Ezra Ben-David

A Hanukkah moment in the Hamas war

Moments before the explosion... (Courtesy)
Moments before the explosion... (Courtesy)

We lit the fifth candle at the entrance to our tank. Just me and my tank crew of four, after a long day of combat missions in Gaza.

I said the blessings and then sang my family’s unique version of “Maoz Tzur.” It was an uncommonly peaceful and beautiful moment, for me at least.

I think given the fact that we just got the news we would be going home soon added to that and we started feeling… wistful? The word doesn’t encapsulate the meaning I’m trying to convey, but emotions about all of this were mixed for sure.

As I looked at my friends’ faces, dimly lit by the warm candlelight, I tried to come to terms with the unique strong connection I had to these men. The brothers-in-arms sharing this insane time of our lives where everything is uncertain… except each other.

I was about to open my heart a little and BOOOOOOM! A huge explosion went off near us, and the shockwave blew out all the Hanukkah candles with a whoosh.

After our hearing faded back in and we came to our senses, we looked up at the big mushroom cloud of black smoke and yelliow dust that was way too close to us. We got the news that the Air Force obliterated, along with our ability to properly hear, a house adjacent to our camp. Talk about a mood kill…

About the Author
Ezra Ben-David has been proudly serving as an IDF reserve soldier in the Armored Corps since October 7th.
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