it to the intense feeling of being a lonely american without a community. But thank G-d! I then discovered the incredible Hendels and Chabad of Baka!
Thank you so much for creating the warm and inspirational community that is so desperately neede!!
(12/9/2013 1:13:36 AM)
What a true message to bring to Yerushalayim in a time when we so must unite to create a strong Jewish front against the enemies of klal yisroel!!!! A huge yasher koach!

(12/9/2013 10:37:21 AM)
A proud congregant
We feel so lucky to have the very best Rabbi and Rebbetzin ... So genuine and wise and nonjudemental.
Thank you for all that you do for the Baka community! Hashem should bless you with everything!
(12/9/2013 10:55:40 AM)
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