update deskIsrael at War

Western Wall mass prayer service to be held for hostages

Jews from around the world are invited to participate online.

Jews at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during the Priestly Blessing for Passover, April 18, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Jews at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during the Priestly Blessing for Passover, April 18, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Aish (formerly known as Aish HaTorah), a Jewish educational organization, has announced a mass prayer service for the well-being of the captives held in Gaza, to be held at the Western Wall at 4:30 p.m. Israel time on March 21. Jews worldwide are invited to take part virtually.

The prayer service will fall on the Fast of Esther, which begins at dawn Thursday and commemorates the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim, a holiday that begins at sundown on March 23.

The service will be broadcast live and hosted in English by celebrity chef Jamie Geller, chief media and marketing officer at Aish Global.

“Join to hear the voices and exclusive stories of the hostage families concluding in a moment of prayer and solidarity with millions of Jews from around the world reciting the Shema together,” according to an Aish announcement.

Credit: Aish.

Thousands came out on Jan. 10 for a prayer service at the Western Wall dedicated to the hostages and the well-being of the IDF soldiers fighting in Gaza.

The event included family members of some 134 hostages still being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, those who have been wounded in the war and soldiers still battling terrorists in the Palestinian enclave.

Similarly, on Wednesday, President Isaac Herzog announced his decision to honor the heroism of the hostages Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka and Alon Shamriz, who were tragically killed by IDF soldiers while escaping Hamas captivity. The awards will be presented to their families at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem at a date still to be determined.

Last December, the three hostages escaped from their Hamas captors. They moved between buildings leaving identifying marks calling for rescue. They were mistaken for terrorists by IDF soldiers and killed.

“In light of the extraordinary circumstances of this instance, the president of Israel decided to honor the determination, fortitude and special bravery they demonstrated and to award their families a unique certificate of appreciation in the name of the State of Israel,” the President’s Office said in a statement.

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