By COLlive reporter
Avi Ohana, the father of Yosef Chaim Ohana, one of the over 200 hostages who still remain in Gaza after being taken hostage during the Hamas massacre on Simchas Torah, visited the Shul at 770 Eastern Parkway on Monday evening, where he joined a Farbrengen in the merit of his son.
During the Farbrengen, he explained that he was making a Seudas Hodaah in anticipation of his son’s safe return from captivity in Gaza.
He related that his sons learned in Chabad mosodos in Israel, and he himself came to the Rebbe for Tishrei as a teenager.
Ohana was part of the group of families of hostages who visited the Rebbe’s Ohel in New York and Washington, DC last week. He did not return home on the chartered flight, and said he will “remain in New York by the Rebbe until my son is free,” he said.
Ohana inspired participants of the Farbrengen with his strong faith in Hashem and how the Rebbe is with us and loves every Yid, saying that “you can’t live without the Rebbe.”
He recounted a miracle he experienced with the Rebbe, when his father was very sick with a heart condition, and the doctors only gave him a short amount of time to live. Ohana related that he was not sure about traveling to New York that year for Tishrei, but a family member suggested that he go and ask the Rebbe for a blessing for his father. He traveled to New York, and every time the Rebbe distributed dollars, he went by and asked for a Bracha, to which the Rebbe answered “Amen.” The family also sent a fax to the Rebbe’s office asking for a blessing, and the Rebbe answered to check the Mezuzos and Tefillin. Upon checking them, they discovered that his father’s Tefillin boxes were empty and the Mezuzah on his bedroom door was missing the word ״לבבך״ – your heart.
When he came back home from 770, he recounted, his father greeted him, healthy and sitting on the couch at his home.
Ohana said that last week, he came to the Ohel to pray for his son’s release and told the Rebbe, “You said those who learn in your Yeshiva are your children, so Yosef Chaim is your son. Help him.”
“I came to the Rebbe because I believe with full Emunah that my son is the son of the Rebbe, and the Rebbe will help me,” he said. “And in the merit of this Emunah, may it be Hashem’s will that my son and all the hostages will be released to life and good days, from captivity to freedom, immediately, now!”