I hope those of you from America had a great Thanksgiving weekend. This is the first e-mail that we have sent out since some of the hostages have been released. I can't even begin to express our relief and that of millions of Israelis when the first hostages crossed over from Gaza into Egypt and then from Egypt into Israel.
38 children and babies were abducted by Hamas on October 7.
(Israel's official Twitter account)
Over the past two months, the faces of many of those children have been etched in our memories. We've been praying for them and rooting for them. Both Elana and I have shed tears of joy, watching the reunion between parents and children. It seems surreal that eight days ago, I was sharing a stage with Thomas Hand, the daughter of Emily Hand. He was the first speaker at the London rally, and I shared towards the end (read more about Emily below). I don't think any of us thought that in just a few days he would be embracing his daughter again.
Of course, there is deep concern about allowing Hamas to regroup. They have brilliantly played upon our humanity and used it against us. That is the advantage they have in being savages. They care little for their own people, so they certainly don't care about us. In fact, they enjoy toying with our emotions. Yesterday, they released a young girl without her mother—which goes against the agreement.
We have to pray that the Israeli government will not settle for anything less than the complete destruction and dismantlement of Hamas. Even if we get back every hostage, we must still defeat Hamas.
Many of these hostages are coming home orphans!
Many have been assaulted in captivity.
Many have witnessed unimaginable butchery.
And many mothers and children have had to leave their husbands and fathers behind in Gaza.
No nation would ever tolerate an entity on its border that had just murdered over 1000 people in the most gruesome ways. But let's not talk about that today. Below are some of the beautiful stories of hostages being reunited with their families.
US/Israeli citizen Abigail is free. Fifty days ago, she watched as drugged-up Hamas terrorists murdered her mother in front of her. Then, they killed her dad before taking her hostage.
Her brother and sister, Michael and Amalya, ages 9 and 6, ran inside their house and locked themselves in a closer for 14 hours. Avigail ran to the neighbor's house—she was 3 at the time!—and hid with them, before being captured.
Hagar Brodutch and her three children: Ofri, Yuval, and Oriya
Husband and father, Avichai Brodutch lived in agony for nearly two months. Now he gets to hug his wife Hagar and kids Ofri, Yuval, and Oriya. They were released last night from Hamas captivity.
His wife, Hagar, 40, and three children: Ofri, 10, and Yuval, 9, and Oriya, 4, were abducted by Hamas terrorists from their Kfar Aza home when the kibbutz was attacked on October 7.
Watch as Emily Hand is reunited with her father, Thomas, after nearly two months in demonic Hamas captivity. Many will remember the interview that Thomas gave to CNN when he was told that Emily was dead!
A week or so later, an eyewitness reported seeing Emily being taken alive by Hamas. Now she is HOME! I was with a broken Thomas exactly one week ago when we both spoke at a London rally to #BringThemHome. He said he had lost two stones (28 lbs). But today, everything is different!
WATCH! Yoni Asher has living in a living hell for two months, as his wife and two children were taken by Hamas terrorsts. Doron Asher and her two young daughters Raz, 5, and Aviv, 2, are reunited with husband and father, Yoni, on November 25, 2023.
Doron, Raz and Aviv were taken by terrorists on October 7 from the sealed room of Doron’s mother’s house in Kibbutz Nir Oz, near Gaza.
(Photos: Schneider Children's Hospital).
Hila Rotem, 13, is embraced by her uncle. Her mother is still in the hands of Hamas. This goes against the agreement that mothers would be released with children. But Hamas is the proverbial scorpion, and we are the frog. Pray for Raya's release!
Emilia Alony, 5, is reunited with her grandmother after she was held hostage in Gaza with her mother, Danielle. They were visiting Danielle’s sister and her family at Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7 when they were kidnapped during the onslaught by the Hamas terror group.