”For the first time since the Hasmoneans, we have renewed here, in this land, our sovereignty – and this does not give our enemies rest,” Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said during a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony held at the parliament building Monday evening with the participation of Knesset employees and children who are victims of terror.

”The children who are with us today, who are recuperating from their injuries, best demonstrate our inclination to cling to life and the routine despite the difficulty and the pain,” Edelstein added. ”The heroism of these children is just as great as that of the Maccabees.”

Edelstein lit the candles together with the daughter of Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, who was murdered by a terrorist in the Old City while trying to assist others who were attacked. The daughter, Tzvia Lavi, will celebrate her bat mitzvah tomorrow. Naor Shalev Ben-Ezra, 13, who was critically wounded during a terror attack in Pisgat Ze`ev, also lit the candles. Additional participants included Marc Belzberg, founder of the One Family Fund, which provides financial and mental support for some 2,700 families that are victims of terror and wars; as well as representatives of bereaved families and relatives of people injured during the terror wave that has gripped the country over the past few months: Larissa Rotman and her children, whose father died a month after being wounded in the terror attack in Har Nof; Doron Mizrahi, who lost his son Ziv some two weeks ago and also lost his brother Alon, who was murdered some 13 years ago during the terror attack at Café Hillel; and 13-year-old Liam Yutko, who was injured in a stabbing attack in Kiryat Gat about three weeks ago.

Edelstein lit the second candle with Border Police officer Mor Azoulay and Yosef Mordechai Kadosh of the Zichron Menachem organization, which grants immediate, practical and long-term aid and solutions to young cancer patients. A group of Border Police officers who also took part in the ceremony received loud cheers from the audience. Speaker Edelstein shared the stage with dozens of Knesset members.