Join Sivan's newsletter!

Get updates & news via Email

To Rejoice— For the Hostages’ Sake

אליקים שלמה בן אבישג

* Translated by Janine Muller Sherr

“Shalom, Sivan,

My name is Tzofit Libman and I’m the sister-in-law of Elyakim who has been held captive in Gaza for more than five months. Our hero Elyakim was working as a security guard at the Nova festival. At 9:06 am on the morning of October 7, Elyakim phoned his father Eliyahu telling him that they were surrounded by terrorists on pickup trucks and that there were many victims of gunfire. He asked him to send help and a rescue team immediately. That was the last time we heard from him.

Since then we have learned that from 6:30 am that morning until he was kidnapped by the terrorists, Elyakim was helping people to escape, treating the injured (he served as a medic in the army), and doing everything he could to save people’s lives.

As we approach Purim, our family is filled with mixed emotions. On the one hand, we feel so much worry, longing, and pain. But on the other hand, we are so proud of Elyakim and of the entire Jewish people who have demonstrated such nobility and courage.

I’m attaching our note that we are circulating before the holiday. In this note, we call on people not to forget the hostages—and to rejoice for their sake.

If this sounds confusing, it’s absolutely not! We believe that not only is it a mitzvah to be happy, but that happiness has the power to transform our reality, to reach the highest levels of heaven, to break through all barriers and rescue us from our distress.

As the founder of the Hasidic Movement, the holy Ba’al Shem Tov, used to say:
“Sorrow locks the gates of Heaven. Prayer opens locked gates. Joy has the power to tear down walls.”

We invite everyone to print the attached page, post it in your neighborhoods, and include it with your Mishloach Manot.
Happy Purim!”

Here is a translation of what is written on the page:
“Sorrow locks the gates of heaven. Prayer opens locked gates. JOY has the power to tear down walls.”
(From the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov)

Even during these challenging times, we must still be happy and thankful for what we have.

Let us tear down the walls and storm the heavens with joy and love.

And may we merit to see the fulfillment of the verse in the Megillah: “And the month that had been turned about for them from one of sorrow to gladness.”

For the safe and speedy return of
Elyakim Shlomo ben Avishag
and all the hostages


We use cookies to ensure the best experience for you. Please, accept the usage of cookies.