Working hard to safeguard a quiet and peaceful Hanukkah

Benjamin Regional Brigade Commander Col. Yossi Pinto spoke to soldiers at a special candle lighting ceremony on Sunday

Date: 12/11/2012, 3:28 PM     Author: Yael Livnat, IDF (Zahal) Website

The Benjamin Regional Brigade lit the second candle of the holiday at a special Hanukkah ceremony on Sunday night at the brigade’s synagogue where they retold the story of the Maccabees whose historical battles were fought in the very region that the brigade is ordered to protect.

Regional Brigade Commander Col. Yossi Pinto told the soldiers that “eight of the Maccabees’ first battles were in Beit El, and moreover the headquarters of Judah the Maccabee himself was located in our region.” Col. Pinto reflected on the historical resilience of the Jewish people and reminded the soldiers of their role in carrying on the legacy of the Maccabees in the protection of the people of Israel.

“We can’t detach ourselves from the holidays and say that they are private family events, at the end of the day the army is our family for three years and more,” Col. Pinto said. “In my opinion, all IDF (Zahal) units and especially fighting units should come here for Hanukkah, and tell the story of the holiday by foot, because the battles happened right here. You can close your eyes and imagine the sound of the swords, because it happened in this very place.” Col. Pinto added that the special thing about the Regional Brigade is that there are families who have accompany the brigade for years at these festive occassions. “There is a man who arrives with his family every year from overseas for Hanukkah, in order to bring the soldiers sufganiyot and just to say ‘happy holidays.’”

Col. Pinto wished the soldiers “a holiday of light and joy in every home. This Hanukkah occurs at a delicate and sensitive time, and I wish that darkness will not take hold.” Col. Pinto added that “the soldiers of the Benjamin Regional Brigade work hard, day and night, so that in every house they will be able to light the candles in peace and quiet.”