As we commemorate the festival of freedom, remember those in captivity

This Passover, as every year, Jewish communities around the world will be commemorating the Festival of Freedom, remembering our ancestors being rescued from captivity and going up to the land of Israel.

At the Seder table, the youngest among us will ask the traditional Four Questions. But for many of us there will be another question this Pesach, left unanswered.

How can we discuss being redeemed from slavery, when Hamas still holds 130 men, women and children in the most vile captivity? How can we celebrate our freedom, when our brothers and sisters are not free?

The Board of Deputies of British Jews is therefore launching a “Seder Seat for a Hostage” initiative, urging individuals and families to set an extra place at their seder table for one of the more than 100 men, women and children still held captive by Hamas.

People can download and print a picture of one of the hostages, which can be placed at a special seat at the table set for them. We would also encourage people to share pictures of their laid Seder Table with the seat set aside for a chosen hostage, along with the #SederSeatForAHostage hashtag.

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, described the initiative as “Commemorating the Festival of Freedom, Remembering Those in Captivity.”

She described how:

“As in ancient days, we call ‘Let Our People Go” – Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist – the hostages must all come home.

“We pray for their release, and for this terrible conflict to come to an end with Hamas uprooted, so that Israelis and Palestinians can together build a better future. And when we recite the words ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’, we will be thinking of all those who are not with us for the Seder this year, hoping for their safe return.”

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Oded Lifshitz

Hostage Posters

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