Shluchim Encourage Hostage’s Father Before and After Release

Chicago area shluchim Rabbis Chaim Schanowitz and Zelik Moscowitz visited the father of Natalie Raanan, who was held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, before and after her release, putting up mezuzos and helping him don tefillin.

By reporter

When they heard that Natalie Ra’anan and her mother Judith had been taken hostage by Hamas ym”s, local shluchim visited her father to encourage him. Thankfully, they were able to visit on a happier occasion on Friday, after the two hostages were released.

Uri Raanan, father of Natalie, and ex-husband of Judith, is a member of Chabad Deerfield, where Rabbi Chaim Schanowitz serves as a shliach. Immediately when the news of their capture arrived, Rabbi Schanowitz and Rabbi Zelik Moscowitz of Friendship Circle Illinois traveled to his house with tefillin and mezuzos.

They helped him don tefillin and then put mezuzos on the home’s front and back doors, and on Natalie’s bedroom. “It was extremely emotional, almost surreal,” Rabbi Moscowitz told

Over the coming days, as international efforts were made for their release, Rabbi Schanowitz kept in touch with Uri and encouraged him, telling him that Jews around the world were praying for the safe release of the hostages.

On Friday, as the news arrived of the release of the two hostages, Rabbis Schanowitz and Rabbi Moscowitz came back to Uri’s house, this time with l’chaim.

Uri donned tefillin in thanks to Hashem for the hostages release, and the three said l’chaim together, with the Rabbis explaining that they are saying l’chaim on behalf of Jews worldwide who are joining in his celebration and relief.

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