At 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, air-raid sirens blared in Ofakim, a town in southern Israel about 10 miles from the Gaza Strip. Rachel and David Edri made their way to the bomb shelter. After the all clear, they returned to their house. Things were about to get worse.

“I saw five ‘Rottweilers’ breaking through my windows,” Rachel Edri told Israel’s Channel 13, describing the moment Hamas terrorists infiltrated her home on Simchat Torah, one of many across southern Israel that morning. “They had grenades, Kalashnikovs and what-not. ‘We are martyrs, we are martyrs,’ they yelled.”

Rachel, a mother and grandmother, was terrified but remained level-headed. Israeli police soon arrived, her son among them, and began negotiations. Just after she managed to signal with her hand that there were five of them in all, the terrorists forced her upstairs. Rachel, trying to keep the terrorists calm, played host, as she later admitted in an interview: “I told myself, ‘I have guests.’ ”

“Did you eat? Would you like a coffee or tea? I will make it for you,” she offered the terrorists as they held a grenade to her head. Rachel later told ABC news that she “knew that if they are hungry, they are angry” and so made them chicken and offered them cookies.

“I fed them, I chatted with them, ‘How old are you? Where are you from?’ ” At one point, as the couple waited patiently to be rescued, they sang Israeli songs with their hostage-takers. One of the terrorists was hurt, and Rachel even bandaged his wounds, sitting with him and stroking his hand. “I was trying to distract them so they wouldn't kill us. I also did not want them to get hungry and irritated.”

As the standoff wore on, she did what she could to maintain calm in her home, encouraging one of the men to take a nap because, she told him, he looked tired.

Rachel acknowledged that throughout the ordeal she did not always expect to come out alive. “We said Shema Yisrael, I thought there’s no way we are surviving this.”

The couple’s two sons are police officers—a fact that Rachel did her best to hide from the terrorists—and one sketched the layout of the home for the special forces that arrived to rescue them.

Some 20 hours later, close to 2 a.m., Israeli special forces dropped through the ceiling of the shower and shot the terrorists dead. “They were right next to us. It’s a miracle they managed to kill them and get us out,” Rachel says. “They are our lions, our heroes.”

Within hours, Rachel became a national sensation, the subject of memes and a guest on daytime TV shows. Her grit, faith, and level-headedness was lauded by a nation hungry for good news, and viewed as a harbinger of good things to come.

Before Shabbat, Rachel had a special message for Jewish women and girls around the world: “The real ammunition is in your hands: Neirot Shabbat Kodesh (Shabbat candles) is Neshek—ammunition,” she said, calling on all Jewish women to light Shabbat candles in honor of Israel and the defense forces. “With G‑d’s help, all the hostages will return home … We are alive, we have G‑d, friends, and the most important thing is to be happy!”

Her call that Jewish women and girls join her in lighting Shabbat candles and filling the world with more light also included her by-now famous cookie recipe.

Get Rachel Edri’s Cookie Recipe Here