I have always been against this exchange deal.
But, who cannot shed a tear at this photo (from JewNews), a reunion between father and son, which most thought would never happen. Only those deluded in fantasy truly believed that those Yishma'elite animals would ever release Gil'ad Shalit.
We have yet to hear what Gil'ad incurred by their hands, what kinds of torture he suffered, what kinds of permanent physical, psychological, and spiritual damage he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
Like most Israelis, I am happy that he has been released, and now back home, amongst family and friends.
Yet, additional questions remain. How long will it take for the thousand released terrorists to start killing again? Will they just step into the shoes of intifada soldiers instead?
How long until the next kidnapping occurs? What will the wait and price be then?
There is a well-known similar incident, which occurred over 700 years ago.
The Mahara"m of Rotenberg was taken captive by the German King, and was held for a very high ransom. The Mahara"m ruled on his own captivity, refusing to be released for the ransom money raised by his students and community.
His reasoning was that by accepting the exchange, additional kidnappings of rabbis for ransom would be encouraged. in the hopes of exchanging them for outrageous sums of money.
He remained in captivity for the next seven years, when he died.
We may be glad that Gil'ad Shalit has been freed. However, this chapter of history is far from over.
Only time will tell if the price was worth it.
In the meantime, let's be grateful for what we have. We have him back.
Enjoy this video of my buddy, Isaac Shiraz from the Jewish Unity Project performing for soldiers in celebration of Gil'ad's release.