Thousands attended Chabad of Talbiya in Jerusalem’s Chanukah Menorah lightings at Mamilla, which were each dedicated to another one of Israel’s heroes.

The sixth year of Chabad of Talbiya’s Chanukah Menorah lighting at Mamilla began on a high note. Each night was dedicated to another one of Israel’s heroes. 

The first night, Motzei Shabbos, welcomed
 more than a thousand people, honoring Chayal el Chayal’s Lone Soldiers (run tirelessly by Rabbis Mordy Botnick and Ari Abramowitz) who danced and sang away with the Portnoy Brothers as the soldiers were celebrated by the cheering crowd. Lighting with them, was guest of honor, Shliach Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz of Nepal, Katmandu, who is certainly a lone soldier in his own right, bringing the light and warmth of Judaism to Jews who visit his far-flung neck of the woods.
The second night honored Chabad of Talbiya's precious members of their Central Jerusalem Friendship Circle, who lit together with supermarket mogul, Mr. Rami Levy. Rami rejoiced in participating in Chabad of Talbiyas ‘Light Up Mamilla’ project for the sixth time, as he recited the blessings with the children and danced with them despite the pouring rain. Ariella Kut of the Friendship Circle, played Moaz Tzur beautifully on the flute. An exclusive party followed for Friendship Circle members where a magician and delicious food kept the Chanukah spirit burning and shining.

Eli Beer- founder and CEO of United Hatzalah, and PIZZA IDF were guests of honor on the next night, which celebrated outstanding volunteer work. An exciting feature was the Hatzalah ambucycles, which flooded Mamilla avenue, and made for great photo ops!

The fourth night, presented a great dilemma. This night was dedicated to families of victims of terror, yet it was also the night of the stormiest weather experienced in Israel since the fall. Claps of thunder and torrents of rain poured. Shliach of Chabad of Talbiya, Rabbi Eli Canterman recounts, “The theme of the night was ‘Light Prevails.’ It didn’t add up to me to cancel this event. I called up the families, almost positive that they were not planning to come. Each and every one of them, some driving in from as far as Otniel and Chevron, hadn’t even considered the option of cancelling. We happily went ahead with the program.”

There were no regrets. Chabad Talbiya hosted Rabbi Menachem Kutner of the Chabad Terror Victims Program and welcomed the young Mark family of Otniel, whose ten children lost their father in a drive-by shooting/murder this year. 

Also present was Ofer Cohen, father of Hadar Cohen, the young valiant girl who was guarding her people at Damascus gate and prevented a serious terror attack while sadly sacrificing her life. The family of Yossi Kirme- the valiant police officer shot while preventing another terrorist attack, lit as well. Singer Shlomo Katzwarmed the hearts of the cold crowd, who sang and danced with a joy that was so pure, no rain could wash out. The families were treated after the lighting to a festive dinner at a Mamilla café.

"The Rebbe's replica Menorah On Mamilla Avenue, was seriously at work this Chanukah," Rabbi Canterman notes.