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"Light will always triumph over darkness": Abductees released from Hamas captivity light first candle of Hanukkah | Israel Hayom

2023-12-07T22:27:02.297Z

Highlights: "Light will always triumph over darkness": Abductees released from Hamas captivity light first candle of Hanukkah. A 138-branched menorah was lit in the Square of the Ab abductees calling for the return of all the abductees from Gaza. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Locke: "We will not stop acting, until all the abducted return home" Maya Shem posted on her private Instagram a photo from the lighting of the first candle in her family's bosom.


A 138-branched menorah was lit in the Square of the Abductees calling for the return of all the abductees from Gaza • A second 16-year-old colleague greeted: "Excited to stand on Israeli soil" • US Ambassador to Israel: "We will not stop acting, until all the abductees return home" • Maya Shem posted on her private Instagram a photo from the lighting of the first candle in her family's bosom


Exactly two months after Hamas' murderous attack on the surrounding communities, Hanukkah began. Among those who lit the first candle were the abductees who returned, the families of the abductees still held in Gaza, and the residents of the envelope who survived the inferno. A second colleague who was released from Hamas captivity said: "I am excited to light the first candle of Hanukkah on Israeli soil. We will fight until the return of the last of the abductees from Gaza."

Lighting the first candle in the Square of the Abductees // Photo: Moshe Ben Simhon

In Tel Aviv's Abductees Square, the 138-branched Menorah of the Abductees was lit this evening, representing the abductees held by Hamas. The event was attended by U.S. Ambassador Jack Locke, who declared: "We will not stop acting until all the abductees return home."

"Great light"

Singer Amir Dadon came to support the families and sang his song "Big Light" in front of thousands of people. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Locke also came to support the families and joined the call "now" for their return. The event was joined by one of the abductees released from Hamas captivity in Gaza, a second colleague who called for the release of the abductees together with the younger generation of the Gaza village that was severely damaged on Black Saturday.

First candle in the hostage square, photo: Ilan Ben Odiz

"In the midst of this tragic war, we are reminded here tonight that light will ultimately triumph over darkness," the U.S. ambassador said. "We are committed to building here a future of lasting peace and security."

Second Amit released from Hamas captivity from Gaza "I am excited and happy to stand here tonight on the first candle of Hanukkah, here on Israeli soil. I thank everyone who worked for my return and for the return of the other abductees. We have to keep fighting until the last of the abductees is returned."

Shani Kanner and Raz Itamari, young women from the Gaza village whose friends are abducted in Gaza, also arrived at the event and said: "We are crying out and asking you to bring all the abductees home now and as soon as possible. You all know what happened on October 7th, you've heard the horror stories on the news and read endless posts on social media. We in the village of Gaza have been living the terror for 62 days."

First candle in the hostage square, photo: Ilan Ben Odiz

"We lost 63 members of the community who were brutally murdered, along with dozens who were kidnapped to Gaza. Fortunately, 11 abductees from the community recently returned to us. Along with a strong hug and many tears of joy, they recount in a choked voice the horrors they endured. We worry about their well-being. They are talking to us about rehabilitation, but we will not be able to rehabilitate without bringing all the abductees home."

Rabbi Michael Melchior, President of the Meitarim Network and Chief Rabbi of Norway, said: "This place has become holy because of your struggle. Our soldiers fighting at the front are working resolutely to bring back the abductees. At the same time, Hanukkah candles are lit for us in all communities around the world for the abductees. It is not only in times of war that I believe that only together, religious-secular and traditional, will we succeed."

First candle in the hostage square, photo: Ilan Ben Odiz

"We are all one people with one song," the rabbi said. "On Hanukkah, I beg G-d in this holy place that there will be a miracle and that each of the 138 abductees return home safely."

Raya Rotem and her daughter Hila, both released from captivity in the abductee deal, participated via Zoom in lighting the first candle of members of Kibbutz Be'eri staying at the David Hotel at the Dead Sea. Maya Shem, the young woman who was released in the last round of the hostage deal and whose dresser was operated on in Hamas captivity in Gaza by a veterinarian, posted a photo on Instagram showing her lighting the first candle.

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A post shared by Maya Name (@mia_schem)

Hadar Bachar and Alma Or of Bari also lit the first candle of Hanukkah together today. Hadar's 13-year-old mother, Dana, and her 15-year-old brother Carmel were murdered on October 7. Her father, Avida Bachar, was wounded and his leg was amputated following the massacre. Thirteen-and-a-half-year-old Alma was abducted from her home along with her brother Noam, her father Dror and her cousin Liam that Shabbat. Her mother Yonath - murdered. Her older brother Yali, who was not at home on Black Saturday, survived. Alma, Noam and Liam were released as part of the abductee deal, while her father Dror remained abducted in Gaza.

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Source: israelhayom

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