Israeli President Isaac Herzog invited people around the world to light a candle on Sunday evening in memory of the 1,400 people murdered by Hamas during the terror group’s Oct. 7 invasion of the Jewish state.
The initiative, marking 30 days since the massacre, began on Sunday at 6 p.m. Israel Standard Time. The campaign calls to light a candle, take a picture and post it online accompanied by #The_Light_Will_Overcome.
“Today, we light a candle and remember the victims, the women and men, babies and the elderly, soldiers and commanders. We remember them all,” said Herzog as he lit the first candle at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
“We all kindle a flame, we light a candle, and stand for the simple, basic truth: together, the light will overcome,” he added.
Last week, Herzog gave a televised address in which he hailed the nation’s “resilience, spirit and soul.”
“It’s been almost a month since our country underwent a serious change. For almost a month we have been in a war like no other. Almost a month has passed since that cursed day, when the sun rose, the flowers blossomed and butchers slaughtered, slaughtered and slaughtered—women and men, elderly and infants,” he said.
“I would like to speak of [a] source of great hope at this time, even now—in the fog, especially now. The Israeli spirit. An unbreakable spirit. The spirit of a storm which rose from ashes and destruction and is already blowing with all its might. This spirit has revealed itself mightily, in thousands of heroic stories from the frontline and the home front.
“It blows through each outreached hand, in the exemplary Israeli volunteerism and mutual responsibility, seeking to strengthen, to embrace, to support. It blows in every corner of our remarkable country—every corner. It is an eternal spirit, passed on to us from the generations before us, a spirit which will continue to guide us, generation to generation.
“This spirit is you—my sisters and brothers—the people of Israel. Israeli society is our true secret weapon. You are my greatest hope, our greatest hope. Am Yisrael Chai [‘The People of Israel lives’],” added the president.
On Sunday, the IDF Military Rabbinate published an adapted version of the El Malei Rachamim (“God Full of Mercy”) prayer, which will be used at ceremonies marking 30 days since the Oct. 7 attacks.
The text, reminiscent of the memorial prayer recited for victims of the Holocaust, was composed by IDF Chief Cantor Shai Abramson and approved by IDF Chief Rabbi Brig. Gen. Eyal Karim, Army Radio reported.