A Passover Message from Alla Umanskiy

A Passover Message from Alla Umanskiy

For our Passover holiday issue, we invited members of our community to share their responses.

Alla Umanskiy
Alla Umanskiy

It’s been over six months. And over 100 Israelis and others are still in captivity, held by Hamas. Six months. In these six months, how many times have young girls been violated? How many women were assaulted? How many men were beaten? How many seniors were denied their medication? In these six months, are the hostages being given proper meals? Are they allowed to shower? Are they chained and bound? Are they allowed to speak to other hostages?

We call them “hostages,” but they have names. Amiram, Guy, Doron, Hersh, Kfir, Ariel, and many others. They all have names, families, stories. Each one of them is loved and missed. Each one of them has quirks, personalities, favorite foods, songs, movies. Most of them have a mother and a father who are desperate to bring them home. As a mother, I’m beyond heartbroken. As a human, I’m beyond heartbroken.

If these were my babies held in tunnels, what would I say to them? What would I think? I would wake up every morning, with their names on my lips. I would think, are you getting your favorite oatmeal? Are you given any books to read? Do you have any internet access? Do you have blankets at night? Are you sleeping alone or around other girls like you, for camaraderie? Are you cold? Are you scared? Have you had a chance to wash your hair and make ponytails the way you like? Are your clothes dirty? Do you know that mama and papa love you? Will you be ok when you get out? What doctors and therapists do I need to make contact with now to have on standby when we get you back? Are you…? Will you…? Do you…?

The way to make this tragedy real is to make it REAL to yourself. To make it personal. As it is. As it should be. To all of us.

This Passover, our community and people around the world need to come together and insist that Hamas let our people go. Immediately, without delay. I pray that these people will get to sit down to Seder with their loved ones. This is my one and only wish.

Alla Umanskiy is a mother, wife, and writer, living, working, and raising a family in suburban Atlanta.

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