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06. Light and Celebration

Chaya Gilboa

Though Jerusalem is removed from the areas of direct conflict, the presence of the war in the city was felt by many through the efforts of “The Civilian Chamal.” This “Operations Center” was a huge center for volunteering and donations, run by several local organizations, with thousands of volunteers tracking and managing endless requests, needs, donated items and other forms of help. Chaya Gilboa was there from the very first day, as this huge operation materialized. She shares some of the touching experiences she had while working there in this 20 minute episode of The Israel Story podcast. 

החמ"ל הירושלמי, בתקופה של תחילת המלחמה, היה מוקד של התנדבות, תרומה ולוגיסטיקה עבור אלפי אנשים ואינספור חפצים. הכל עבר בבניין הזה, כל פריט שאפשר לדמיין. מתוך הפריטים והסיפורים הרבים, חיה גלבוע מוצאת כמה סיפורים יפהפיים של אנושיות מאירת פנים, כולל אנשים שחוו את החוויה כנס של ממש. לשמוע את דבריה זה פירסומי ניסא של ממש.

As you listen to the stories that Chaya tells, you can imagine the first days of the war and how these wonderful moments happened amidst confusion and fear. These symbolize a true light in the darkness, the eternal flame of the Jewish people that we celebrate on Hanukkah. She tells not only of the war relief efforts, but also how they impacted some regular people, who experienced it as no less than a miracle.  The act itself of listening to these illuminating stories – and sharing them widely – is part of the holiday as well, since these wonderful anecdotes are truly worthy of pirsumei nissa, of spreading news of the miracle.

Note: This video includes descriptions of violence, as well as non-explicit video footage from the attack on October 7th.

It saved me – I was involved in helping others, and I forgot to be afraid.



Have you felt a moment of “a small amount of light pushes away a lot of darkness” in your life? A little deed or event that was able to brighten things up?

האם היה לכם בחיים רגע של "מעט מן האור דוחה הרבה מהחושך"? משהו קטן שעשה אור גדול?

When were you the beacon of light? When did you affect someone and make their life brighter, perhaps making them feel like you had brought about a miracle?

מתי אתם הייתם קרן האור בחייהם של אדם אחר, אולי אפילו גרמת להם להרגיש שנעשה להם נס?

Has the act of helping others ever helped you?

האם פעם מעשה של עזרה לזולת, עזר לך?

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