'Light Shabbat candles in Fogels memory'

By Jessica Elgot, March 18, 2011

A Chabad woman from Birmingham has started a worldwide movement to get Jewish women to light Shabbat candles in memory of the murdered Fogel family in Itamar.

Esther Cohen, co-director of Chabad West Midlands and head of Jewish studies at King David Primary School, began a Facebook event to ask people to light a candle in memory of of Rabbi Udi and Ruth Fogel, and three of their children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months old, who were murdered a week ago in their home in the West Bank.

More than 20,000 people from all over the world have now signed up to her campaign.

Mrs Cohen said: “I never dreamed it would get so big. The idea was to bring the women together. Every mitzvah counts. Let’s use our power as women to do something positive, to bring light into the world to counter the darkness. What better thing to do than to light Sabbath candles?”

She said she hoped her project touched Tamar Fogel, the surviving 12-year-old daughter of the murdered couple who has sworn to “be a mother” to her two surviving siblings.

Mrs Cohen said: “It is important for her to be able to say, I think, ‘Mommy, you can’t light your Shabbat candles this week, but there are thousands of women who are lighting them on your behalf, and they are all thinking of you.”

Last updated: 2:39pm, March 18 2011