Stamford rabbi in Israel reacts to hostages' release
Stamford Rabbi Daniel Cohen is in Israel and shared his experience there with News 12.
Two more Israeli hostages have been released from captivity in the Gaza Strip, as part of a larger group of Israelis expected to be released today in the latest extension of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
Rabbi Cohen says the feeling is of utter horror as he was commenting on his experience.
"I literally felt like I was walking through the valley of the shadow death," said Cohen.
Cohen is in Israel with a group of 17 men from his Stamford synagogue, Congregation Agudath Sholom.
"It's hell. At the same time, us coming here lets them know we are with them in this battle."
Every two years, he makes the trip to Israel for new teachings.
Cohen says it just so happens this trip was during a war.
"As a way to bear witness to what's happening, to give strength to families, evacuees, hostage families, soldiers. And its been one of the most moving experiences of my entire life," said Cohen.
Cohen says he met with one of a mother of a hostage in Tel Aviv to give her letters from 5-year-olds at his Stamford synagogue.
"It shows the power of what empathy and strength and kindness and love can do to give somebody a sense of hope," Said Cohen.
Rabbi Cohen says he and his group will be making the return to the U.S. on Monday.