Amid the ongoing war in Israel, two hostages who had been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists were freed late Friday night. Speaking before Shabbat began in Evanston, Illinois, their Rabbi, Rabbi Meir Hecht of Lubavitch-Chabad of Evanston, expressed gratitude to G-d for their liberation and his prayerful wishes that the other hostages be freed as well.
“We’re so grateful to G-d that Judith and Natalie were freed,” said Rabbi Hecht. “And we continue to pray for the safe return of all those still in captivity.”
The Raanan family are members of the community at Evanston Chabad, and are close friends with the Hechts as they live next door to them. Visiting family in Israel, the Raanans were taken hostage amid the horrific terrorist attacks on Shemini Atzeret. After nearly two weeks in captivity, they were set free and brought to Israel.
“What we can do now is to continue to pray that just as Judith and Natalie were freed, so too those still being held hostage will be freed as well,” Hecht said. “Our prayers and mitzvot will stand in the merit of all those in harm’s way.”