Wishing for a miracle: Menorah in the D lamplighters hope loved ones released by Hamas

Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 06, 2023

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The annual Menorah in the D is all set to kick off tomorrow in Downtown Detroit at Campus Martius.

It's part of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday of light that will run for eight days.

As part of the tradition, eight lamplighters with inspirational stories are selected to light a candle on the 26-foot Menorah each night.

This year, 23-year-old Ella Bell Ami and 49-year-old Yair Mosses are the two of the eight honoree lamplighters.

"It's a very big honor, but I would have liked it to be in different circumstances," said Bell Ami.

Both of them flew in from Israel for the Detroit event. And even though Ella and Yair are meeting each other for the first time, they still share a common grief.

"My mom was released from captivity three days ago, and my dad is still there," said Ella Bell Ami.

On October 7th, Ella and Yair's parents were abducted by Hamas from the kibbutz, an area 4 km away from Gaza. Yair's mom was released after 50 days of captivity, but like Ella, Yair's dad is still being held hostage.

"It's already two months that we don't know anything about; we have no information about how he is," said Mosses.

Bell Ami's dad, Ohad, is 55; Mosses's dad, Gadi, is 79. For both, the biggest fear is that they will never see their dads again.

"I want my dad, I need my dad," said Bell Ami.

"The first two weeks were terrible, but slowly, you understand that we are in a special situation, and you must be strong in order to fight to get them released and get them back," said Mosses.

Out of 240 Israelis abducted by Hamas, the Israeli Defense Force says there are 136 hostages still being held in Gaza.

"As lamp lighters for this Menorah in the D, what will your message be when you are lighting that lamp?" asked 7 Action News.

"I hope to have a Hanukkah miracle and have them back soon because we need a miracle now," said Mosses.

"I wish and hope the world can help us, that my dad and other hostages will bring out the candle and the light in the houses of all the families that are missing somebody," said Bell Ami.

Both Bell Ami and Mosses are hopeful that by the 8th day of Hanukah, their dads will be back home. In the meantime, they look forward to lighting a candle tomorrow. The Menorah in the D event starts at 5 pm. To learn more, head to