Free at Last! 2 Hostages Rescued by the IDF

Israel finally woke up to some good news: Two hostages were rescued from captivity in Gaza! In the middle of the night, Israeli commandos landed on the roof of a building in Rafah that they had been studying inside and out. They had intel that two Israeli hostages, Fernando Marman (61) and Louis Norbeto Har (70), who had been kidnapped from within their homes in Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, were being held on the second floor of the heavily guarded house in Gaza. There were a great number of Hamas terrorists to overcome, but the IDF special forces had done their homework.

The timing was critical. They had to surprise the terrorists and catch them off guard. After planning their strategy for quite some time, the whole rescue operation took place within an hour. The soldiers had been studying a model of the building and were familiar with every window, door, and corner in order to plan the rescue to the smallest detail. The hostages were held in an area that was not only densely populated but swarming with terrorists. The heroic rescue was carried out in the early hours of February 12, under heavy gunfire, and their professionalism paid off.

The operation was perfectly executed with clinical precision and it wasn't long before the grandfathers saw the soldiers breaking into the room, and the commander shouted, “Come, you're going home!”

Before they knew it, Fernando and Louis were being airlifted to Israel, where their families were waiting for them. After emotional reunions, the two men received medical attention at the hospital before being sent home. They were thin and pale, and had endured mental anguish as the terrorists had tried to break their spirits, but they persevered through it all. And now they're free at last, after four long months of captivity!

Thank God with us for this great news. There have been too many mornings where Israel has woken up to bad news, often terrible news, so it's been such a joy to wake up to this. Captives set free is the best news there is!

Both men are of Argentinian descent, and it comes in the very week that President of Argentina, Javier Milei, announced his plans to move the Argentinian embassy to Jerusalem as he came to visit Israel. Just a few days ago he was seen weeping at the Western Wall, and praying, alongside his rabbi. We have never seen a head of state so emotional in prayer and supplication at that special place. Did he pray for the hostages? Whatever his prayer might have been, it seems fitting that the two rescued men were connected to Argentina.

At the weekend, Jewish people all over the world will have been reading the Torah Portion from Exodus chapters 21-23 in which God gives Moses the law at Sinai, including His laws on slavery, homicide, and kidnapping. The entire law begins with God's command that slaves must go free, and the emphasis on the importance of liberty for captives is emphasized in the “Hafterah” for the week from Jeremiah. God also reiterates His unwavering commitment to His covenant with Israel:

Thus says the Lord: “If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth, then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.” (Jeremiah 33:25-26)

There are 134 still held in captivity, men and women, young and old. Let's keep praying for freedom for the captives!


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