Treasure Trove: David Matlow looks at history being written today and the call to release the hostages in Gaza

All of the items included in the Treasure Trove since its inception in February 2021 have been related to our past. Today’s treasure relates to the history that is being written today. 

We can’t do anything about the past except learn from it but we can do something about the historic times we are in now. We can play a role in trying to write a better end to the story.

This card (the size of a business card) was handed out at the March for Israel held in Washington D.C. on Nov. 14. It calls for the return of all of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 who are being held in Gaza.

Prepared by the Orthodox Union, on the back is the prayer for the redemption of captives. Maimonides (the 12th century Torah scholar, philosopher and physician) said “There is no greater mitzvah than redeeming captives, for the problems of the captive include being hungry, thirsty, unclothed, and they are in danger of their lives too.”

Although some of the hostages have been released, many more have been held in Gaza for more than 50 days.  Each of us has the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim (redemption of captives) and work towards the return of all of the hostages. There are many ways to do this including writing to the Red Cross or your member of parliament, attending rallies including the one in Ottawa on Dec. 4, hanging posters, and keeping the hostages in our thoughts and prayers.  

We can each do something. We do this with the hope that we can make a difference, that we can play our role in history, and that we can help bring them all home now.