On days when residents of southern Israel are concerned with the “Code Red” siren alerts, children in Warsaw show that they care: dozens of artworks from a “Code Red” exhibition were sold on Monday at an auction for the benefit of the children of Sderot.
The sale was held during a Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony held by the Lubavitch Chabad House in Poland, at the yard of the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw. More than 300 people took part in the ceremony, among them Holocaust survivors and their families, diplomats, local residents both Jewish and non-Jews.
A balck and white photo of a Jewish man putting on Tefillin, a painting titled “Exodus”, photos from the streets of Jerusalem, homemade chocolate with a menorah symbol prepared especially for the sale and dozens of other artifacts were sold to the highest bidder at an auction initiated by the Polish nonprofit Angles of Culture and the Chabad House in Warsaw. Among the buyers who purchased pieces for the children of Israel there were regular Polish citizens as well as administration officials, and all revenue from the sale goes to the children of Sderot.
During the ceremony the cantors Benzion Miller and Yisrael Rand performed Hanukkah songs. A climax of the evening was when Benzion Miller sang the moving “My Brothers, Glorious Heroes,” a song comparing the Maccabeans to IDF soldiers.
Rabbi Shalom Ber Stambler, the Chabad Emissary to Poland, referred to events in the country and said: “There are those who accuse Poland of anti-Semitism, but I must say resolutely that these are fringe groups that dominate the media’s attention. The truth is that there are Israeli issues which receive more interest in Poland than in Israel, like the Warsaw Ghetto rebellion.”
Stambler noted that the auction was a good example. “Here, this auction, all of it for the benefit of the children of Israel and it includes completely Polish citizens with no ties to Judaism, but they do care about the suffering of the children of Sderot, they would like to increase light at the expense of darkness.”