Rekindling a family’s light: A Hanukkah miracle in the ashes of Kibbutz Be’eri
Yael Eckstein, the president and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, is tireless when it comes to helping the nation of Israel. Yael has been working to heal the wounds that the nation suffered less than two months ago. A few days ago, she posted a miraculous story to her Facebook, telling of a Hanukkah miracle that was part of an October 7 tragedy.
Yael went to Kibbutz Be’eri on a security tour. On October 7, around 70 Hamas terrorists entered the kibbutz, massacring at least 130 people including women, children, and infants, claiming the lives of 10% of the community’s residents. The Palestinian terrorists also took hostages including women and children. Dozens of homes were also burned down.
While touring the community, Eckstein encountered a young man digging through the ashes of one of the homes.
“I just happened to see him,” Eckstein said. “We had a short conversation.”
Yael Eckstein in Kibbutz Be’eri (Photo credit Chen Schimmel)
‘Eight members of my family were kidnapped on October 7,” the young man told Eckstein. “My father-in-law was killed. Their house was burned. My mother-in-law returned from Gaza captivity after 50 days, and asked me to come back to Be’eri and salvage some of her personal belongings from her home.”
The request was clearly important as she desperately wanted to hold onto something from her past. He went through the wreckage for hours, looking for something sentimental to bring back to her.”
For hours, all he found was ash.
Digging through the ashes of Kibbutz Be’eri (Photo credit Chen Schimmel)
“His mother-in-law still isn’t aware that her family home was set on fire and completely destroyed by the terrorists, after they brutally kidnapped her and her grandkids to Gaza, and murdered her husband,” Eckstein related. “He didn’t have the heart to come back empty-handed, so for hours, he sifted, dug, and prayed.”
“And then, a miracle happened,” Eckstein said. “Exactly one week before Chanukkah, he found two beloved family menorahs. Tears streamed down his cheeks.”
“The past was not entirely gone,” Eckstein wrote. “The light from previous Hanukkahs, from happier times, would be rekindled. THIS is the story of the Jewish people; within the ashes, we find life. Within the darkness, we look for the light.”
“And just as God was with the Maccabees as they miraculously defeated the Greeks…God is with us today.”
Eckstein cited a verse that encapsulated the experience:
Fear not, for I am with you, Be not frightened, for I am your God; I strengthen you and I help you, I uphold you with My victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Like the semi-mythical Prophet Elijah, the young man vanished without revealing his identity.
“He left and I didn’t even get his name,” Eckstein said. “We are looking to find him, to help him in some way to rebuild his life.”
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