Dearest Hostages

Thursday, 1 February, 2024 - 9:17 am

Dearest Hostages,

Words alone cannot even begin to assuage the deep sense of pain and loneliness you are experiencing. We cannot begin to imagine the depths of your suffering. I cannot envision a worse predicament than being at mercy of ruthless, violent, blood-thirsty terrorists, living in fear every moment of every day. We have no idea how you survive each day in the darkness of Gaza, in tunnels or above ground. From where do you draw the strength? 

That you’ve been living this way for well over 100 days is unfathomable. 

When we go through dark periods, it's hard to imagine anything outside the pain. The future is blurry; there’s no apparent end to the suffering. “Why me? Why our people? Will the suffering ever end? What is its purpose?” Surely these questions flood your mind as you pray for an immediate end to your captivity.

And while I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, I wish you could see what Am Yisrael is doing now on your behalf. 

Children in schools across the globe are praying for your safe return. Adults are reciting tehillim and learning in your honor. Jews of all stripes are doing acts of kindness in the merit of your safety.  More Jews than ever are putting on tefillin, lighting Shabbat candles, and giving charity, storming the heavens and demanding your safe return.  

The IDF, of course, is doing everything in its power to bring you back. Politicians and people behind the scenes are moving mountains to exert pressure for your immediate return. 

You have succeeded in uniting the nation of Israel like never before—the togetherness we are experiencing now, all bound by our desire to see you reunited with your loved ones, is unprecedented.

This Shabbat we read the Ten Commandments, which outlines why we were created and what our mission is in this world: to infuse the darkness with the light of G-dliness, making our surroundings a holy place. This is exactly what we are trying to do—to flood the tunnels of Gaza with spiritual light until G-d is forced to concede, “Enough! You can all go home!” 

We are moving mountains for you. We are coming to get you. You are in our hearts and minds every second of every day.

You are not alone; we are all with you and sending you a tremendous amount of strength, energy and light.  

Stay strong! We will get through this and greet Moshiach, reunited in Yerushalayim, with you in the front row. 

We love you all,

Rabbi Uriel Vigler

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