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Freeing the captives

ברוך אתה ה' אלוהינו מלך העולם מתיר אסורים

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

Each morning, upon awakening, we recite a series of blessings that includes: “Blessed are you, Lord, King of the universe, Who frees the captives.” This prayer is especially poignant at this time, but why must it be recited each morning, regardless of whether any of our people are being held captive or not?

Being captive means we are not living life to its fullest. In the morning we rise from being captive to sleep and passivity. We receive anew the capacity to move, to do things, to connect to others and to ourselves. Each morning we pray to release ourselves from everything that handcuffs us, stifles and confuses us. We pray to free ourselves from being tied up, our potential unfulfilled and thus not truly free.

There are 180 dear souls who are still imprisoned in Gaza. To some extent, collectively, we are imprisoned with them as we think of them constantly.

Yet, not to be forgotten, are those all around us who are praying for children, for a better livelihood, for a marriage partner, people who are in captivity due to all sorts of hardships and challenges, frustrations and worries.

This blessing reminds us every morning that we are all captives to some extent and that we need to be released, speedily and with joy, from whatever confines us.

Blessed are You, Lord, King of the universe, Who frees the captives.


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