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The twenty third coin is from Tunisia. The Jewish Community in Tunisia is one of the oldest in the Diaspora. It is possible that Jewish settlement there dates from the 10th century BCE. After the Roman conquest in 146 BCE, the community was enlarged by Jews from Rome, Judea and Cyrenaica. When the Arabs conquered North Africa, they found flourishing Jewish communities such as Kairouan and Gabes.

In 1956 the Jewish Community in Tunisia reached its peak, numbering about 105,000. Today less than 2,500 Jews live there. About 50,000 have come to live in Israel and about the same number have emigrated to France.

In Tunis it was customary to hang the Hanukka Lamp on the wall opposite the Mezuzah, near the front door of the house. It was left in this position until Purim, so as to show the connection between the two miracles. Oil and linen wicks were used in the lighting. It is known as the Tunisian Lamp - 1988.
Hanukka Lamp from Tunisia from the collection of the Israel Museum (19th century).
The Hanukka coin for 1989 features a lamp from Persia. This new issue is fully described in this issue of the SHEKEL and brings this series up to date.

For your editor, this series has had the greatest appeal. The Hanukka lamp issues have all been beautifully designed, and when grouped together certainly are on a par with any continuing series from any nation. It is certainly not too late to put a set of Hanukka coins together, whether it be the regular issues or those specimen strikes with the mem. Many of the silver issues saw the melting pot during the precious metals boom of a decade ago. Exact remaining mintages for many issues can never be known. There are two professional dealers in Israel issues who are on the Board of Directors of A.I.N.A. Both maintain complete stocks of Israel issues. Either J.J. Van Grover, or William Rosenblum, will be happy to assist any A.I.N.A. member who desires to complete this series. All of these coins are sleepers as far as current prices go, and it is my opinion that the values of these issues can only move upwards.

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