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Lighting the Seventh Hanukkah Candle in honor of the hostages and Israel’s security and rescue forces

December 13, 2023

The lighting of the seventh Hanukkah candle took place in the museum's theater and was dedicated to the Israeli hostages being held in the Gaza Strip as well as Israel’s security and rescue forces.

Aaron Leibowitz, CEO of the Sylvan Adams Foundation, opened the event and highlighted the various actions taken by the museum to assist soldiers and evacuees during the war including allocating a logistics warehouse for equipment collected for soldiers, running a job fair for evacuees, donating laundry machines and dryers to evacuees staying in hotels, publishing an advertisement on the front page of the Jerusalem Post thanking President Biden for his support of Israel, hosting free shows for children and more.

Rabbi David Stav, head of the Tozhar Organization, lit the first candle of the menorah and recited a prayer for the swift return of the hostages, the recovery of the wounded, and the safe return of all soldiers from the battlefield. During the war, the organization organized hundreds of visits to families of Israelis who have been killed since October 7 to strengthen and assist them.

The second candle was lit by Itzik Larry, director general of the Jerusalem Municipality. More than 15,000 residents from the southern and northern regions have been evacuated to Jerusalem. The municipality established educational frameworks in hotels for them and integrated them into municipal educational institutions. In addition, city representatives accompanied the evacuees, providing emotional therapeutic tools alongside leisure, cultural, and recreational activities, as well as assistance with basic needs such as laundry and more.

Yaakov Bohbot, whose brother Elkana was taken hostage while attending the music festival on October 7, lit the third candle. Elkana helped treat the wounded at the party. His 3-year-old son keeps asking, "Where is Daddy?"

Doron Turgeman, the commander of the Jerusalem District Police, lit the fourth candle for the police officers and fighters who showed courage and selflessness during the terrible Shabbat and beyond.

Mickey Cohen, director of United Hatzalah in Jerusalem, lit the fifth candle in honor of the volunteers, medics, and doctors who work selflessly to provide medical care every day in our capital.

The sixth candle was lit by Steven Mizel, a US Marine Corps veteran who served from 1957 to 1965 and, for the past 10 years, has dedicated his time and effort to supporting IDF soldiers. Steven visits our museum's logistics warehouse every day, loads equipment into his car, and travels to bases across the country to distribute supplies to soldiers on the front lines.

The last candle in the menorah was lit by Aba and Pamela Clama, founders of Thank Israeli Soldiers Association, established over 20 years ago, providing essential equipment to soldiers throughout the country through generous donors.

After the candle lighting ceremony, singer Ran Danker took the stage and moved the audience with an impressive performance.

We hope that this Hanukkah brings a great miracle and sees the swift return of the hostages to their homes and families.

Photos: Michal Riss, Tamar Babayoff, Lilach Tamir-Itach

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