Brother of Kidnapped Teenager
Speaks at ZF Solidarity Rally
“I miss you, and I’m waiting for you to come home."
These were the heart-breaking words of Asaf Yifrah for his brother Eyal, one of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, as he spoke to a packed audience who came out on Wednesday night to show their solidarity with Israel.
Organised at short notice by the ZF as part of the global #BringBackOurBoys campaign, Asaf was flown over especially to speak to the several hundred people who wanted him to know just how much the world cares about Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. (We are especially grateful to Jeremy Horowitz and Muzika for their technical support on the night.)
With Jewish and Israeli media in full attendance, the community united in prayer and song whilst also writing messages of hope that the ZF will pass on to the families in Israel.
The evening started with thoughts from several figures in the British Jewish community, including Harvey Rose of the ZF; Stephen Pack, President of the United Synagogue; and Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi of Reform, representing the shared sense that the three boys could have been any one of “our” children.
They were followed by His Excellency Daniel Taub, the Israeli Ambassador, who focused on how even though ordinary families were at the centre of this this situation, they had shown themselves to be extraordinary. He directly quoted the speech given at the UN by Rachel Frenkel, mother of the kidnapped Naftali, who implored the world to do more to help.
Finally, the room was brought to its feet by the deeply moving words of Asaf Yifrah, who addressed us in both Hebrew and English. No one who was present could fail to be moved by the courage of this young man, who had flown across the world to speak about the plight of his brother and two friends. He thanked us for our prayers, stressing how important they were, before directing his final words to Eyal: “I miss you, and I am waiting for you to come home.”
The stage was set for Lapidot Ishay, one of Israel’s most celebrated singers, who again had flown over especially for this event. Despite his fame, Lapidot reinforced how the evening was about Asaf, hugging the young man before leading his band through a full set of some of his country’s favourite songs.
The evening concluded with a few words from Jacob Vince, director of Christian Friends of Israel, emphasising that the #BringBackOurBoys campaign goes beyond being just a Jewish concern, but one for all those who care about peace in the Middle East, irrespective of their background.
Alan Aziz, ZF Director, said
“We are incredibly humbled that Asaf Yifrach flew over especially for this event, at a time when his family must be going through unimaginable worries. We hope that by bringing out the pro-Israel community in this way, we were able to do our bit to raise awareness and show solidarity. We are extremely grateful to everyone who came out, especially the speakers and musicians who gave up their time. And we add our voices to all those who say: Bring Back Our Boys.”
Will You Send a Message of Support to the Families of the Missing Teenagers?
The ZF are collecting messages of support for the families of the three kidnapped teenagers, which we are compiling in books that will be sent directly to them. If you would like to add your voice to the hundreds who have already written to us, then please email your message to Louise@zfuk.org