Photo Credit: Mendy Hechtman / Flash 90
Western Wall Plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem

Thousands of Jews are gathering at the Western Wall Plaza Thursday afternoon to unite in a prayer for the safe and speedy return of the hostages being held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza since the October 7 massacre in southern Israel and the terror group’s launch of its war against the Jewish State.

Those gathered at the Western Wall — and in dozens of locations in Israel and around the world — are praying for the return of the hostages and the well-being of all Israel Defense Forces soldiers.


During the prayer assembly, psalms will be recited by the families, followed by a special prayer for the return of the hostages, and exactly at 5:30 pm local time, the Shema Yisrael prayer will be recited by the gathering at the Western Wall and by Jews around the world.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum is also hosting this global hour of Jewish unity and prayer at the Western Wall, to be broadcast live on Thursday, March 21st from 4:30 pm until 5:30 pm. (Israel time).

This simultaneous event will be broadcast live, hosted on the Dan Family Aish World Center rooftop overlooking the Western Wall and Temple Mount, held in partnership with major Jewish organizations in Israel and around the world.

Note: The event goes live at 4:30 pm Israel time.

The event will give a voice to the hostage families who will be telling their stories on the live broadcast, and event will conclude with a united moment of prayer and solidarity with millions of Jews from around the world reciting the Shema prayer in unison at 5:30 pm.

A similar event is also taking place in Gush Etzion at the same time:

“Our strength is in our unity,” said Chaim Yitzchak Or, the brother of Avinatan Or who was kidnapped by Hamas and is still being held in Gaza.

“We are asking the general public to stand by our side and pray for the speedy release of all the Hostages, on this special day.”

“The Jewish people live and breathe their heritage,” Chaim Yitzchak said.

“The unity in Queen Esther’s time resulted in a monumental victory over the hatred and antisemitism perpetrated by Haman and we hope for a similar result and the return of our hostages so that they can all be brought home now.”

“We are asking everyone to get involved, regardless of previous Judaic commitment, or even if you have never prayed before in your life,” said Aish CEO Rabbi Steven Burg.

“This is the time to come together to share your voice in a global initiative to save the hostages who have been held in captivity for 166 days.

“We ask everyone to spread the word so that we can reach as many people as possible to pray in unity in the hopes that we can bring the hostages home now.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.