R Elli Fischer / Human beings have an amazing capacity to block out life’s travails during the course of a celebration. Couples get married and nations declare independence in the midst of wars. We celebrate a year’s harvest not knowing whether next year’s crop will be thin or blighted. We enjoy life, despite the inevitability of death. Jewish celebrations are no exception. We celebrate Purim even though we remained Persian subjects in the aftermath of its miraculous salvation. The miracle of Chanukah is celebrated even though it took place during a lull in the middle of a war, and even though the independence wrought was short-lived. On Yom Ha-Atzma’ut, we celebrate Israel’s independence even though it transformed a local conflict into a multinational one.

Celebrate With Gilad Like There’s No Tomorrow

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Guest post by R. Elli Fischer

Rabbi Elli Fischer is a writer and translator from Modiin. Follow him on his blog or on Twitter @ADDeRabbi.

Human beings have an amazing capacity to block out life’s travails during the course of a celebration. Couples get married and nations declare independence in the midst of wars. We celebrate a year’s harvest not knowing whether next year’s crop will be thin or blighted. We enjoy life, despite the inevitability of death.

Jewish celebrations are no exception. We celebrate Purim even though we remained Persian subjects in the aftermath of its miraculous salvation. The miracle of Chanukah is celebrated even though it took place during a lull in the middle of a war, and even though the independence wrought was short-lived. On Yom Ha-Atzma’ut, we celebrate Israel’s independence even though it transformed a local conflict into a multinational one.

Perhaps more than any other Jewish holiday, we rejoice on Sukkot even as we acknowledge the frailty of life. We move into makeshift huts as the weather turns cold, and we face uncertainty about whether the coming winter will be rainy enough to sustain us. Again and again, we call out to God: “Hosanna! Save us!” We read the Book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), all about the futility of human life and activity. And yet, in our liturgy it is called “z’man simchateinu” – “the season of our joy,” and is considered the most joyous of Jewish holidays. It is almost as though we acknowledge that the lightness of being, far from unbearable, is in fact liberating and comforting.

For more than five years, Israelis have debated the pros and cons of working out a deal for Gilad Shalit with Hamas. Now that the deal is done, the arguments for and against will cease to be theoretical claims and will be borne out in concrete results. I certainly do not envy those who had to make this decision.

Serendipitously, the news of the deal for Gilad broke just before the onset of Sukkot. In the spirit of this holiday, which teaches us that we may rejoice in the face of our own frailties and uncertainties, can we please, at least until the end of the holiday, rejoice with Noam and Aviva Shalit without considering the deal’s consequences? Perhaps the most famous passage in Kohelet tells us that there is a time and season for everything. These times and seasons turn with an astonishing rapidity, and part of our challenge is to keep them from encroaching upon one another. In that spirit, the spirit of Sukkot, let us acknowledge Gilad’s release as a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to embrace, and a time to love.

About Elli Fischer

52 comments

  1. The analogy is all wrong. In the cases you mention, there is some sad backdrop to a happy event. There is, for example, a war raging and we nevertheless celebrate a wedding. This case is more like a wedding that is the cause of a war. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t rejoice much at that wedding.

  2. Let’s celebrate when Gilad is actually standing on Israeli soil. Until then, the only proper course of action is continued tefillot. IMHO it was grossly irresponsible to announce this deal DAYS before any transfer takes place. So many things can go wrong. If r”l the deal falls through, it will be a difficult blow for the entire country (not just the politicians and diplomats who will have to resign) to recover from.

  3. ysh — I had the same reaction as you, there have been so many times that it almost happened, and so many ways it could go wrong, it should be kept quiet until it happens.

    I must also say that I am very uneasy about the whole thing. Hundreds of terrorists are being released in exchange for one Jewish solider. First of all, if even a small percentage return to their murderous ways, then that means that more Jewish blood will be shed, R”L. Second, the Arabs see this is a good business — snatch one soldier, free hundreds of your compatriots. This makes future kidnappings all the more attractive. I really fear that while we are celebrating now, in a few years we will be regretting it.

  4. Yom Haatzmaut may actually be the perfect analogy, Moish.

  5. REF: You made a valiant attempt, but as even the few responses so far have shown, your plea (which resonated with me), will fall on many deaf ears in the Hirhurim community.

  6. Copying my post from elsewhere on Hirhurim more relevant here

    mycroft on October 12, 2011 at 11:13 am
    See
    “The military wing of Hamas has also made clear that kidnappings have proven effective, and will be emulated in the future.”

    and
    “However, the release of 1,000 terrorists is an exorbitant price for Schalit’s release, and the long-term conditions of the prisoner swap are important to consider from a security standpoint”

    http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=241518

  7. “Moshe Koppel on October 12, 2011 at 10:02 am
    The analogy is all wrong. In the cases you mention, there is some sad backdrop to a happy event. There is, for example, a war raging and we nevertheless celebrate a wedding. This case is more like a wedding that is the cause of a war. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t rejoice much at that wedding”

    Agreed

  8. “can we please, at least until the end of the holiday, rejoice with Noam and Aviva Shalit without considering the deal’s consequences? Perhaps the most famous passage in Kohelet tells us that there is a time and season for everything. These times and seasons turn with an astonishing rapidity, and part of our challenge is to keep them from encroaching upon one another. In that spirit, the spirit of Sukkot, let us acknowledge Gilad’s release as a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to embrace,”

    Why-one does not rejoice with the substance abuser in his/her high-why doesn’t one say lets rejoice with him now-he is having a great feeling and who cares about the later consequences.

  9. “Perhaps the most famous passage in Kohelet tells us that there is a time and season for everything.”

    yo rrmind us not to be happy because we realize what is in store for us-same here. The Shalits have good reason to be happy-and I don’t blame them-any parent would do what it could for their kids-but it is the responsibility of our leaders to think about the macro affects of any action not merely that it wilol make a mice picture.

  10. Lawrence Kaplan

    I confess to very mixed feelings.

  11. Does anyone really think that Hamas et al would not continue to attempt to kidnap Israelis or Israeli soldiers, even if Israel would never do a deal? I would think that in a sense the feeling which each soldier must have, that they could be kidnapped and never returned, is plenty bad. Why shouldn’t Hamas kidnap even if they get nothing in return? It’s more terror.

  12. “Anonymous on October 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    Does anyone really think that Hamas et al would not continue to attempt to kidnap Israelis or Israeli soldiers, even if Israel would never do a deal? I would think that in a sense the feeling which each soldier must have, that they could be kidnapped and never returned, is plenty bad. Why shouldn’t Hamas kidnap even if they get nothing in return? It’s more terror.”

    It takes more resources to kidnap succesfully than just terror-obviously giving in to kidnapping aslo encourages terror in that a terrorist knowsnthat if captured he has a very goodchance of being released-thus lowering the perceived sacrifice of engaging in terrorism.

  13. I find it remarkable that Rav E. Fischer wrote a blog post criticizing the “folly” of a Monsey rabbi who died in a misguided attempt to save a child during the recent hurricane http://adderabbi.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-praise-for-folly.html; yet here he unreservedly enjoins us to celebrate while barely alluding to the fact the a) the exchange is highly controversial from a halachic standpoint, and b) has already proven to strengthen the terrorists’ hands and resolve. This is a mixed simha, indeed. Sadly, previous such deals have ended with at least some of the released terrorists and criminals killing more Jews later on. God bless Gilad Schalit and his family; and all of Israel.

  14. The Yom Haatzmaut analogy is better. But in that case, it was most people’s judgment that the benefit of independence was ultimately greater than the cost of war. Does anybody think that the benefit of one released prisoner is greater than the mayhem the release of 1000 terrorists will engender, both directly and indirectly?

  15. Elli,
    Although I’m personally opposed to the deal, I fully agree with you. See also from a slightly different perspective:
    http://misgav.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_12.html
    Moadim lesimha!

  16. Soldiers are expected to make certain sacrifices for their country, and not saving one’s life at the likely expense of hundreds of civilians would seem to be such a case. If I were an IDF soldier in captivity I would not want to be freed in such a deal. Come to think of it, we don’t even know that Gilad wants to be freed in such a deal. So what reason is there for celebration?

  17. My thoughts exactly – yeshar koach!

  18. I think also of how I can encourage my sons to join combat units which go out and arrest terrorists at the risk of their lives – only to see them freed. There’s a problem here.

  19. Vernue is absolutely right. There is a big halachic, judicial and moral problem here. Whenever there is a terrorist attack the first thing the government says is “the perpetrators will be apprehended and brought to Justice”. What a bitter joke. 450 convicted murderers who were sentenced to life imprisonment are summarily released,so where is justice? Soldiers who go to war place their lives on the line. People forget that when Gilad Shalit was kidnapped one of the soldiers with him was killed.
    I am happy for the Shalit family but I cry for the hundreds of families who grieve for their loved ones who were murdered by the terrorists who are being released and also for those who will without a doubt will in the future be murdered by those same terrorists.

  20. An afterthought-Perhaps capital punishment for murdering terrorists is the solution it would certainly serve justice and is halachicly acceptable.

  21. Perhaps in the wake of this “deal,” there might be enough grassroot support for the death penalty.

  22. whatever the logic is that enables the Shalit deal, why not release all of the terrorists? we surely could have made that deal 5 years ago. and reduced the prospect of further kidnappings.

  23. never thought of that! we never arrest any terrorists and therefore they never have the need to capture any of our soldiers! a good one! we can then rely upon HKBH to guard our citizens and I’ll keep all my boys in yeshiva rather than encouraging them to go to the army. everybody is happy.

  24. Does anyone have any data on (a) what the general Israeli populace thinks of the deal and (b) what members of the IDF think of it? And it would certainly help my understanding of the issue if those commenting would say whether they live in Israel or not. (Some I know from past comments but others I don’t.)

  25. WADR, I would like to offer a dissenting POV from REF’s post. How can anyone rejoice at a deal when some of the worst Rotzchim responsible for the Sbarro attack, etc, are being released with no evident sign of remorse for their horrible crimes? Do any of us know what condition Gilad Shalit is in?! How can anyone have looked at Gitin 45a and the Rishonim there and conclude that this deal is worthwhile?

  26. “Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught, their punishment will be brief. Worse, by leading terrorists to think such demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the terrorist blackmail they are supposed to defuse.”

    Of course the quote is from BIBI
    see

    https://www.torahmusings.com/2011/10/celebrate-with-gilad-like-theres-no-tomorrow/#comments

    for an interesting take on the situation

    It is probably obvious to all but to answer Joiseph Kaplan-I live in the US.

  27. “Does anyone have any data on (a) what the general Israeli populace thinks of the deal ”

    see

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/poll-shows-israelis-ready-to-pay-any-price-for-shalit-1.1580

    why do you think Bibi went for the deal?

  28. I just decided to copy the info from the above link

    “A majority of Israelis believe “any price” must be paid to restore prisoners in enemy hands to their families.

    A survey carried out by the Truman Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Public Opinion in Ramallah showed that 52 percent of Israelis support this view.

    However, 35 percent of Israelis maintained that terrorists responsible for the deaths of Israelis should not be released.

    Some 58 percent also support the release of Arab Israelis in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

    The survey polled Israelis on other issues. For example, 48 percent support the decision to freeze settlement construction, compared to 42 percent who oppose it. A majority of 57 percent opposed Israeli soldiers’ refusing to evacuate settlements, while 34 percent of Israelis support such refusal.

    The survey also showed that Israelis believe the policies of U.S. President Barack Obama are not supportive of Israel. Only 13 percent said that Obama is not hostile to Israel. On the other hand, 69 percent of Palestinians said they feel Obama supports Israel.

    The survey examined the views of Palestinians ahead of the presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority. If the contest is President Mahmoud Abbas against Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for the top job in the PA, the incumbent would receive 54 percent of the vote, compared to 38 percent for Haniyeh.”

  29. Mycroft-I caould easily post junk from Haaretz taken from where we have no idea by two partners such as left leaning HU, and a center in Ramallah designed to feed Israelis with wishful thinking for their appeasement minded views and still prove nothing of consequence. Freeing Rotzchim for one Israeli is the issue, not what Haaretz dredges up for its readers.

  30. Thanks, Mycroft, but the Ha’Aretz poll is 2009 information. I wonder if there’s any data on the actual deal that has been agreed upon rather than some theoretical deal 2 years ago.

  31. “Joseph Kaplan on October 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm
    Thanks, Mycroft, but the Ha’Aretz poll is 2009 information. I wonder if there’s any data on the actual deal that has been agreed upon rather than some theoretical deal 2 years ago.”
    OK how about slightly higher approval for actual deal
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gzjkvEepwYghjmtTbtQ5AwkxDx8A?docId=CNG.df12618f0e6aa1f07c616c66485fdd46.421
    “Majority of Israelis ‘back Shalit deal’
    (AFP) – 19 hours ago

    JERUSALEM — More than two thirds of Israelis approve of the prisoner swap deal made with Hamas for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a private television network said on Saturday.

    A poll commissioned by Channel 10 found that 69 percent of Israelis back the exchange of Shalit for some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, 32 percent oppose it and the remainder gave no opinion.

    While backing the deal, 62 percent of respondents said the release of Palestinian prisoners would “worsen Israel’s security situation.” But 32 percent thought “it will have no impact.”

    The Midgam Project carried out the poll among a representative sample of 500 Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, and gave a margin error of 4.5 percent.

    When asked what pushed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seal the deal with the Islamist Hamas movement, only 22 percent said he had acted exclusively “in the interest of Israel.”

    In contrast, 35 percent thought he had caved in to public opinion.

    Another 35 percent said it was a bid to weaken Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who requested UN membership for a Palestinian state, or to distract attention from the social opposition movement that rocked Israel in the summer.

    The Hamas rulers of Gaza are to release Shalit, captured in a cross-border raid in 2006, in exchange for a first batch of at least 450 Palestinian prisoners and a second of 550 within two months.

    Israel, which will decide on the prisoners in the second group, has not yet announced their names but a diplomat from Egypt, which brokered the deal, said his country had insisted since 2007 that they be members of Abbas’s secular Fatah movement.

    Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

  32. “Steve Brizel on October 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm
    Mycroft-I caould easily post junk from Haaretz taken from where we have no idea by two partners such as left leaning HU, and a center in Ramallah designed to feed Israelis with wishful thinking for their appeasement minded views and still prove nothing of consequence. Freeing Rotzchim for one Israeli is the issue, not what Haaretz dredges up for its readers”

    Steve:
    I am not an Israeli-but as is obvious for whatever my opinion is worth I believe Israel is making a mistake in its deal-but similar figures are found in the poll just cited above from Channel 10 in Israel.
    It might interest you thatwhen I was in Israel last I noticedthat the Shalit demonstration opposite the Kings near the official PN residence was noticeable for the lack of kippot in the crowd also the only “religious”institution that I saw having a sign in favor of SHalit was the Jerusalem branch of HUC-it is at least possible that for better or worse the Israelisthat you and I are likely to know do not represent a cross section of Israelis.

    the following from

    http://www.france24.com/en/20111013-outside-pressures-pushed-gilad-shalit-release-netanyahu-israel-hamas-gaza

    is IMHO worth reading

    PrintSend this pageCommentLatest update: 13/10/2011 – Benjamin Netanyahu – Gilad Shalit – Hamas – Israel

    The outside pressures that helped broker Shalit’s release
    The “Arab Spring” and domestic difficulties for both Hamas and the Israeli government were instrumental in negotiating the release of hostage Gilad Shalit, according to one Middle East expert. By Sarah LEDUC (text)
    The release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after five years in detention is likely to pay political dividends to both Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government at a critical time for both sides, according to a Middle East expert contacted by FRANCE 24.

    On Tuesday Israel and Hamas finally reached an agreement under which some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners will be released in exchange for 25-year-old Sgt. Shalit. The deal is expected to be a relief for Netanyahu’s government, which has suffered unprecedented civil dissent in recent months over the state of the stagnating economy.

    Meanwhile Hamas, which captured Shalit in 2006, has lost political ground to domestic rival Fatah, whose leader Mahmoud Abbas made headlines last month by submitting a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN.

    Alain Dickhoff, a senior political researcher at Paris institute CNRS/Ceri, said the agreement had come in the nick of time for both parties. He also suggested the destabilisation of Syria and the uncertain future of post-revolution Egypt had been instrumental in bringing matters to a head.

    “Israel understood that it would be difficult to get a better deal,” Dickhoff told FRANCE 24.

    ‘Storms of the Middle East’

    Netanyahu admitted precisely that when he announced the agreement: “I believe we got the best deal that we could get, considering the storms of the Middle East. I don’t know if we could have got a better deal, or a deal at all, in the future.”

    The ‘storms’ of the Arab Spring have been felt strongly in Israel. Although Egypt helped broker the deal to release Shalit, the removal of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak means Israel has lost a vital mediator in its negotiations with the Palestinians.

    ISRAEL – PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
    Hostage to Hamas: Gilad Shalit’s five-year ordeal

    And the Egyptian legislative elections, due on November 28, are expected to hand considerable power to the Muslim Brotherhood, a once banned group known for its hostility towards Israel.

    “Israel needed to conclude this deal because there are huge uncertainties as to the role of Cairo in negotiations once these elections have taken place,” said Dickhoff. “It’s almost certain that the Muslim Brotherhood is going to do well and we don’t know if they will be as keen to continue Cairo’s role as mediator for the Israelis.”

    The Arab Spring has also changed the game for Hamas, which has had to distance itself from its traditional supporter Syria in the face of the popular uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    Domestic difficulties

    Domestically, both Hamas and the Israeli government are beset by political difficulties that Shalit’s release may help redress.

    For Hamas, the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners means it can make up for ground lost to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of rival faction Fatah, whose popularity shot up with the request to grant a Palestinian state full UN membership.

    “Freeing these prisoners gives Hamas a concrete advantage,” said Dickhoff. “Even if Abbas gained some popularity with the UN gesture, he still hasn’t got any solid results from it. Hamas will use the deal as a propaganda weapon and will try to get as much political leverage from it as possible.”

    In Israel, Netanyahu has faced unprecedented home-grown social unrest over price rises and falling standards of living.

    According to Dickhoff, the deal could not have come at a better time for the Israeli leader.

    The prisoner swap with Hamas enjoys significant public support, despite the heavy price. A poll by daily newspaper Maariv back in May showed 58% of Israelis supported the exchange of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Sgt. Shalit.

    “Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will be credited, and in the short term at least, securing Shalit’s freedom is going to pay off,” said Dickhoff.

    But he warned: “Netanyahu will also have to deal with a certain amount of dissent. Not everyone in his cabinet [including firebrand Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman] believed that he got the best deal out of Hamas.”

  33. “It might interest you thatwhen I was in Israel last I noticedthat the Shalit demonstration opposite the Kings near the official PN residence was noticeable for the lack of kippot in the crowd also the only “religious”institution that I saw having a sign in favor of SHalit was the Jerusalem branch of HUC-it is at least possible that for better or worse the Israelisthat you and I are likely to know do not represent a cross section of Israelis”

    Of course, another question is are various Jews only concerned about their own types-would we have had the same opposition by the same groups if there was a Chardal RY or an anglo RZ held hostage instead of Shalit? Wouldthe groups for and against the deal have been the same.

  34. Mycroft wrote:

    “Of course, another question is are various Jews only concerned about their own types-would we have had the same opposition by the same groups if there was a Chardal RY or an anglo RZ held hostage instead of Shalit? Wouldthe groups for and against the deal have been the same”

    The real question remains whether the deal is worth it-regardless of the hashkafa of the hostage. Just curious-who is the most in favor of this deal-those Iraelis who view the peace process as the key to all domestic and foreign problems and its architect-a definite minority who haven’t won an election since Barak was PM.

    FWIW, although R Y Hutner ZL held hostage and ultimately released on the eve of RH in the early 1970s, RHS quoted those close to RYK as questionning whether Pidyon Shevuyim was applicable in wartime. It is also known that the Maharam MeRuttenberg refused to be ransomed despite the fact that at least one view among the Baalei HaTosfos to Gittin 45a states that Pidyon Shevuyim for a Talmid Chacham Muflag has different considerations than for a person of lesser stature.

  35. “FWIW, although R Y Hutner ZL held hostage and ultimately released on the eve of RH in the early 1970s, RHS quoted those close to RYK as questionning whether Pidyon Shevuyim was applicable in wartime.”

    I recall hearing at that time that supporters of RYH made contact with groups affiliated with the hijackers to discuss the ransom of RYH (and none of the other hostages). I also recall criticism of the attempt to differentiate RYH from the hostages in this regard.

  36. would we have had the same opposition by the same groups if there was a Chardal RY or an anglo RZ held hostage instead of Shalit?

    For what it’s worth, Zechariah Baumel (who attended Yeshivat Har Etzion) has been missing since 1982 – four years before Ron Arad.

  37. I just saw the following comment on another blog which I think sums up why your piece is wrong-headed. The first part is in response to a post which claims that perhaps we can justify the Shalit exchange since the halacha forbidding the giving over of one Jew in order to save a whole town of Jews demonstrates that what is right and wrong in Judaism is not always a “numbers game” and therefore even if many Jews will be murdered as a result of such an exchange it can perhaps be justified:

    The halacha regarding a demand that Jews hand over another Jew is not instructive. That halacha forbids the carying out of an immoral action, a “kum w’aseh.” Gilad Shalit was taken into captivity by others and was not rendered by Jews. That halacha exists despite the possibility that many Jews could subsequently be murdered because of the inherent immorality involved in taking such a positive action.

    When no one is asking us to take such positive action then the considerations are substantially different.

    The following is from a conversation which I just had with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim:

    During the days of Hazal the formula of not paying an excessive amount for a Jewish captive was an appropriate one since otherwise those seeking ransom (the equivalent of pirates) would understand that taking Jews prisoner was a profitable endeavor.

    Nowadays, we face a situation which Hazal were not addressing- the existence of a sovereign Jewish state faced by enemies sworn to its destruction who exploit the taking of captives and the subsequent negotiating process as a means of weakening and demeaning us.

    Under such circumstances no such deals whatsoever are appropriate insofar as they further our enemy’s designs.

  38. “Nowadays, we face a situation which Hazal were not addressing- the existence of a sovereign Jewish state faced”

    How true. But differing conclusions can result from this observation; e.g., it is the democratic state that makes such decisions using it’s best analysis of the facts, and whether it’s right or wrong is not a question of “what’s the halacha” but rather” what’s the wisest decision to make to best protect the state and its inhabitants.” Which would mean that RGBH’s opinion is worth nothing more nor less than that of the editorial board of Ha’aretz.

  39. “I recall hearing at that time that supporters of RYH made contact with groups affiliated with the hijackers to discuss the ransom of RYH (and none of the other hostages). I also recall criticism of the attempt to differentiate RYH from the hostages in this regard.”

    Not to mention that they had absolutely no idea who he was until it was pointed out to them. In last week’s Yated they had an interview with Rabbi Meir Fund, who was also on that plane, and he said that they (and R. Hutner) tried to make sure that he was inconspicuous. It’s hard to believe that he would have wanted his talmidim to paint a big target on his head, which is just what they did. Lucky for them (and him) that he was freed anyway, but they could not have known that.

  40. Joseph Kaplan-who is RGBH?

  41. Rabbi Gosef Bavriel Hechhofer.

  42. Sorry for the typo; it should have RDBH — Rabbi David Bar-Hayim (who was referred to in the comment I was responding to).

  43. “Shlomo on October 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm
    would we have had the same opposition by the same groups if there was a Chardal RY or an anglo RZ held hostage instead of Shalit?

    For what it’s worth, Zechariah Baumel (who attended Yeshivat Har Etzion) has been missing since 1982 – four years before Ron Arad.”

    It is my impression that Yonah Baumol A”H ZAchs fatheruntil his relatively recent ptirah was sadly mityaesh on the possibility of Zach being alive. Nachum probably has better contacts on whether my impression is correct or not.

  44. “I recall hearing at that time that supporters of RYH made contact with groups affiliated with the hijackers to discuss the ransom of RYH (and none of the other hostages). I also recall criticism of the attempt to differentiate RYH from the hostages in this regard”

    This is certainly not the blog to discuss RYH and the story of the hijacking.

  45. Mycroft wrote in response:

    “I recall hearing at that time that supporters of RYH made contact with groups affiliated with the hijackers to discuss the ransom of RYH (and none of the other hostages). I also recall criticism of the attempt to differentiate RYH from the hostages in this regard”

    This is certainly not the blog to discuss RYH and the story of the hijacking”

    You insinuated a lack of sympathy from the RZ and Charedi sectors-when I pointed out the historical parallel with a flight on which RYH was hijacked-you claim without any basis that this “is certainly not the blog to discuss RYH and the story of the hijacking” Why not? The issues strike me as similar.

  46. Mycroft wrote in response:

    “I recall hearing at that time that supporters of RYH made contact with groups affiliated with the hijackers to discuss the ransom of RYH (and none of the other hostages). I also recall criticism of the attempt to differentiate RYH from the hostages in this regard”

    This is certainly not the blog to discuss RYH and the story of the hijacking”

    Mycroft-Why not?

  47. Joseph Kaplan wrote in part:

    “it is the democratic state that makes such decisions using it’s best analysis of the facts, and whether it’s right or wrong is not a question of “what’s the halacha” but rather” what’s the wisest decision to make to best protect the state and its inhabitants.”

    WADR, I obviously agree with the above theory. Yet, the behind the scenes and between the lines history remains to be discovered, written about and analyzed by the normally very investigative Israeli media and academia. The questions of who did the negotiating, who authorized the release of some of the worst perpetrators, etc, should not remain a secret. Look at it this way-Americans were fairly clueless about the origins of American involvement in Vietnam until the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Why would Israelis settle for anything less?

  48. “This is certainly not the blog to discuss RYH and the story of the hijacking”

    Mycroft-Why not?”
    I don’t believe Gil would find it appropriate.

  49. .” Look at it this way-Americans were fairly clueless about the origins of American involvement in Vietnam until the publication of the Pentagon Papers.”

    which only officially got released decades later-or unless the NYT and publishing stolen property is your new model.

  50. Mycroft wrote:

    “which only officially got released decades later-or unless the NYT and publishing stolen property is your new model”

    Actually, the US Supreme Court approved the publishing of the Pentagon Papers during the heart of President Nixon’s “Vietnamization” process and paperback copies were on sale during the summer after the decision. WADR, that hardly can be called “decades later.”

  51. Mycroft wrote in response:

    “This is certainly not the blog to discuss RYH and the story of the hijacking”

    Mycroft-Why not?”
    I don’t believe Gil would find it appropriate”

    Actually, Mishpacha Magazine just published an article about RYH ZL and the hijacking.

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