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Letter from Israel No 19 (Shabbat Terumah)

The rescue of two elderly hostages from Gaza has been welcomed with great joy. Yet, we need to continue to pray for more good news in our efforts to defend ourselves against Hamas and their cohorts and supporters, and the release of the other hostages. We cannot rest easy until they are all free because we should be even more concerned for their welfare after the two rescued hostages Fernando Marman and Louis Har reported they had been starved and denied any medication. We must also be alarmed by reports that UNRWA has been supporting Hamas despite denying any knowledge of activities taking place under their headquarters or supplying Hamas with utilities, despite clear evidence of UNRWA's complicity. We must also contend with some British politicians’ lack of consideration for Israel. And now we have reports of Jewish students continuing to be subject to violent demonstrations on university campuses and Jews being subject to abuse in a London theatre. And we must not forget that the war is still claiming lives of soldiers in the defence of Israel.  

Therefore, we must continue to be strong and support our troops as they continue to make every effort to vanquish our enemies and free our hostages, and we must not weaken in our faith. We can all gain strength in the knowledge that the Divine presence has always accompanied the Jewish People throughout its history through thick and thin. This is symbolised by the Tabernacle. The building of the Tabernacle was not a stand-alone event. It was a part of the vista of Jewish history and was accomplished by the participation of all the Jewish People. The Temple which succeeded the Tabernacle, still lies at the heart of our spiritual vitality as we face Jerusalem when we pray and as we await the rebuilding of the Temple.

And thus, as we pray for the safety and return of the rest of the hostages and the safety of our troops, may our prayers soon be turned into those of thanksgiving and joy for all their safe delivery.

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