Itamar Residents Light Hanukkah Candles at Fogel Home

Residents assemble every evening in front of the Fogel home, vow: "We will light more candles and never give in to darkness."

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Gil Ronen,

Lighting 'candles' in Itamar.
Lighting 'candles' in Itamar.
Miriam Tzachi

A special Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony is held every night of Hanukkah this year in Itamar, in Samaria (Shomron). The community's residents assemble every evening in front of the Fogel home, where Rav Udi and Ruthi Fogel were savagely murdered along with three of their young children by terrorists from the nearby village of Awarta, for lighting an improvised and oversized -- but halakhically sound -- Hanukkah menorah.

The candle lighting, say the people of Itamar, is a symbol of the continuation of life and growth, despite the murder and the terror. “The terrorists wanted to frighten and silence us but we will go on building and lighting a great light in the hills of the Shomron,” said Itamar’s Rav Natan Hai. “Our beloved righteous ones, the Fogel Family, were murdered, but their light will go on and their way shall overcome."

The Itamar Development Association has decided to open a campaign these days calling for the public to take part in building a main synagogue for the community, since Itamar was built 28 years ago and its residents are still praying in a temporary synagogue. As an answer to the Fogel family’s murder, they wish to build a synagogue named after the holy Fogel family.

The synagogue will  memorialize all the murdered of  Itamar : Rav Udi, Ruthi, little Hadas, Yoav and Elad Fogel; security officer Shlomo Miller; Arye Agranyoni, who was murdered on the hill of Itamar; Gilad Zar; the council’s security officer, Meir Liksenberg, shot on his way home to Itamar; the Shabo Family – the mother Rachel and her three children Nerya Avraham, Zvi Yaakov and Avishai Yosef, who were murdered by a terrorist in their home in Itamar; Yosef Tuito, son of late world famous Bible scholar Professor Elazar Tuito,who was killed while trying to come to their aid; Gilad Shtiglits, Netanel Riachi, Avraham Yosef Siton, three “Hitsim” High School Yeshiva students  who were shot by a terrorist who infiltrated their school; Shmuel Avraham Yerushalmi, who was murdered at the Giv’a Tzarfatit junction at the entrane to Jerusalem; soldier Matan Zigron, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Ariel and Eliyahu Asheri who was kidnapped and murdered.

Rabbi Natan Chai, Rabbi of Itamar, has turned to all the lovers of country and nation to aid by donating to the building of the synagogue, the strengthening and lighting of Itamar and said: "This is a chance for all the supporters of the building of the country to call out loud and clear against those wishing for our destruction."