A Prayer of Gratitude for the Return of Israeli Hostages

by Rabbi Naomi Levy

Today is a day of gratitude for every soul freed from captivity.
Children, mothers and elders are coming home!
The long-awaited hour of reunion is here.
God, heal the hearts of children
Who have lived through horrors no child should ever endure.
Some children have no parents’ arms to run to,
Let all of Israel embrace them with an eternal love.

We give thanks for every hostage released today,
For joyous reunions filled with tears of thanksgiving.
We pray that love will mend the brokenness,
That fear will soon give way to faith in tomorrow.
But for the hostages this hope-filled day of homecoming
Will also be heartbreaking,
A time of mourning for murdered loved ones.
Comfort them, God, be their light in these dark days,
Be their strength, be their shelter, their hope
For new life that lies ahead.

On this blessed day of gratitude
Our hearts refuse to rejoice
Until every soul heartlessly held by Hamas,
Every boy and girl,
Every woman and man
Has been released.
God, help us bring them home.

Until that day, watch over them, God.
Fill them with courage, perseverance,
Strength and hope
For the day of freedom that is coming.
May that day come soon.

Baruch Ata Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-Olam
Matir Assurim.
Blessed are You, O God,
Who frees the captives,