Posts Tagged 'Gilad Shalit'

What Gilad Shalit’s Release Means to Me

gilad shalit calls his parents after returning to IsraelThere is a great deal already written about the bittersweet end to the captivity of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, his media festival return to Israel, and the 1,027 prisoners, including convicted terrorists, released in exchange.

When I was in synagogue this past Shabbat and it came the time during the Torah reading for the gabbai to recite a prayer for the return of Israel’s captives, my heart lifted at the realization that Shalit’s name had at last been removed because he was safely returned to his family.

That feeling of joy and hope however is shadowed by a dull feeling of fear. I try not to be afraid, because then terrorists win, but my reason tells me that now that killers aiming to kill more Jews, and to kidnap more prisoners, we may lose more than one life in return.

The Jewish tradition values the sanctity of life. The Talmud teaches that “Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he had saved the whole world.” (Sanhedrin 4:5) We also believe that all of Israel are responsible for one another.

The mission is clear, but at what cost it is to be completed is the tricky bit.

God answered our prayer to return Shalit, even if we may be disappointed with how.

Terrorists are emboldened. The stabbing of a 17-year-old on Saturday occurred due to suspected “nationalist motives” according to the Jerusalem Post, though it would be called a hate crime if it occurred anywhere else. That’s what it was. And random acts of violence such as these cannot be prevented unless we stayed holed up in our houses.

Accompanied with the prayer for the return of the captives, many communities, including the kehillah with which I pray, include a prayer for the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. For those who hate, I know nothing else than to pray for a change of heart. May God also hear our prayers for sage leaders who make the best decisions possible and for the safe return of all members of the armed forces to their families.



Ilene Rosenblum is a writer and marketing professional living in Jerusalem.

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