Millions across the globe to recite Shema today for hostages

Families of hostages in Gaza will be speaking and praying at the Kotel


Millions of people will join in prayer this afternoon for the release of the 134 hostages still held in Gaza (Photo: E Jacobs Photography)

Millions of Jewish people across the world are expected to join in saying the Shema this afternoon to show their solidarity with the hostages still held in Gaza.

Hamas terrorists abducted over 240 people on October 7, of whom 134 are still held captive.

Speeches at the Kotel (Western Wall) will start at 4.30pm Israel time (2.30pm UK time), followed by the reciting of the Shema an hour later. The diaspora Jewish community is being invited to join online

The event is being organised by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum and Aish, together with a number of other groups. 

Organisers said that “hopefully the global Jewish unity and the Shema Yisrael prayer in one voice will be heard for the quick release of the hostages and their safe return home.”

The Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis has called on the UK community to join in solidarity and prayer, saying on X/Twitter: “Families of hostages still being held captive in Gaza have asked us all to gather together in our hundreds and thousands together with those who will be at the Kotel on Thursday 21st March – Ta’anuit Esther (the Fast of Esther) – in order to pray for the hostages.

"Queen Esther declared: ‘Bring all Jewish people together at a time of emergency’ and that’s exactly what we are experiencing right now. So please, join me and so many others for this special moment of prayer and may our hostages, please God, come home safely soon.”

You can join the gathering by clicking here.

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