Mass prayers held at Western Wall for Israeli hostages

Many relatives of hostages, rabbis, and wounded soldiers will express their hope for their return.


A special prayer session for the hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and for the safety of Israeli forces is to be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’ Old City.

The event is to include family members of some 133 hostages still being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, those who have been injured in the war, and soldiers still battling terrorists in the Palestinian enclave.

Among the attendees will be the chief rabbis of Israel, the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, other religious and public figures, and with the participation of thousands of Jews “who will come to cry out, plead, and invoke heavenly mercy upon all of Israel.”

During the gathering, the selichot prayer will be recited according to both the Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions, including chapters from the Yom Kippur Katan prayer and Psalms.

In November, a large Torah scroll dedication ceremony to honor Israeli hostages and soldiers in Gaza took place at the Western Wall Plaza.

Two scrolls were dedicated “to elevate the souls of the fallen, the well-being of soldiers and return of the hostages.”

Families of fallen soldiers and hostages as well as evacuees from the north and south attended, as did rabbis and public figures.

Shortly after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 people, a special prayer session was held at the Western Wall for the safe return of hostages and for the success of Israeli security forces in the war.