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Hanukkah
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Italian officials light Hanukkah candle amid Roman ruins

Menorah lighting
President Scalfaro hands a candle to rabbi Toeff as they light the menorah under the Arch of Titus
 
December 23, 1997
Web posted at: 7:15 p.m. EST (0015 GMT)

ROME (CNN) -- Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro joined Rome's chief rabbi Elio Toeff and Israeli Tourism Minister Moshe Katzav for the lighting of the first candle of Hanukkah amid the ruins of ancient Rome. Scalfaro lit the candle near the single archway of the Arch of Titus, which was erected in 81 A.D. in honor of Roman victories in the Judaean War. The Roman victory in Jerusalem 70 years after the birth of Jesus Christ led to the dispersal of the Jewish people in what became known as the diaspora.

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