Bring Them Home
On Sunday the 22nd October, The Chief Rabbi addressed thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square to call for the release of hostages taken by Hamas.
Watch the Chief Rabbi’s address above.
It is at a time such as this, that we discover who our true friends are.
Your Majesty King Charles, thank you for your support! The Prince of Wales, thank you for your support! Our Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, thank you for your support! The Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, thank you for your support! Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, thank you for your support!
And to so many people, the length and breadth of the UK, who are expressing their support for Israel and solidarity for our community, and deep, deep anguish over the plight of our hostages, thank you for your support! Todah Rabah, from the bottom of our hearts.
It’s at a time such as this, that words do matter. And to all our friends, from whom so far, we haven’t heard a single word, your silence is deafening. Words do matter.
Sometimes, we hear reference to ‘both sides’, or that there are ‘two sides’. We ourselves know there are indeed two sides: one is good and the other is evil. Israel uses her forces to protect her citizens, while Hamas uses its citizens to protect its forces. And words do matter. Those who failed to condemn, condone. Those who refuse to call Hamas terrorists, allow for the legitimising of their brutal deeds.
At this time, we stand together with so many people right around the world and we declare to the State of Israel and her citizens: we feel your pain and we stand with you!
We mourn the loss of those who have been murdered, we pray for a Refuah Shlema for those injured and we are with Chayalei Tzva Haganah LeYisrael (the soldiers of the Israeli Defence Forces) as they seek to destroy those who seek to destroy us. And with regard to the poor, more than 200 women, men and children who have been taken hostage, we cry out and say, ‘bring them home!’
And to their relatives who are with us here today and to all the families we exclaim, we will not rest until every single one of them is back in the embrace of their families!
At a time, such as this, we look to the Psalms for inspiration. And we exclaim ‘Hinneh lo-yanum velo yishan shomer yisra’el’, ‘behold the guardian of Israel, neither slumbers, nor sleeps.’ To Chayalei Haganah LeYisrael we say, ‘Adonai yishmar tzetcha uvo’echa me’attah ve’ad olam’, ‘May the Lord guard your going out and your safe return, now and at all times’.
And ladies and gentlemen, because we want our hostages back and because we yearn for nothing more than peace. Please join me as we pray, ‘Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu V’al Kol Yisrael V’imru Amen’.