הרב ציון כהן מברך את אלמוג מאיר ג'אןצילום: באדיבות המצלם

Rabbi Zion Cohen, Chief Rabbi of the city of Or Yehuda, held a special Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) for Almog Meir Jan, who was recently rescued from Hamas captivity in Gaza.

"On the Shabbat before Almog was freed, my daughter, a teacher at Beit Yaakov, said to me, ‘Almog is coming back.’ I said to her: ‘Since when do you know if he will come back or not?’ She told me: ‘I pray for the hostages every morning from the bottom of my heart and remember him," said Rabbi Cohen before the blessing.

He added, "When Shabbat ended and we heard about [him being rescued], we couldn't help but be overjoyed."

After the special blessing, Rabbi Cohen said, "This blessing is also for all the boys who will return to a good life and to peace."

Jan, 22, from Or Yehuda, was kidnapped from the Nova Party in Re’im on October 7, and was held captive by Hamas in Gaza for 246 days before being rescued together with Noa Argamani, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv, in a joint Yamam, Israel Security Agency, and IDF operation.

On Friday, Jan spoke publicly for the first time since his return, saying, "I want to thank the entire nation of Israel for welcoming me back like that, you are all amazing, all of this struggle and all of this craziness, this warm embrace which I haven't gotten for such a long time."

"Thanks to our military, which I must compliment and say that it is the strongest military there is. I really have no words," he continued. "Lastly, I want to tell my government - I pray every day for all of the hostages to return. Just as I returned, I want everyone to return to their families, and we will return to being united and one nation."