My husband told me to come; he had to tell me something. I had just returned from a run and had gone straight to the kitchen to check on my rising challah dough. It looked good. I gave it a punch. "One second, my hands are sticky." He called again, "Come." I went. He looked pale as he held our baby. My son was trailing behind me. He glanced at my son and in the calmest voice he could muster uttered two words in Spanish that knocked me to the ground. "Secuestro David (They kidnapped David)." David? Our David? Yes. Thus began our nightmare which, for David, my husband's brother, had already begun nearly two days before.

As much as possible, it's not talked about In Central and South America kidnapping is big business. Sometimes those who are kidnapped come back unharmed, sometimes they don't. Sometimes a ransom is paid and the person who was kidnapped is let free, and sometimes a ransom is paid and all that is returned is a dead body. It's something that you might have heard about. It is definitely known, but as much as possible- it's not talked about. It's something that happens to "other" people, wealthy people, powerful people, but not something that we ever imagined would happen to us.

It was the day before Yom Kippur. David went to work. We even talked to him a few hours before it happened to wish him an easy fast. He left work for his daily Torah class at the synagogue. Upon leaving the synagogue, he was followed as he drove to his parent's home. He drives to his parents' home every night, to visit with them before returning home to his wife and four children. Maybe the fact that his daily routine never changes made him an easy target. We'll never know why or who did it, and it really doesn't matter. Before he could ring the doorbell he was approached by the kidnappers and as he tried to escape they hit him over the head. From that moment on David surrendered, that is physically. He also surrendered spiritually- making a deal with G‑d, so to speak, "If this is what You want, I accept it, but don't leave me." And He didn't. David tells us that there was never a moment in the 25 days of captivity, blindfolded and trapped, when he didn't feel the presence of G‑d with him.

The most important thing for David was not to lose his spiritual freedom. They offered him food, and he told them that he would only eat raw fruit so that he would not violate any of the Jewish dietary laws. They complied. He asked them to tell him when it was 7 AM, 3 PM, and 7 PM so that he would be able to pray the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers. They complied. David was thus able to keep track of the day. He knew when it was Yom Kippur, and he fasted. He marked in his head when it was the Sabbath and the festival of Sukkot. He tried to do any commandment that he could and this kept him from losing his sanity, and from losing hope.

They mocked him and threatened him, and yet he felt protected.

In the meantime, we prayed and we prayed. My husband and I were so far from our family. We felt helpless. I walked all over my Jerusalem neighborhood putting up signs in apartment buildings and synagogues. I sent e-mails to friends and within hours thousands of Jews from all over the world were praying for the safe and speedy return of my brother-in-law. We gave to charity. In the city of the kidnapping the entire Jewish community was praying for David. Friends, family and mostly strangers offered to help us physically, and spiritually. My husband's parents, brothers, nieces, nephews, and sister-in-law were in constant agony, but every day when I spoke with my mother-in-law I was in awe of her strength. Where did it come from? Her faith. She would tell me, "G‑d is with him. David was chosen because he is strong. If he was given this test, it's because he can pass it."

They mocked him and threatened him, and yet he felt protected. Nearly three weeks had passed and David was still gone. We decided that my husband had to go to be with his family. He left on a Sunday night and the Friday before I made challah, along with a group of 40 women who made challah for David's merit. I put aside a challah and told my husband that this one he would take with him on his journey and he would eat it with David. When my husband left to go to the airport I forgot to pack the challah in his suitcase. The following Sabbath, the first one that my children experienced without their father, we ate the challah. On that Sabbath David was released.

In darkness David sat for 25 days, as Jews around the world prayed for his safety and return. David tells us that amongst the darkness he felt light. He felt G‑d's presence hovering over him, protecting him, and he commented to me that he could actually feel the prayers of those praying for his safety. Each observance that people took upon themselves to fulfill on his behalf, whether it be lighting Shabbat candles, praying in a synagogue, saying the Shema, etc. created sparks of light and protection that reached him.

The twenty fifth word in the Torah is or, light, and for 25 days David never lacked holy light.

Upon seeing a flower for the first time after so many days without color, David was in awe. He realized how before he would take something like a flower for granted. Now, David sees the colors in everything. When I spoke with him that Saturday night when he was released he kept telling me, "You take care of yourself and the children. Please, hug the children for me." He kept repeating to me to hug the children. Something that we take for granted because it is a daily occurrence, David knows to appreciate. "Don't hold back," he tells me, "show them you love them."