Empty Shabbat tables, chairs stand for kidnapped Israelis at Beaverton vigil
BEAVERTON Ore. (KPTV) - The Beaverton Jewish community came together Friday evening for a vigil to honor the more than 200 hostages still being held captive by Hamas.
The site of the Beaverton Farmer’s Market was filled with tables and 200 empty seats before the start of Shabbat. The ‘Missing Guests Shabbat Table’ installation symbolized the more than 200 empty seats at Shabbat dinners where the hostages would be sitting.
It’s been 35 days since Hamas invaded villages and towns in southern Israel and killed more than 1,400 Israelis and took more than 200 hostages.
One man at the vigil, Mark, says his nephew Eithan and his brother-in-law Ohad are among those still in captivity.
His sister-in-law and nieces were able to escape their kidnappers.
She told mark a horrific story of taking shelter in their home, hearing gun fire, and then her family being forced onto the back of a motorcycle with her baby in her arms.
“Becheva still wanted to leave the baby with Ohad, this way she could leave her with him, and they could spare the baby,” Mark said. “The terrorists would have nothing of this.”
After escaping her kidnappers three times, his sister was able to hide in bushes until being rescued by Israeli Defense Forces.
Mark said they haven’t heard from Eithan or Ohad since, but is hopeful they’re still alive and will be rescued.
“We know that people are making a lot of attempts to free them, to negotiate,” Mark said. “All of this is done behind closed doors. There is still a lot of uncertainty. We do have a lot of hope. "
Mark said he was very grateful for the community’s support in the Portland metro area and said the Friday vigil was a way to remind the community to not forget about the hostages who were taken from their homes in Israel.
Copyright 2023 KPTV-KPDX. All rights reserved.