SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The El Riad Shrine will be hosting a prayer vigil on Sunday, October 15, for South Dakotans for Israel, a group proclaiming to stand for a strong Israel and a strong America.
A release sent by the group states that South Dakotans for Israel stands in complete solidarity with the people of Israel, and pray for those defending the state of Israel.
Stephen Rosenthal, speaking on behalf of the group said that this vigil will be a chance for the community to come together in solidarity to grieve the loss of life in the region of Israel following the ongoing conflict between the Israeli state and Hama, a terror group governing and operating out of the Israeli occupied Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.
On October 7, as many as 1,000 Hamas fighters entered Israeli territory along a fortified border fence with Gaza, killing and estimated 1,300 people, including soldiers and civilians, and taking as many as 150 hostages.
On October 8, Israel declared war on Hamas, responding with airstrikes on Gaza, with the territory’s Ministry of Health saying that at least 1,799 people, including more than 500 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes as of Oct. 13.
Rosenthal said that while he has no firm indication on how many people may attend, he hopes to see somewhere in the ballpark of 200-300 people. “Hopefully more,” he added.
Speaking of his hope for the event, Rosenthal said that he hopes the evil he sees in the conflict can be understood and challenged, and that his hope is that such violence never happens again.
“You have to understand,” said Rosenthal, “Jews everywhere have a feeling of family,” he said, adding that when something violent happens, even thousands of miles away, “we all feel it.”
The vigil, which is open to the public, will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Shrine in downtown Sioux Falls.