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 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.