The Meaning of 1 for 1,000

Micky and I both wrote over the past couple of weeks about saving a single life. Gilad Shalit is but one man traded for over 1,000. We talked about the potential consequences of releasing so many terrorists, many of whom “have blood on their hands,” truly nasty people. That this effort has brought joy and ended the suffering of Gilad Shalit and his family too has been discussed. Yet no one has really talked about what I would like to bring up here and now.

Israel is a nation in which all of its non-Yeshiva going young people are commanded to serve in its armed forces. Every Israeli family whose children enter the IDF can identify with the Shalits. Every single one. I’ll go one step further. Every IDF family could be the Shalits. Every soldier could be Gilad. Each one of those soldiers and their families put themselves in the place of the Shalits over the past five years. They thought without end about what they would do, what they would want Israel to do.

Some, no doubt, would say that they would not have had Israel make a deal with murderers of children, that they would rather suffer in captivity or see their loved one remain a captive rather than see the release of murderers who may murder again or encourage others to do so. Some argue that this release will encourage the kidnapping of others. Friends, Hamas and other organizations have been actively trying to kidnap IDF soldiers for years. There were many attempts before and have been many attempts since Gilad’s capture. There will be more attempts in the future.

The question in the minds of the soldiers risking their lives to defend Israel and in the minds of their family members was would Israel do something about it? The answer to that question is yes.

Israel will release a thousand enemies to rescue one Israeli citizen doing his duty for the nation. If I were an Israeli soldier that would make me feel good. And if there is concern about those who were released, I would say that would make me understand how much better I need to do my job, how much harder I need to work to protect the people of Israel for whom I serve.

The calculus is set. One Israeli soldier is worth the lives of 1,000 others. If I am an Israeli soldier, I like those odds.

This entry was posted in Gilad Shalit, IDF, We Are For Israel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Meaning of 1 for 1,000

  1. Marc Daniels says:

    Logically speaking, it makes no sense to release 1000 for the one saved. From the standpoint of spirituality, it is clear that Israel was the victorious. As a country Israel weeded out a lot of hatred in the transaction….Rising above this kind of quotient was very difficult to be sure… Just one more rung on the way to Tikkun Olam

  2. zalman says:

    Every IDF family could be the Shalits. Every IDF and non-IDF family could lose a child to terror. (There I said it.) Maybe neither family provides the sole perspective for this decision. Haaretz’s headlines of the last 12 hours tell of Grad rockets fired in the South and Abbas seeking to further reconcile with Hamas.
    What is done is done. Let us pray (as we did in the prayer for the new month of Cheshvan last Shabbat) that our heartfelt requests be fulfilled for the good (and not merely fulfilled).

    • Agreed. Hamas will continue to try to do harm. They were trying hard before the release. Hamas and others will continue to try to nab Israelis to hold as hostages. They were trying hard to do so before the release. If the future holds attacks perpetrated or orchestrated by those released, there will be no more exchanges and soldiers captured will be rescued or doomed. I think that most accept that reality. When Israelis die by the hands of those released, there will be hell to pay not just by those who determined the list of those released, but by Hamas who will face an Israeli fury. We accept that reality as well. We will hope for the best because we can do nothing else. It is already done.

  3. Marc Daniels says:

    I have come up with a very interesting and constructive idea to protest acts of bullying, terrorism, and hatred. It is part of what I call…the Weed Out Hate Initiative. By symbolizing our global desire to root out hatred, in the same manner we pull out weeds in a garden, we can send a signal to all those attempting to destroy us that the real scapegoats are our collective inner weeds. For the past six years, I had been researching and analyzing the spiritual roots of TuBeshvat along with the cultural and ecological roots of gardening. What I came up with is a need for a powerful positive global symbol. While walking through the terror of Dachau a few years ago, I came up the idea to ask the President of the United States to assemble children from all over the world to weed out hate for themselves, their countries and the planet. From that venue the President would ask every in the world to extract a symbolic weed on global TV. The book has been accepted in the Yad Vashem library. I have gotten letters from state officials in Germany and several executive Weed Out Hate Day proclamations from Governors and Mayors including Rahm Emanuel. It is kind of like a Jewish protest similar to what Ghandi did when he made his own salt.

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