Joel Lion, Israel’s Consul General to Montreal, pointed out that “we like the fingers of a hand. We may be different but we are all connected.” He also shared his amazement at 500 people gathering in a Cote St Luc Shul on such short notice and then spoke about the kidnapping. “One person is responsible for the kidnapping,” he announced. “Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.”
Lion asked everyone present to do whatever they possibly could, to write to influential people and to keep praying to Hashem to “bring back our boys.”
Lion closed his speech by thanking the community. He will be leaving his post at the end of the summer, and he cherishes his time spent in Montreal.
Susan Laxer, President of Federation CJA, also spoke, noting the large crowd gathered to show solidarity and to strengthen the families of the kidnapped teens in Israel. A Cote St Luc resident then read a message from the family of Gilad Shaar, who lives one block from her sister in Talmon. Another resident is the cousin of Naftali Frankel. She spoke about him as a person, his kindness, his humour, his personality.
Rabbi Poupko read a letter from the Mont-Royal MP Irwin Cotler, and shared his feelings on the kidnapping and the silence of most of the world when three innocent Yeshiva students are kidnapped. He particularly voiced his anger at Ken Roth of Human Right’s Watch, who had tweeted the following: “Attending school at illegal settlement doesn’t legitimize apparent kidnapping of #Israel teens.” When pressed about the tweet, Roth had responded, “Kidnapping 3 Israeli boys is wrong. So is killing 2 Palest’n boys posing no imminent threat.”
“Too often we are alone when it comes to defending basic human rights,” said Poupko. “When one Israeli is taken captive, we’re all taken captive.”
Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of TBDJ also shared a few words. He noted that praying is an act of protest. “We turn to G-d tonight and tell Him you have to bring them home,” he declared. “Yirmiyahu HaNavi said ‘Yesh Sachar BiPeulasech’ – there will be a reward for our efforts. ‘Veshavu Banim LeGvulam’ – please bring them home.”
The event closed with Chazzan Shor leading the community in a Mi Shebeirach for the boys, and over 100 men and 50 women stayed for Mincha and Maariv.
Other gatherings have also been held. Chabad Houses received a special letter of request from the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, asking them to organize rallies that would coincide with the massive rally being held at the Kotel. On Sunday at noon, Montreal’s Chabad Rabbis held rallies in their Synagogues. Some, like Chabad of Cote St Luc, included a live video hookup to the Kotel, so the attendees could pray in unison with their brothers in Israel.
In Outremont, de Vimy and Tosh, people also dropped what they were doing at 12:00 to say some Tehillim for the kidnapped teens. Small rallies were held in several Shtiebelach. At Hechal Shalom in Ville St Laurent, an evening of Tehillim was held on Monday night at 8:00.
Please continue to pray for 16 year old Naftali Frankel, 19 year old Eyal Yifrah, and 16 year old Gilad Shaar. Their names are:
Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim
Eyal ben Iris Teshurah
Chabad is organizing a campaign of Mitzvos one can take on for the kidnapped teens. If you would like to pledge a Mitzvah, please click here. And may the boys return home safely and unharmed.
By Zvi Hershcovich – Bill613.com