As Israel begins the sixth week of its bombardment and attack of Gaza, more than 40 rabbis congregated in front of the U.S. Capitol Monday to lead a morning prayer and call for a cease-fire.
The rabbis, joined by other spiritual leaders and hundreds of congregants, led a Shacharit service, the Jewish morning prayer, at 10:00 am ET before marching with Torahs to speak to members of Congress, ABC 7 reported .
"The Torah: 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not stand idly by the blood of your brother,'" Rabbi David Mivasair wrote on social media ahead of Monday's event. "We are called upon to take action to end Israel's mass murder of innocent civilians and ongoing theft of their land."
More than 170 rabbis and rabbinical students have signed the Rabbis for Cease-Fire statement.
"Those of us grieving both Israeli and Palestinian loved ones this week know there is no military solution to our horror," the statement reads .
In the statement, the rabbis mourned the at least 1,200 Israelis killed in Hamas' initial October 7 attack and expressed fear for the more than 230 Israeli hostages still held in Gaza. However, they noted that Israel's bombardment had killed more than 11,000 in Gaza, including one child every 15 minutes.
"We want Jews everywhere to be safe and free. And we know that cannot, and will not, come at the expense of the safety and freedom of others."
"In the face of this terrifying violence, we say no!" the rabbis said. "We uplift the Torah value of v'chai bahem—live by Torah. Torah should be a source of life, not death."
"As Jews, as Rabbis, as human beings we are pleading with our communities to rise through our despair and our grief to save lives," they continued. "As Americans, we call upon our leaders to stop supporting and enabling this nightmare."
IfNotNow shared images and video from Monday's prayer on social media.
"We love being Jewish," the group wrote. "We care about our people. We want Jews everywhere to be safe and free. And we know that cannot, and will not, come at the expense of the safety and freedom of others. Of Palestinians."
In another post, the group pointed to the concept of pikuach nefesh, or saving a life, which they said was "the most sacred obligation in Jewish tradition."
The rabbis said they would spend the day meeting with elected officials and hold a press conference at 5:30 pm ET with members of Congress who have called for a cease-fire, ABC 7 reported.
"We will pray with our feet, our voices, and our hearts because every day the cease-fire is delayed, hundreds of Palestinians are killed," Rabbi Barat Ellman tweeted ahead of Monday's actions.