Hundreds of national-religious schools across Israel held a mass prayer session at 11:30 am Sunday, praying for the health and safety of three yeshiva students kidnapped on Thursday: Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad; Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon; and Gilad Sha'ar, 16, from Talmon.
Several top-ranking officials, including both Chief Rabbis of Israel, the IDF Chief Rabbi, and staff from the Ministry of Education attended the main prayer session at the Mekor Haim yeshiva, which was broadcast to schools nationwide.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau led the prayer, urging his students to accept the commandment to love Israel (and every Jewish person - ed.) and to learn from the positive prayer experiences of the Jerusalem-based Gross family, whose two sons made a miraculous recovery after being poisoned earlier this year.
IDF Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Rafi Peretz spoke with the students as well, stressing the "mutual responsibility" the Jewish people have to pray for the IDF soldiers, who protect them.
"In the past few days, we have seen an entire nation feel with the same soul," Rabbi Peretz stated. "You are here as soldiers and as partners, and you are obligated not only to pray but to hold the nation's head high in embracing the mutual responsibility we have for [all Jews] during these difficult times."
Since Thursday, the public has been asked to pray for the kidnapped students, named as Ya'akov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Eyal ben Iris T'shura, and Gil'ad Micha'el ben Bat-Galim.
A mass prayer rally, in conjunction with major religious and political leaders, will be held Sunday at 7:00 pm at the Western Wall. Arutz Sheva will provide a live broadcast of the event.