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Jewish unity: from Milwaukee to Herzliya

חדווה פדרמן ועומר שם טוב בן שלי

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

“I get up each morning but before I eat or drink anything I say a chapter of Psalms for ‘my hostage.’ This is what Hedva Federman said while driving me to Chicago from Milwaukee, where I had given lectures for events organized by Chabad.

She explained as follows: “There was a huge event here where everyone was encouraged to 'adopt' a hostage, and pray for them. I adopted Omer Shem Tov, whom I was told is 21, and so I have been reciting Psalm 22 every day for him". (There is a custom to recite the number of the Psalm that corresponds to the number of a person's upcoming birthday, for Divine protection).

"Wait, he didn't turn 22 yet, right?" Hedva asked. "Because then, I'd have to be saying Psalm 23".

I immediately texted Shelly Shem Tov, Omer's mother, who was excited to hear from me about Hedva's efforts on behalf of Omer. For her part, Hedva was excited that from her car in the US we could message Shelly in Herzliya. And Omer? His 22th birthday is in October, at which time we hope and pray he will have returned home!


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