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World’s largest ever shofar chorus to support the hostages

Rabbi Mark Solomon at Blow for Hostages event

Rabbi Mark Solomon represented Progressive Judaism at the world’s largest ever shofar chorus – in a call for the freeing of all the innocent children, elderly people, women and men still being held hostage by Hamas terrorists.

The hundreds in attendance at the event, held in London on Sunday 10 March, blew shofars and whistles for 1.55 minutes marking the 155 days the hostages have been in captivity. Smaller satellite events took place in communities and chederim around the UK, including at Brighton and Newcastle Reform Synagogues.

Alongside Rabbi Mark (wearing a blue coat in the picture above) those taking part in London included Vanessa Feltz, Mike Freer MP, Nimco Ali, Dame Maureen Lipman, Anthea Turner, clergy from across the Jewish community and communal and civic leaders of all faiths and backgrounds.

The event, titled Blow for Hostages, was organised by Marcel Knobil – who gave a powerful opening speech talking about the need to re-awaken the world to the horrors of 7 October and the desperate plight of those still being held. He also emphasised that we grieve for all the innocent people who have died in Israel and Gaza.

Marcel said: “More shofars will have been blown, than probably on any day in history, marking the unifying and desperate hope of Jews and allies throughout the world that the hostages will be freed.”

Rabbi Mark added: “It was a privilege to take part in the Blow for Hostages event. It was especially poignant that we did this on Mothers’ Day, thinking of the mothers and grandmothers waiting desperately for the release of their children and grandchildren held hostage – or the mothers and grandmothers who are themselves among the hostages.

“Among its many symbolic meanings, the shofar echoes with the cries of mothers down the ages, witnessing the suffering and death of their children. It is a wordless cry of supplication and pain that pierces the heavens, and cries out for forgiveness and mercy.

“It is our cry of ‘Bring Them Home – Now!’ May the hostages be released so this bitter conflict can end and a way forward to peace can be found.”

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