On Friday night, students from the Nehora Yeshiva in Mevo Horon joined many other places in the world in adding an empty table to their dining hall, to raise awareness for the hostages and hope for their return.
Next to the table, which included a place for each hostage, the students held a prayer for the return of the hostages and the safety of IDF soldiers, and read chapters from Psalms.
Following similar displays in the Hostages Square in Tel Aviv, Times Square in New York, and in Copenhagen, Milano, and Rome, this is the first time that such a display has been created in a haredi yeshiva.
Each chair had the name of a hostage on it. The prayers were ended with the song, "Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael," which states, "Our brothers from the whole house of Israel, who are in trouble or captivity, whether at sea or on land, may God have mercy on them, and bring them from trouble to relief, from darkness to light, from captivity to redemption, speedily and soon."
The yeshiva dean, Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, commented: "Since the disaster, we have all been trying to work for the nation of Israel. The yeshiva students have added additional Torah study and prayers and have joined in the worldwide declaration that no, we will not be complete until all the hostages have been returned, with this display. We have adopted the empty Shabbat table which has become the symbol throughout the world to say that we are an inseparable part of this fight. At this time, we are praying for the safety of the hostages and the success of the IDF."
At the end of the prayers, one of the students commented: "This display is a great sanctification of G-d's Name. It is important for me to pray for the return of the hostages and the success of the IDF because they are my brothers. The nation of Israel is all united, and no one can exist without the other. This past year has been difficult, and we need unity in Israel, that is the most important - we will not be a nation without it."
The "Brothers on the Home Front" organization that supports volunteer work in the haredi community for the citizens of Israel, organized the display of empty tables in various haredi centers and is working to expand it to other yeshivas