A woman who is being hailed as a modern-day Yael has become the face of the #LightForIsrael campaign, which is encouraging millions of Jews worldwide to light Shabbat candles this friday in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel.
Rachel Edri, of Ofakim, Israel, was held hostage for nearly a day in her home, along with her husband. In a scene reminiscent of the biblical Yael, she bravely kept the terrorists talking, offering them cookies and drinks until she and her husband were rescued by counterterrorism forces. Now, Rachel has become the face of the #LightForIsrael campaign.
“We are approaching a special Shabbat, Shabbat Bereishit, when we begin reading the Torah from the beginning,” Edri said in a video that has gone viral. “I am turning to Jewish women and girls: the true weapon is in your hands,” she said, referencing the acronym for neirot Shabbat Kodesh—Shabbat candles—which spells neshek, “weaponry” in Hebrew.
“I ask that each of you should light Shabbat candles this week, and G-d willing all those captured will come home,” she continued.
As the Rebbe’s campaign encouraging Jewish women and girls to light Shabbat candles enters its 50th year, the message the Rebbe shared at the campaign’s start resonates today. On Sept. 11, 1974, the Rebbe addressed a gathering of Chabad women, saying that as we are living in a time that is dark spiritually, it is incumbent on us to bring more light into the world.
Philanthropists Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein have stepped up, gifting hundreds of thousands of Shabbat candle-lighting kits that will be distributed around the world as thousands of posts on social media platforms are bringing the campaign worldwide prominence.
And as the sun sets on a beleaguered world this Friday evening, it will set on a world in which unfathomable darkness is being responded to by countless points of light.