December 24, 2006 / 3 Tevet 5767
Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser and Gilad Shalit, Israeli soldiers abducted on sovereign Israeli territory more than five months ago, are in complete darkness; their fate unknown. This Chanukah, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Ynet News and the World Zionist Organization launched a global campaign to light a virtual Chanukah candle in solidarity with these soldiers and their families.
By the end of Chanukah, 54,511 Chanukah candles were lit from people in Israel and around the world.
As part of this Chanukah campaign aimed at drawing attention to the plight of the kidnapped soldiers, the families of Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwaser and Gilad Shalit lit Hanukah candles on the third night of the holiday at the Western Wall in honor of their sons. Three candles for three abducted soldiers.
Simultaneously, Jewish communities around the world held similar candle lighting ceremonies.
Ehud Goldwasser's father, Shlomo, spoke on behalf of the captives' families at the emotion-filled ceremony: "For five months now Udi and Eldad have been held captive by Hizbullah, while Gilad has been held captive by Hamas for more than six months. I do not recall that they were visited by any official body, or the Red Cross.
"They were not captured in any provocation or following an offense, but were kidnapped from inside the State of Israel in an act of terror. No information has been received so far regarding Udi and Eldad. Regarding Gilad, only vague information has been received," he said.
Says Zeev Bielski, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, the campaign “is aimed at uniting all Jewish people in Israel and worldwide and all advocates of freedom from among all nations to light a Chanukah candle, as a sign of solidarity with the kidnapped sons, and as personal and moral support with the struggle of their families and of the Government of Israel for their release and swift return.”
As individuals our light is weak, but together we will shine brightly and light a huge flame to express our common concern and hope that Gilad, Ehud and Eldad return safely home.