Sapir Cohen, former hostage with Nation on pause logo, orange candles on top of I pause for Shabbat with images of the hostages in the background

Sapir Cohen, former hostage, on Nation on Pause

Sapir Cohen, former hostage, on Nation on Pause

February 15, 2024

“Hi, I am Sapir Cohen. I was in Hamas captivity for 55 days and was released in the most recent group. Throughout the entire ordeal, this whole crazy journey, I felt that miracles were happening to me. So many things that are simply hard to explain.

Every day, I said to myself, God, how You have sent me angels to this hell! [Then] when I was released and saw how many people prayed for me, how many people took upon themselves to keep Mitzvot so that I should come back healthy— physically and emotionally, I realized that it all does make sense after all.

On October 7th, as the terrorists were breaking down our door, I took it upon myself to keep Shabbat. And I’m so touched to see this website [], and I think what you’re doing is such a great mitzva because I’m sure that just like me, many other people, many other hostages that are still being held there [in Gaza] feel your prayers, and feel these miracles [that I felt]. So, thank you so much for doing this; I am truly touched.”

(Quote from Nation on Pause video)

In a collaborative effort, and Nation on Pause are introducing an initiative that encourages individuals to dedicate their Shabbat observance to a hostage.

This initiative allows participants to personally connect with a hostage by dedicating their Shabbat in their honor.

To participate, individuals can select a hostage to whom they wish to dedicate their Shabbat. Following this, they are presented with various actions related to Shabbat observance. These actions are thoughtfully designed to enrich the participant’s Shabbat experience as a tribute to their chosen hostage. With a wide array of options available, this initiative is inclusive of all, welcoming individuals at any level of Shabbat observance or familiarity to find a meaningful way to engage.

This initiative stands as a powerful testament to the strength of faith, the warmth of community, and the profound impact of shared human experiences in effecting positive change and offering support to those in dire situations.

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