For over 100 long days, the people held hostage in Gaza have endured a chilling and uncertain situation in the shelters. It is very hard to fathom what they are going through. The key is for them to cling to an upper force, trusting that it protects them, echoing the wisdom that “Even if a sharp sword is resting upon a person’s neck, he should not prevent himself from praying for mercy” (Berachot 10a).
We, too, must exert great efforts in our hearts for them. Let us intensify our prayers, turning to the upper force of love and bestowal—the Creator—seeking a connection between us and them. We should implore the Creator to draw closer to them, and for us to unite with them in thought, living with them in one heart so that they will feel that they are not alone.
For the safety of the hostages and the soldiers, people from all walks of life who did not choose to be in the dark situation they now find themselves in, we need to be cautious. We must not allow divisive voices to erode our unity, which is our sole strength. We need to resist the temptation to let the forces of evil, which operate to divide us, materialize.
Every one of us should be mindful that speaking ill of another person is akin to harming one’s own kin. Conversely, showing love and readiness to protect those around us, whether in our buildings, on the streets, or literally anywhere, ensures our well-being. This unity keeps us all safe, wherever we might be.