The Eighth Candle
December 11, 1996
To The Honorable Prime Minister
Mr. Benyamin Netanyahu
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Tonight I was driving home with my parents and my sisters, to
light Hanukka candles. Candle-lighting in Beit El is a very special experience.
Tonight, the seventh night of Hanukka, we were looking forward to the special
event. Hanukka is such a special holiday, a celebration of light, of hope, of
purity, of heroism - a true holiday of the People of Israel.
However, suddenly the lights of my family were extinguished. All at once, my world
was dark. But only for a little while. Soon I found myself together with my
mother, in a world of light, a world of good.
But Mr. Prime Minister, from where we are, my mother and I, we could see back
into your world. We saw so many people standing around our car, full of
bullet holes. I saw people that I knew cradling me in their arms and crying. I
saw soldiers, and doctors, and I could even see my father and sisters, in the
hospital. They all looked so scared and so sad. And I felt so bad for them.
But you know, from where I am now, I can see so much, and it is all so clear.
I see what looks like a huge cloud hanging over the world. It is black,
oblique, frightening. But all the way below the cloud I can see a spark of
light - it is a small light, but it is so bright - it is so visible through the
cloud - it is so brilliant that it illuminates everything. But it is so small -
only a spark.
And when I looked very closely, I could see that that spark is Israel - it is
us - Am Yisrael. Such a small spark, giving off such a great
light. And when I looked even more closely, I could see that the spark
emanates from Eretz Yisrael and, yes, I could even see the different places in
Eretz Yisrael. And they were all aglow. You know, I thought how strange it
was, the spark seemed to be one, yet it also, at the same time, seemed to be
divided into seven parts. Maybe because tonight is the seventh night of
Hanukka? But, when I looked even closer, I could see that where I lived, in
Beit El, the spark seemed to be ebbing - just a little - it wasn't quite as
strong a light as in the other places - like a little bit was missing from it.
Mr. Prime Minister, looking at you from where I am, - yes, I can see you - but
not just your body - I can see into your soul - and it is so big - I can see
your potential- I can see what you want and what you think. And it is all so
good, so positive, so impressive. But I also see a shadow, fighting you,
fighting your soul, trying to pull at it, trying to replace it. Yes, the
shadow wants to replace the light of your soul.
Mr. Prime Minister, you must not let this happen - you have no idea what can be
- or what will be - but, but, I can't talk about that - they won't let me, it
is forbidden - but, listen to me please,
Am Yisrael is so full of light, so full of energy, so full of goodness - you
must not let the shadow be victorious - and believe me, you have the power to
stop it - you must be yourself and do as you know you should - and I can see
that you know what you must do. Do it!
Mr. Prime Minister, in this world there is no sadness, no sorrow, no tears.
It is a world only of light - of good, of happiness. But I can see, in your
world, there is so much sadness, so much despair, so much turmoil. You can do
something about it, if you want. You can make it better, if you want.
I don't want anyone to be sad because of me, or because of my mother. We did
what we had to do. But now it is your turn - you must do what you have to do.
Mr. Prime Minister, if you want to, you, leading Israel, can change that spark
into a flame and really illuminate the entire world. You can disperse the cloud.
Please, Mr. Prime Minister - don't try to comfort my father or my family with
words - for words won't help them. But if you comfort them with deeds, I know,
because I can see it from here, I know, that that really will comfort them, and
with them, all the others who tonight are so sad.
Mr. Prime Minister, I didn't light Hanukka candles tonight. I am asking you
to do it for me - tomorrow you must light the eighth candle for me and for my mother,
and for all the people of Israel - the candle of the miracle - the light which
must never be extinguished - the light of Israel - the light of our G-d.
Mr. Prime Minister, Happy Hanukka.
Formerly of Beit El, Israel