Jun 24, 2010

Gilad Shalit, Four Years Later

A Note from Rabbi Creditor:
Waiting for Gilad Shalit, Four Years Later

13 Tammuz, 5770

June 25, 2010

Dear Chevreh,


The  ynetnews.com article today, the four year anniversary of Gilad Shalit's abduction, begins as follows:

Four years. 48 months. 1,461 days. 35,064 hours. Alone. This is the inconceivable amount of time Gilad Shalit has spent in Hamas captivity in Gaza. Four years of disappointment and turmoil for the Shalit family, and in the end, nothing has changed. Gliad Shalit, who should have completed his military service by now, is still being held by the Palestinian organization.

We recite a Misheberach for Gilad Shalit every Shabbat.  He grew up in a Masorti shul in Israel, and his parents Noam and Aviva are embarking today on a march from their home in Mitzpeh Hila to the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.  They will march together with thousands of activists and other sympathizers, from which they do not intend to return until Gilad is released.  There are many Israeli sons and daughters and many Palestinian sons and daughters who deserve a better world than they currently endure.  But there is no comparison to be made between war and terrorism.  Hamas has refused requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow the ICRC to visit Shalit. Several human rights organizations have stated that the terms and conditions of Shalit's detention are contrary to international humanitarian law.

Gilad Shalit is now 23.  His parents have not seen him since he was 19.   The closest they have come have been this video of Gilad and this cruel cartoon constructed to emotionally traumatize Israelis with images of his father's grief.  Gilad Shalit is a person, not a political tool.  Israeli leaders have, by most accounts, missed countless opportunities, and Hamas has used his captivity to hold all of Israel's hearts captive as well.

I ask you this Shabbat to take the moment we always devote to praying for the release of Gilad Shalit, and look around at each other, at the parents in the room, at the children in the room.  

We want Gilad home.  Four years is four years too many.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Creditor

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
-- www.netivotshalom.org
-- www.shefanetwork.org
-- menachemcreditor.org

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