Dear Aviva Shalit


Dear Aviva Shalit, I always shied away from writing anything about your son's case, because the stakes are so high. Your open letter to me too, nevertheless, now authorizes me to answer.

So, I'll be short and say this: I don't think the Israeli people can help you. I don't think the Israeli government, whatever we might think of it, can help you either. Why? Because the ransom is unreasonable.

There also is halacha (Jewish Law) on this. Jews have had kidnappings all through the generations. Your Gilad is not the first one and will not be the last, G-d forbid.

Our Sages teach us not to pay more than what the hostage's worth, so not to encourage the phenomenon of kidnappings. The price for Gilad's liberation therefore should be 1 (one) ordinary hamas terrorist with no blood on his hands.

As the price set for him by his captors is not one hamas operative, not 10x, not 100x, but a 1000x higher than what we are allowed to pay for him legitimately, it is my opinion that you should not write letters to us, asking us - in substance - to break our laws.

Aviva, you should find a way to get through to the Arab people as a mother and bring your son home. Learn from your three years ordeal: there are certain things mothers do better than Israeli governments. Tell hamas that the release of your son is in their interest, that the world does not accept the kidnapping of soldiers, sons of mothers.

- This is talkback # 8 on "Please, help us"

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