Who Is the Empty Chair at the Passover Seder Intended for?

Along with the ancient tradition of leaving an empty chair on the Seder Night for Elijah the Prophet, a modern Zionist tradition has developed in which we leave an empty chair for our loved ones who have not yet returned from captivity. In the 1970s-80s, these were the “Prisoners of Zion”. Today these are the hostages of October 7. “Let my people go,” Moses commanded Pharaoh in the name of God, and thousands of years later the same call is carried in Passover celebrations around the world, and with it we leave an empty chair and a glass of wine waiting for every single one of them to return

Women on the Homefront in 1973: How the Kibbutzim Coped With War

When the Yom Kippur War broke out, the women of Kibbutz Beit Alfa mobilized to protect the delicate fabric of community life, something that happened across Israel. They were determined and resourceful, despite the uncertainty and anxiety: “All we thought about was how we’d survive the next day.”

Refugees of the Yom Kippur War: The Evacuees of Mevo Hama

The women and children of Kibbutz Mevo Hama in the southern Golan Heights were evacuated with the start of the Yom Kippur War. They didn’t know the true drama was yet to come: A surprising accident en route to safety was just the first of many challenges the kibbutz members had to deal with in the nerve-wracking months before the cease-fire agreements.