Special candle-lighting held at Joshua’s Tomb

Judea-Samaria and IDF officials held a special overnight candle lighting ceremony at Joshua’s Tomb in the village of Kifl Harres overnight Tuesday, in an annual tradition held in honor of Hanukkah and in honor of Israel’s first military “chief of staff.”

Attendees included Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan, Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brigadier General Lior Carmeli, Rabbi of Yakir Rabbi Aharon Cohen, Ephraim Brigade commander Colonel Roy Sheetrit, Judea and Samaria Brigade leader Lieutenant Colonel Mickey Siboni, Ephraim Brigade commander Major Ilan Marnditz, Beit Aryeh Regional Council head Avi Naim, Karnei Shomron Regional Council Yigal Lahav, and deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Yisrael Ganz.

“We have come here every year, as part of a unique and exciting tradition in which the military and community leaders together visit the grave of the first Jewish chief of staff – Joshua, who conquered the land and settled it,” Dagan stated at the site. “Here are gathered those who believe in conquering the land, and those who believe in defending it, and here we light Hanukkah candles.”

“These candles are small, but they are capable of spreading a much larger light,” he continued. “Here, in Samaria, we are busy adding light. The light of more homes on the hills in the dark. The light of more schools and kindergartens. Our job is to add light.”

“We want to thank you, IDF commanders and headquarters – not only for protecting us, but for protecting all of Israel.”

“And hopefully we will see light over the coming year, expelling the darkness.”

Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brigadier General Lior Carmeli, referenced the latest terror wave in his address.

“I was just now site of the attack in Hevron,” he said, referring to a stabbing Monday which critically injured one Israeli. “I spoke with dear people there. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of darkness in the three months I was in office, but I think that this place symbolizes the light.”

“First of all, it’s the light of the people standing here,” he stated. “And I’m not just saying that: everyone is a little light, and we together have an unusual radiance.”

“This is a light which has directed us for 3000 years, and it’s a significant one,” he added.