Hostages in the Collective Jewish Consciousness

I wanted to write a quick follow-up to my post about intergenerational Jewish trauma.

Tragically the fate of Jewish hostages plays a major and tragic role in our collective Jewish consciousness as well.

There is a prayer that we say in Synagogue on Mondays and Thursdays (which were historically market days with larger prayer service attendance), together, out loud and in unison.

That special prayer is about Jewish captives.

Here is a translation “As for our brothers, the whole house of Israel, who are given over to trouble or captivity, whether they abide on the sea or on the dry land:

May the All-present have mercy upon them, and bring them forth from trouble to enlargement, from darkness to light, and from subjection to redemption, now speedily and at a near time (translation from accessed 10/16/23)”

For those who don’t speak Hebrew, many of the videos of Jews praying that have been shared over the last 10 days have been of that prayer.

As I write this, 199 people are being held as captives in Gaza. No one knows their fate or can check on their well-being. Wherever you stand politically, we should all be praying AND actively working to bring them from “darkness to light” and to redemption from their captors.

About the Author
Chaim Shapiro is the Executive Director of Undergraduate Career Services at Touro University, a freelance writer, public speaker, LinkedIn consultant and a Board Certified Coach specializing in career coaching Chaim was the Hillel Director at the University of California, Riverside between 1999-2003, fighting and advocating for Israel when the current anti-Israel campus campaign was in its infancy.