17 October 2011
Guest post by R. Haskelevich.
I just returned from Israel with a heavy heart. While there, someone ventured to compare the absurd exchange of an Israeli boy (Gilad Schalit) and a thousand dangerous cutthroats to the exchange of a beautiful esrog (a citrus fruit used to perform a commandment during Sukkot) for a thousand pairs of tefillin (phylacteries).
The exchange is absurd but the comparison is even more so.
Even to debate this is distasteful. The only reason I’m not deleting this (a reference to a Facebook discussion) is in order not to deny freedom of speech to some sober-thinking people.
What is this, Gilad Shalit - a beautiful etrog, and thugs - phylacteries??
In the 13th century, one of the greatest rabbis, the MaGaRam (Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg) was arrested by a German ruler who wanted to extract from the Jewish community a huge amount of ransom money. The arrest had no legal basis and was pure extortion. Aware of his responsibility, Rabbi Meir issued a Psak-Din (ruling), which forbade the Jewish communities to redeem him. And thus he died in prison.
The reason for his Psak-Din was a Jewish law that states that captives cannot be redeemed for more than they‘re worth, otherwise this can lead to hostage taking to extort exorbitant ransoms.
Given the weak nerves of the Israeli public, terrorists are now treating Israel like a battered woman. She’s is hurt but delighted that after the beatings, in tears and with dirt on her face, she would get some candy. Yes, there are such weak creatures that are brought up to tolerate bullying and get pleasure out of it.
But that’s not the issue. Who created Hamasstan on our land? Who gave them a place to thrive in, bombard our children with missiles, and stockpile weapons of mass destruction?
Our political leadership, that’s who. Who made them leaders? We, the people did.
People do not need a new Messiah but it is necessary that they internalize the ideas of the Rebbe - Messiah, the Ruler. People need to be enlightened and afforded the knowledge of what the Rebbe has to say on the subject. Almost no one in Israel is doing that and the discussion on this page is a vivid testimony.
Bibi is now in a difficult political situation due to a wave of protests. None of the politicians is willing to give up their seat. In order to give legitimacy to the deal, Bibi asked the spiritual leader of Shas, Ovadia Yosef to agree that the deal was worth it. The Israeli Supreme Court would then "approve" the transaction, followed by the head of the Shabak who would express his "professional" opinion that that was the best possible deal that could be cut.
Ovadia Yosef, in this case himself a politician, and his Halachic opinion is worth nothing. If he had not agreed with Bibi’s the policies, he would’ve had to leave the government. How can he be objective?
(Besides, while in Jerusalem, I found out some interesting information, such as when Obadiah, fearing police pressure, rapidly and radically changed his opinion on the issue of Army conversions. It’s unseemly for a Rabbi to act in such a way).
The only ones who are not afraid to tell the truth, is Hamas. They immediately stated that kidnappings of Israeli soldiers, even of drug dealers was a very profitable business, and it would now continue in full swing.
Why are we even keeping terrorists in Israeli prisons to begin with? If we didn’t have them, there’d be much less to exchange. Why aren’t they hanging upside down from the gallows? Why aren’t they buried wrapped in pigskins (a very shameful burial for a muslim but the British used to do just that)? Because of Jewish mercifulness? Because of Jewish complexes?
How many more children must die because of this pseudo humanity ?
“R’ Elazar said: One who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.” (Midrash Rabba, Ecclesiastes 7:16.)