Daily Israel Report

Sderot to Light Chanukiyah in Memory of IDF Soldiers

Yeshivat Hesder Sderot will host a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony in memory of IDF soldiers who fell in battle during Operation Cast Lead.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/29/2010, 5:22 AM / Last Update: 11/29/2010, 5:14 AM

The holiday of Chanukah will be upon us starting on Wednesday evening and Jews around the world will be taking part in the traditional nightly candle lighting ceremony which is an important part of the holiday.

One particularly special Chanukah candle lighting will take place during the fifth night of Chanukah, on Sunday evening, December 5. On that evening, the Max and Ruth Schwartz Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot will be hosting a very special candle lighting ceremony in memory of ten IDF soldiers who fell in battle during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, which took place two years ago and began during the holiday of Chanukah.

The yeshiva has a unique chanukiyah, called the “Kassam Rocket Menorah”. It is made entirely of spent crude rockets and when illuminated, will be seen throughout the town of Sderot and will even be visible in Gaza.

Sderot has been under rocket attacks from Gaza-based terrorists since 2001. In a statement released by the yeshiva, it said that “The menorah illuminates a message of perseverance despite our enemy’s futile attempts to turn Sderot into a ghost town by firing over 10,000 rockets into Sderot and the Western Negev since 2001.”

The ceremony will be attended by dignitaries such as Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the previous Chief Rabbi of Israel and current Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Mr. David Buskilla, the Mayor of Sderot, Major General Ofer Levy, the Northern Division commander of the Gaza Brigade, Rabbi David Fendel, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshivat Hesder in Sderot as well as the family members of those who fell In battle. The participants will take turns lighting the Kassam menorah on the roof of the Hesder Beit Midrash.

As Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Fendel said: “The Hesder in Sderot is humbled to be able to recognize the extreme bravery of our young soldiers who fell in battle defending the state of Israel.  We hope that we can bring some comfort to the families by broadcasting loudly that their sons didn’t die in vain. Our menorah, a holy tool made out of the weapons of our enemies, is the ultimate expression of our belief that the Jews of Sderot are here to stay.”

The entire event will be posted on the Hesder’s website and will be available on-demand shortly after the ceremony at http://www.sderot.org/articlenav.php?id=147.