"Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy."
As we approach Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, our hearts are heavy yet hopeful. This festival's profound message — the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair — is especially poignant in the face of the ongoing conflict in Israel. Now more than ever, the story of Hanukkah resonates deeply, reminding us of the strength found in unity and faith during times of overwhelming challenge.
One such story of resilience and bravery is that of Golan and his family. Amidst the chaos of war, Golan's home in Sderot became a battleground. Terrorists pounded on his door, seeking to inflict harm. Within his kitchen, Golan stood protectively, his family huddled in a secure room, as the sounds of warfare echoed through their home. The terrifying ordeal lasted 25 harrowing hours, during which Golan's quick thinking and the intervention of the IDF kept his family safe, though surrounded by danger.
The ordeal began on a seemingly ordinary Shabbat morning, disrupted by relentless rocket fire, shooting, and chaos. Golan witnessed unbearable scenes: a policewoman was murdered in front of his eyes, neighbors and friends in distress, and his city under attack. As the terrorists tried to force their way into his home, Golan fortified the door with furniture, ready to defend his loved ones at all costs.
A fierce gun battle erupted in the stairwell of his building, bullets ripping through his home. Amidst the deafening noise, Golan crouched in his kitchen, gripping a makeshift weapon, determined to protect his family. The invaders were eventually repelled by the brave actions of the IDF, but the scars of that day remain.
In the aftermath, Golan's family was escorted out of their home, past the grim reminders of the battle. Despite the trauma, Golan's resilience shines as a beacon of hope and courage. He, like many others, embodies the spirit of Hanukkah, a festival that celebrates the miraculous endurance and unyielding spirit of the Jewish people.
Such experiences leave deep scars, both physical and emotional. It's in these moments of darkness that your support becomes their light. Vision for Israel has been tirelessly working to assist families like Golan's, providing not just physical necessities but also emotional support to help them recover from such traumatic experiences. We've been on the ground, amidst rocket fire, delivering essentials to those in the most affected areas, ensuring they're not alone in their time of need.
As we light the Hanukkah candles, let us remember the resilience of families like Golan's. Their stories inspire us to stand together in solidarity, offering support and hope.
For a deeper understanding of Hanukkah's enduring message, we invite you to watch this special video, which offers valuable insights through poignant text and imagery.
The Story of Hanukkah
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
Let each candle we light this Hanukkah symbolize our solidarity with those facing adversity in Israel. Let's illuminate their path forward with acts of kindness and support, making this festival a beacon of hope for those in need.
Chag Urim Sameach (Happy Festival of Lights),
Barry & Batya
and the VFI team