During a special memorial that took place on Monday evening, the second night of Chanukah, the family of terror victim Eli Kay participated in the candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall together with some of the first responders who tried to save his life. 

A scene from the ceremony tonight 1024x461 2
A scene from the ceremony tonight

Eli was murdered on Sunday of last week and his family has just finished sitting shiva. His family was honored at the candle lighting event by dignitaries who attended including MK Miri Regev, the Director-General of the Religious Affairs Ministry Shimon Matuk, President of Yeshiva University in New York Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, and the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Places Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich.  


Accompanying them were some of the United Hatzalah volunteer first responders, Yoni Ben Shimol, who was the first to arrive at the scene and treated Eli in an attempt to save his life, and Eliyahu Ben Chaim who arrived together with a Muslim volunteer and joined Yoni’s efforts. 


“There are simply no words to say at a time like this,” said Yoni Ben Shimol. “I tried the best I could to save Eli, we all did. All of us who responded last week did everything we could to save him but it wasn’t enough. Sometimes we do our best and G-d simply says no.” 

The Kay family at the ceremony with VIPs and first responders Yoni Ben Shimol and Eliyahu Chaim Maimon 1024x682 2
The Kay family at the ceremony with VIPs and first responders Yoni Ben Shimol and Eliyahu Chaim Maimon

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer spoke about the ceremony and said, “This ceremony is bringing light to a dark situation. The terrible murder of a Jewish man who was killed just because he was a Jew right near the Western Wall and Temple Mount, in the heart of Jerusalem, is something that we dealt with during the time of the Hasmoneans, and sadly, is something that still plagues us today. Chanukah is the holiday that brings us light and together we shine it in the darkest time period of the year. That is what our volunteers at United Hatzalah do as well, we arrive during people’s darkest hours and shine a light, the light of human kindness in order to help them and try to save their lives. Sadly our volunteers, Jewish and Muslim alike, who responded to the terror attack, were unable to save Eli, but in his memory, we will strive even harder to save countless others.”