It’s impossible for me to experience Hanukkah without thinking of David Horowitz.
Among my fondest memories are several of those occasions spent together in his little upper east-side apartment in Manhattan. The gatherings usually coincided with a business trip or simply our decision to spend a few of the holidays in the city. New York City is a special place during the Christmas and Hanukkah season. It’s so vibrant, so electric, and just magic.
My wife Becky would prepare a Hanukkah meal in David’s apartment and the three of us would light candles and have an evening of warm fellowship and special conversation. Those are cherished memories.
It’s Hanukkah season again and a good time to reflect on a couple of special Hanukkah moments.
A unique Hanukkah kindling ceremony was held at the United Nations on December 15, 1982, in the late afternoon in David’s World Union Press office. Approximately 20 people crowded into the small bureau office to participate in the joyous, festive occasion. It was the first of many more to come.
In a Jerusalem Post article appearing later in 1996, writer Naomi Farrell-Golan reflected on the Hanukkah celebrations, “The celebration of Hanukkah at the UN began in the office of David Horowitz in 1982, and this paved the way to an awakening of the Jews working at the UN. The annual Hanukkah party that started in his small crowded office is now a great elaborate celebration held in a hall, with lots of good food, entertainment and Israeli folk dancing.”
Sixteen years ago marks David’s last Hanukkah. He was 98 years old at the time and his health was rapidly deteriorating. On December 11, 2001 David issued a special Hanukkah message he wanted to convey to his extended United Israel World Union family. David’s close associate Gregg Sitrun delivered the message.
We had just entered a new millennium, survived a Y2K scare and three months earlier to the day experienced the horrible tragedy of 9/11. We seemed to be turning a new page into a time of foreboding historic uncertainty.
During this holiday season we are pleased to share the final Hanukkah message from David Horowitz issued on December 11, 2001:
My message for this prophetic holiday season is that there is no doubt that in the calendar of time we have attained the biblical predicted period in HaShem’s (Yehovah’s) plan for the cosmos. The shocking, shaking of mother earth will bring renewing and changing landscapes as a definitive change takes place in the movement of the planet to it’s new orbit. The Mount of Olives will cleave northward and southward. It is the Day of Judgment spoken of by our prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The time has come for all the inhabitants of the earth to realize that the Creator will decide the destiny of all life. The approaching Day of Judgment is upon us.
Blessed be HaShem, Ruler of the Universe.
Ralph Buntyn is executive vice president and associate editor of United Israel World Union. A historian and researcher, his many articles and essays have appeared in various media outlets.