My name is Samuel Slakmon. I am from France. I am proud to be a Jew and I am proud to be a member of CTeen , an organization that inspires
teens around the world in the prime of their youth to explore Judaism and themselves.
France has the third-highest population of Jews out of any country in the world.
We have been the targets of many incidents of extremist terrorism; including multiple major attacks in 2015 alone.
Terrorists targeted the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, where Jews were shopping for challah, wine and candles for Shabbas.
My father, the manager of Hyper Cacher, was one of many Jews who were taken hostage by terrorists that Friday.
When mothers and fathers teach their children about Hannukah, they learn about the dreidel, latkes, sufganiyot and the menorah. The whole
world over knows the story of how the oil for the Menorah lasted eight days when there was only enough for one. Yet sometimes we all forget
that this miracle happened during a war. A war when Jews were targeted for annihilation simply for keeping Shabbos, kosher or bris milah.
This story seems so long ago, yet it’s happening now; here in France in 2015! Paris police even discouraged public menorah lightings due to
concerns about security.
How can we forget the war against us thousands of years ago when we are fighting the same battles today?
I light in defiance. I light because I am a Jew and I choose not to ignore the traditions of my forefathers. I choose to remain a Jew in
body and spirit and share the light with the world.
I share the light to continue the struggle for my freedom from oppression.
You may not be able to walk me home from school or guard me as I shop for food. But you can share my light. Thank G-d my father is alive
today to light with me and my family. And the Rabbis of Paris have decided to move forward with their public menorah lightings as they have every year.
Please #ShareTheLights. Share your light.
With me. With the world.