A tribute which takes on a highly symbolic character. Thirty days after October 71,400 candles were lit Monday in Jerusalem, in front of the Western Wallduring a Jewish prayer in the presence of families of victims of the Hamas attack.
In the evening, around forty families of those killed during the ault by the Palestinian Islamist movement gathered at the entrance to the holiest prayer site for Jews, located in East Jerusalem occupied and annexed by Israel. Participants lit approximately 1,400 candles bearing the names of victimsrecited the Kaddish prayer for the dead and psalms before singing the Israeli anthem.
More than 240 hostages
THE member of the war government Benny Gantz, previously one of the main opposition leaders, was also present. Another ceremony is to take place Tuesday evening in front of the Western Wall for these hostages and the missing people, whose relatives demonstrated Monday in front of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.
At least 1,400 people died on the Israeli side, according to authorities, the majority civilians killed on the same day of the unprecedented attack perpetrated by Hamas, which also kidnapped more than 240 hostages according to Israel.
Series of funeral rituals
For deceased people, Jewish tradition provides a series of funeral rituals, the fourth stage of which ends on the thirtieth day. “We are lighting these candles in memory of the victims, in memory of their souls,” said Mordechai Elias, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which manages the site.
Yossi Rivlin, 26, recited a psalm in memory of his brothers Gideon and Aviad, killed during the Tribe of Nova rave party, where two other of his brothers survived. “We have no other way to pay homage to them than with prayers, by lighting candles, by carrying them in our hearts,” he said. “It’s a terrible time. I just hope we don’t forget and go back to our routine,” he added.
Standing in front of a huge Israeli flag and the wall, Israel Defense Forces choir director Shai Abramson recited a prayer from the Jewish burial rite for the missing. His recitation included a prayer for the security forces who “pay with their deaths for the protection of Israeli land,” he said.
A vestige of the ancient temple, the Wailing Wall is located below the esplanade of the Mosques built on what Jews call the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, tensions are numerous in East Jerusalem which includes the Old Town deserted by tourists.
Since the attack on October 7, Israel shells the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas government’s Ministry of Health, the war has left more than 10,000 dead in this territory, the majority civilians.