Chief Rabbi David Lau
Chief Rabbi David LauDavid Cohen/Flash90

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, published a special prayer on Sunday which he wrote for the release of the hostages to be recited while reading the Haggadah (the story of the exodus from Egypt) at the Passover Seder.

In a special letter, Rabbi Lau wrote: "In a few days we will sit at the Seder table, we will talk about the hardships and slavery in Egypt, and we will give thanks for the salvation that we have received.

However, not at all tables will all the family members sit, there are families where the missing loved ones and the emptiness scream out. The seats of the murdered and the seats of those abducted by the people of evil are left empty," wrote the rabbi.

Turning to the Jewish people, he wrote: "Each one of us has the holy obligation to feel the pain of our neighbor and to recite a special prayer during the momentous event of reading the Passover Haggadah, and to remember and pray for those hostages who are in pain and captivity."

The letter was accompanied by the prayer that Rabbi Lau composed to be recited during the Seder before the recital of "Vehi Sheamda," the poem that describes how G-d saves his people from those who try to destroy them.

The prayer composed by Chief Rabbi David Lau to be recited during the Seder:

"יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלִּפְנֵי אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיא אֶת עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתַּחַת סִבְלוֹת מִצְרַיִם הוּא יְבָרֵךְ וְיִנְצֹר אֶת אַחֵינוּ וְאַחְיוֹתֵינוּ הַחֲטוּפִים הָאֲסוּרִים בְּכַבְלֵי בַּרְזֶל, יְחַזֵּק נַפְשָׁם וֶאֱמוּנָתָם, יִשְׁמְרֵם מִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחֲלָה, יַחְמֹל עַל בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו הַמְּצַפִּים לִישׁוּעָתוֹ, יְבַטֵּל מֵעֲלֵיהֶם כָּל גְּזֵרוֹת אַכְזָרִיּוֹת. בְּחַסְדּוֹ הַגָּדוֹל יָחִישׁ פְּדוּתָם וְיֵצְאוּ מְהֵרָה מֵאֲפֵלָה לְאוֹרָה וּמִבּוֹר הַשְּׁבִי לְחֵרוּת עוֹלָם וְיָשׁוּבוּ לְשָׁלוֹם אֶל מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֵיהֶם וְאֶל בָּתֵּיהֶם".

"אָנָּא, נֶטַע אַחֲוָה שָׁלוֹם וְרֵעוּת בְּלֵב כֻּלָּם, הָסֵר קִנְאָה וְשִׂנְאַת חִנָּם וּפְרֹס עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ וְנִזְכֶּה בְּקָרוֹב לוֹמַר לְפָנֶיךָ שִׁירָה חֲדָשָׁה".

English translation:

"It should be the will of our Father in Heaven who took his nation Israel out of the yoke of Egypt, He should bless and save our bothers and sisters the hostages who are held in iron chains, strengthen their souls and faith, protect them from all harm and sickness, have mercy on his sons and daughters who look for his salvation, annul all cruel decrees. With His great kindness, he shall send their redemption and speedily take them from darkness to light and from the abyss of captivity to eternal freedom, and return them safely to their families and homes.

"Please, plant brotherhood, peace, and friendship in everyone's hearts. Remove jealousy and baseless hatred, and spread over us the shelter of Your peace, and we should soon merit to sing before you a new song."