London Jewish community blow shofar horns for Hamas hostages

Connie Queline

London Jewish community blow shofar horns for Hamas hostages

NEW DELHI: Members of the Jewish community and their supporters gathered in London on Sunday to demand the release of Israeli hostages who were kidnapped by Hamas militants in a violent attack last October.
The crowd blew ram’s horn shofars and whistles, creating a chorus of sound that filled Abbey Road in central London for 1 minute and 55 seconds, symbolizing the 155 days that the hostages have been held captive.
The attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7th, which sparked the ongoing war in Gaza, resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to official Israeli figures.
In response, Israel launched a retaliatory campaign to dismantle the Palestinian Islamist group, resulting in the deaths of over 31,000 people in Gaza, the majority of whom were women and children, according to the health ministry of the Hamas-ruled territory.
Although some hostages have been released, approximately 100 still remain in captivity in Gaza, with 31 presumed dead, as confirmed by Israeli authorities.
The shofar chorus organized in London was a show of solidarity with the hostages and their families, who are currently enduring unimaginable suffering.
Marcel Knobil, the organizer of the event, expressed his hope that the terror and torment experienced by these families would come to an end.
Rabbi Naftali Schiff, the chief executive of Jewish Futures Trust charity, explained that the shofar holds great significance in Jewish tradition, being blown during the holiest moments of the Jewish calendar.
He emphasized that the shofar’s primal and guttural sound serves as a reminder of the innate goodness within humanity. The blowing of the shofar was therefore seen as a universal act of prayer and hope for the safe return of the innocent hostages.
Efforts to secure a six-week truce and the release of the remaining hostages through talks involving US, Qatari, and Egyptian mediators have so far been unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters marched in London on Saturday, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza amidst ongoing bombardments by Israel.
This demonstration, which took place from Hyde Park Corner to the US embassy, was the fifth major protest of the year in the UK capital.
( with input from agency)
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