Israeli military official resigns over October 7 failure: Live update

More than 130 hostages remained in the Gaza Strip, and many Israelis were in a somber mood Monday as they prepared to celebrate Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom. He said he was planning to celebrate the festival.

The number of hostages believed to be alive is unknown, and negotiations with Hamas’s captives have stalled, with little prospect of their imminent release.

The holiday begins after sunset on Monday with a traditional seder meal. According to tradition, this is a joyful gathering where family and friends gather together, follow rituals that celebrate symbolic foods, and share Biblical stories about the bondage and suffering of the ancient Israelites in Egypt, and the Exodus and Deliverance.

Israelis remain nervous after a gunfight with Iran, in which Iran directly attacked Israel from Iranian territory for the first time this month. And Israeli authorities continue to mourn the roughly 1,200 people they say were killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on southern Israel, which has brought the Gaza Strip to a six-month A desperate struggle continues. The military says more than 250 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched a ground invasion in late October. More than 34,000 Palestinians have died in the war, according to Gaza health officials.

Daily reprisal attacks on the northern border with Lebanon have turned parts of Israel into no-go zones. Tens of thousands of residents in northern and southern Israel have fled their homes and remain in temporary housing.

“We celebrate Seder night for our children,” said Irit Feingold, 35, a preschool instructor who was at the hostage rally in Jerusalem on Saturday night. . She was planning to spend Monday night with about 25 members of her extended family.

“We talk about leadership, freedom and staying free. Everyone can share what they’re feeling,” she said.

Many families like Feingold’s have emotional conversations about how to commemorate the holiday, and some say they don’t want to have a seder ceremony at all.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews shop before Passover in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. credit…Hannah McKay/Reuters

“Every festival is another milestone that shows we are not perfect,” Feingold said, adding that it is essential to resist a return to normality. Her husband, a reservist, plans to return to Gaza after the holidays.

Groups representing most of the hostages’ families are calling on families to place an empty chair with a portrait of the hostage or a yellow ribbon at the table. Traditionally, Jews leave an empty chair at the Seder for the Biblical prophet Elijah, who is revered as a harbinger of hope and salvation.

“All the symbolic things we do at the Seder will take on a deeper, deeper meaning this year,” Rachel Goldberg Pollin said. His son, Hersh Goldberg Pollin, 23, is a dual citizen of Israel and the United States. He was captured in Gaza after his arm was blown off during a raid on a roadside air raid shelter. He had taken refuge there after fleeing the Tribe of Nova music festival.

Goldberg-Polin told reporters she would participate in the Seder with close friends and family, referring to the salt water that is part of the Seder ritual that represents the tears of Israelites who were enslaved in Egypt. It was clear to me that if I couldn’t do it in 15 minutes and needed to cry, I would cry. ”

Hundreds of survivors of Kibbutz Beeri, one of the border villages attacked on October 7, had planned to hold a joint Seder in a Tel Aviv square that has become the center of the hostage release movement.

As dusk approaches on Sunday, pre-Passover rituals are held in the West Bank near…Hannah McKay/Reuters

In another village on the border, Nir Oz, a quarter of the population was killed or kidnapped. Avner Goren, the son of the communal village’s founder, invited Israelis to eat fruit salads (some sour) to celebrate Israel’s multicultural fusion, as a version of the Haggadah produced by Neal Oz in the late 1990s. I wrote a poem comparing it to “Some things are sweet when you have them.” .

Goren was killed on October 7th. His wife Maya Goren was kidnapped and taken to Gaza, where she was pronounced dead. Rabbi Binyamin Rau, speaking at a gathering in Jerusalem on Saturday night, sat at a seder table with his family, and in an empty chair was his friend Alex Dansig, a Holocaust expert from Nir Oz who remains a hostage. He said that he thought there would be a photo of him. fruit salad.

“We are a people who tell stories at all times and under all circumstances,” said Rabbi Rau, himself the son of a Holocaust survivor.

Myra Novec Contributing to reports from Jerusalem, Gabby Sobelman Originally from Rehovot, Israel.

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