“Last Tuesday, I was invited to come be with the Masorti movement, to come here and listen to people,” said Israeli-American Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, who leads Lab/Shul in New York and was part of the group that visited on Tuesday. “We created a circle and sang songs and did a prayer for the healing and captives — then we invited anyone who wanted to do Mincha to join.”

The prayer service was one stop on Lau-Lavie’s extended trip around the country to provide pastoral care for traumatized Israelis, including a visit to a hotel where members of his own family have relocated after their kibbutz was attacked on Oct. 7.

As painful as the current moment is, Lau-Lavie said Jews throughout history have joined together to call for the return of captives.

“People need to stand together and in the absence of words, or singing, people need to know that they are not alone” he said. “The fact that we have in our archive a 2,000-year-old prayer for the release of captives shows that we have been here before.”

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