Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs Announces “Shabbat for the Israeli MIA’s”

Posted on December 16, 2005 In Press Releases

In an ongoing effort to draw attention to the plight of the missing Israeli soldiers, the Institute for Public Affairs of the Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, is sponsoring a “Shabbat for the Israeli MIAs” to be held this year on Shabbat Parshat VaYeshev (23 Kislev / December 24). Special remembrance prayers and services will be initiated in Orthodox synagogues throughout the country.

Sergeant Tzvi Feldman, Sergeant Zachary Baumel (who is also an American citizen) and Corporal Yehuda Katz were reported missing in action twenty-three years ago after being captured during the battle of Sultan Yakub, a battle which saw a fierce fight between an Israeli tank unit and a Syrian armored unit on June 11, 1982. They remain unaccounted for and the Syrian government has rebuffed all attempts to learn about their status.

Israeli Air Force Navigator Ron Arad bailed out of his fighter jet over Lebanon in 1986 and was captured by an Iranian-backed group. All requests for his release or information as to his condition of whereabouts have been refused.

Army soldier Guy Chever disappeared in the Golan Heights on August 17, 1997 and was last seen and heard from on his base that fateful day.

IPA Chairman, Moshe Bane, issued the following statement:

Just as this week’s Torah portion describes Jacob’s never ending longing to reunite with his missing son Joseph, so too we must never forget the courageous Israeli soldiers who risked their lives for the security and welfare of the State of Israel. Mindful of the commandment of redeeming captives, we urge rabbis to discuss the plight of the Israeli MIA’s from the pulpit this Shabbat and encourage their congregants to contact the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and all elected officials, enlisting their aid in making this a top priority on their agenda.