update deskIsrael at War

Bereaved families mark 30 days since Oct. 7 attacks

As the 1,400 candles burned, bereaved family members took turns reciting chapters of Psalms.

Amichai Resler, the father of the late Sgt. Dvir Haim Resler, speaks at a memorial ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Nov. 6, 2023. Photo by Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Amichai Resler, the father of the late Sgt. Dvir Haim Resler, speaks at a memorial ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Nov. 6, 2023. Photo by Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

A solemn memorial ceremony was held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday night to mark one month since Hamas’s murderous assault on southern Israel, with candles lit for each of the victims.

Thousands of Hamas terrorists invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, killing some 1,400 Israelis and wounding thousands more. At least 240 Israelis and foreign nationals were taken back to Gaza as hostages.

As the 1,400 candles burned on Monday night, bereaved family members took turns reciting chapters of Psalms. The ceremony also included prayers for the State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces and the hostages being held by Hamas.

“The 1,400 candles will be lit here in memory of lives that once existed and are no longer. Each candle is an entire world. And when the days of the war are over, we will take all these candles and turn them into a great light—a new light,” said Western Wall Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.

“This is our eternal mission, to light a candle from a candle, to bring the light to the darkest places, and to believe that as long as the candle is lit, it is possible to repair [things],” said Rabinowitz.

IDF Chief Cantor Shai Abramson sang a special version of the El Malei Rachamim (“God Full of Mercy”) prayer. The evening concluded with the singing of “Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim” and “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem.

Israeli War Cabinet member Benny Gantz represented the government at the memorial event.

During the ceremony, the Jerusalem Municipality projected pictures of the hostages on the walls of the Old City. “We hope and pray for a quick return of the hostages. We are all waiting for you,” said Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.

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