On Sunday, some ’00 people gathered at Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes to hear Karnit Goldwasser talk about her struggle to release her husband, Udi, and his comrades, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit, from captivity.

The three Israeli soldiers have been held for more than 500 days. A letter and a tape of Gilad’s voice arrived earlier this year, but not a word on the fate of Eldad and Udi has arrived since the day they were kidnapped on July 1′, ‘006.

A standing ovation welcomed Karnit, and with her soft, clear voice she penetrated our hearts.

The Barnert Temple congregants asked Karnit what they could do to help. Karnit said they should sign petitions, write letters, and arrange demonstrations. The biggest enemy, she said, is not caring. She even challenged us to light the menorah in front of the embassies of Syria, Lebanon, and Iran in New York City.

I could think of only one thing: We need a miracle!

The three men are being held hostage by heartless terrorists who do not listen to reason or follow basic human values. Major diplomatic attempts are being conducted, and I am certain that the government of Israel is doing all in its power to bring them home.

But still, more than 500 days have passed without a sign of life from Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Gilad Shalit’s abductors have revealed information about his well-being, but have not yet conveyed their willingness to return him to his home and family.

The holiday of Chanukah is about miracles. It’s about a small group of Jewish warriors who were able to defeat the mighty Greek troops. It is about the miracle of the small jug of oil lasting for eight days. But above all, it is about the miracle of our Jewish faith and values being saved and protected from the great powers of assimilation.

We need a miracle today, a miracle of the release of our soldiers. While lighting the candles during the festival of Chanukah, please mention to your family and friends that a modern miracle is needed — a miracle that will return the soldiers to their families, so they too can light candles together.

While you are reciting the second bracha — She Asa Nissim L’Avoteinu — close your eyes tight and focus your thoughts on the soldiers.

They deserve our prayers; they deserve a miracle.

For other ways to take action, go to www.sos8.wordpress.com

www.freethesoldiers.org

 www.azm.org

 and/or www.habanim.org