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Meshaberach Prayer for Hostages – Prayer through Art

May our prayers bring the hostages home.
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November 2, 2023

A work of art created by David Schmidt, whose exhibit on the IDF was previously featured in the Journal, is a large “meshaberach” prayer for the well-being and the return of the hostages. While it’s said when one is called up to the Torah, the prayer can be said any time. He received it from a Chabad rabbi; it’s not clear what the source is. 

Schmidt’s framer said he’d get it to him “the day after tomorrow.” He told him “No! I need it now!” because he didn’t want to lose two days of the prayer not being public while the hostages were in captivity. So the framer did it in 20 minutes.

He said that people stop all the time to read it. 

Schmidt took everything out of the large window of his storefront art gallery at 31 Ben Yehuda Street, in Jerusalem, and placed it in the window. He said that people stop all the time to read it. 

In the smaller window he has a collage from his IDF series he calls “My Brother.” 

The hostages listed here (and one other) are relatives of his printer, Rami Shachar, whose Insty Print shop has been at 26 King George St. for 50 years. When Rami gave David the names, there were originally four assumed hostages, and one missing. 24 hours after David put the work in his shop window, Rami told him that one of the hostages, and another two other family members, were declared murdered.

The relatives in Rami’s extended family are his wife’s cousin, Eli Sharabi ben Chana: Missing. Eli’s wife Lianne, who also had British citizenship: Murdered. Eli and Lianne’s two daughters Yahel and Noya: Murdered. Yosi Sharabi ben Chana, Eli’s brother: Taken hostage. Ofir ben Chava, the boyfriend of Yosi’s daughter: Taken hostage. Daniella Gilboa bat Orly, the cousin of Rami’s wife from another uncle: Taken hostage.

Obviously the prayer can be read with other names as well, or read as is done in some synagogues, where the person who makes the “meshaberach” for sick people, for instance, is silent for a few moments while people quietly fill in names of sick people they know, and in any case it is a general prayer.

May our prayers bring the hostages home.

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