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Chanukah Heroes – Eighth Night

OUR EIGHTH AND FINAL CANDLE is lit for peace. Peace is in our hearts every day. Let us rededicate ourselves to a united Jewish community, to Israel, and to the hope of a true and lasting peace between Israeli and Arab, Jew and Gentile, and among all people of the world.


Chanukah Hero: Miri Ben-Ari

Miri Ben-Ari, known as the “hip-hop violinist,” uses her tremendous musical talents to promote awareness about the Holocaust and Israel, particularly among young people. Her hit song “Symphony of Brotherhood” features Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. She is a Grammy Award-winning artist, who has performed with famous pop artists such as Kanye West, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, and Britney Spears. She is also co-founder and CEO of “Gedenk” (“Remember”), a non-profit organization that promotes Holocaust remembrance. She was one of Jewish Women International’s “Ten Women to Watch of 2007,” and received the first Israeli Martin Luther King Award from Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Ben-Ari is a Chanukah hero because:

  • She is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding among Jews and gentiles alike, through the vehicle of music
  • She is a role model who demonstrates how one’s gifts can be used for the betterment of the Jewish people and the entire world

Chanukah Hero:
Menachem Begin, Israeli Statesman

Menachem Begin (right) and Anwar Sadat in conversation in 1977

Menachem Begin (1913-1992) was the sixth prime minister of Israel. Born in Brestlitovsk, he was a passionate Zionist from a young age. He was a leader in the Irgun, the Jewish uprising in Palestine against the British. Elected prime minister in 1977, his most significant accomplishment was signing a historic peace agreement with Egypt in 1979. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, for this achievement. In his speech, he famously said: “No more wars, no more bloodshed. Peace unto you. Shalom, salaam, forever.”

Begin is a Chanukah hero because he strove to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbors, successfully engineering a peace agreement with Egypt.


Reciting prayers for peace

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
(Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book, CCAR, 1975, pp 412–414)

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart’s secret places.

Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

Israel, born in pain, has lived in peril. We pray for the welfare of her people and their land. May they dwell in safety and live in peace and friendship with their neighbors.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
may those who love you prosper!
Let there be peace in your homes,
safety within your borders.
For the sake of my people,
My friends, I pray you find peace.
For the sake of the House of the
Lord our God, I will seek your good.

Activity: Shalom Bayit (Peace in the home)

Have a discussion with your family about the importance of peace in your home. What compromises does each member make in order for there to be peace? At what times do you feel the most peace and love in your family? How is Chanukah an important time for peace and family?


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