Gilad Shalit to be Freed!

Gilad Shalit to be Freed!

In a recent post I mentioned a list I made entitled “Terrible Situations I Thought Would Never Improve…But Did.”

On this list of amazing and totally unexpected miracles I have witnessed in my lifetime, I included:

The assassination of Bin Ladin
The collapse of the Soviet Union
The release of Soviet Jewry
The end of the Intifada

And now I have something new to add to this list:

The release, IY”H, of Gilad Shalit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am totally stunned. I hadn’t expected this AT ALL!

In fact, just the other day I posted an artist’s depressing depiction of “Gilad Shalit’s succah” (which I’ve posted below).

When I posted these photos, a Polyanna voice inside my head questioned me, “It’s still a few days before Succot, maybe Gilad ben Aviva could be released before the Chag?” But then I answered my inner Polyanna with a decisive “GET REAL!”

Today it’s looking like even if Gilad Shalit won’t be home for this Succot, this will definitely be his last holiday spent in captivity, IY”H. I cannot wait for the day when Gilad will be home, that is a day I and no Israeli will ever ever forget.

I want to take my kids and join the thousands who will certainly fill the streets to meet him…

Aviva Shalit, all of us JewishMOMs around the world are smiling and crying with you today as we await your beloved Gilad’s long-awaited return home…

Thank you, Hashem! Thank you for giving us such a huge surprise to rejoice over this Succot!!!

Here is artist Aloma Mishar’s powerful depiction of Gilad Shalit’s Succah of Suffering…

This succah appeared in an exhibit at the Beit Avi Chai. BEIT AVI CHAI, established by the AVI CHAI Foundation, is a cultural center that addresses major issues and fields of thought and creativity in Jewish and Israeli society. BEIT AVI CHAI seeks to collect and publicize the various facets of Israeli-Jewish society, provide them a forum, and let them influence Israeli society and culture.


  1. Thank you for sharing the good news! Blessing on your head!!! May you merit to post your reactions to the arrival of the imminent Geulah of all Klal Yisorel.

  2. Wait a sec- Ive been visitting my parents over in the US since the day before Yom Kippur- and havent gotten a chance to breathe much less hear news- is this for real? what a dream come true- thank you Hashem for hearing all our prayers especially the million of times rebetzin yemima reminded us how lucky we are and what a “miracle” it is that we drink “nes”cafe each morning…and when was the last time Gilad drank coffee or took a warm shower?? Coffebean should offer him free coffee for life…jk..the most important lesson we can learn is that Hashem doesnot leave our prayers unanswered! Yshar Coach to all the Jewish moms and may Hashem protect all our soldiers!!!

  3. While I am another Jewish Mom who has been praying over these past 5 years for Gilad to return home, my first reaction of joy has been tempered after reading about the unnrepentant killers who are being set free as part of the deal. Usually I am for win-win outcomes, but this Hamas victory may just lead to more Jewish deaths and kidnappings.

  4. I cannot be totally happy about this, knowing that hundreds of terrorists who have murdered Israelis will be released and will make this world a more dangerous place because of Gilad’s release.

    I want to know how his parents will be able to look me in the eye if one of my children is murdered as a direct result of this deal. Whose blood is redder?

    This deal is completely against the Torah’s guidelines for pidyon shvu’im. It defies anyone’s logic. It is a victory for terror and for Hamas. Hamas has learned, once again, that the Israeli government will always cave because we are weak and the world wants us to be weak.

    Hashem yishmor. How is the army going to recapture 1,000 terrorists before they kill more innocent people?

    It is very hard for me to be happy. I know I will be happier when I see pictures of Gilad back home alive and well, but I will be very angry when I hear the inevitable result of 315 terrorists with blood on their hands being set free.


      I second everything you write. Craven Israel could have capitulated 5 years ago. 5 years have gone by in which Israel has been vilified no matter what it does. For the same condemnation they could have killed a terrorist a day until Gilad was freed. For the same condemnation they could have dug in their heels and said absolutely nothing is entering Gaza, no food, no medicine, nothing, until Gilad is released. For the same condemnation they could have continued bombing Gaza in the Cast Lead War until he was released. Instead, he has been a prisoner for over 5 years and our enemies are rewarded.

      See this Aish article:

      which explains why this exchange is unacceptable according to Torah.

      Who is the man you think is our greatest sage today? The Maharam of Rothenburg (1215-1293) was even greater, and when he was held hostage, he would not allow himself to be ransomed! Can you picture today’s greatest sage held in captivity and allowing him to languish there because he rules that it is forbidden to ransom him? He ruled this way because such an act would only encourage the enemies of Israel to imprison other rabbis in the future and demand huge sums for their release. Ditto for Gilad Shalit.

      If Israel goes through with this reprehensible exchange, I will be glad for Gilad and his family but otherwise won’t be rejoicing at all. It’s a black day for Israel if they release 1000 prisoners as ransom money for our soldier.

  5. Who is taking responsibility for this?

    The list of Palestinian prisoners that could be released as part of a exchange deal that would secure the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit includes many names rejected by past Israeli governments as being too dangerous to release.

    One of the most prominent names in the list is Ibrahim Hamed, the chief of Hamas’s military operations in the West Bank. Hamed’s release was considered a “red line” by Shin Bet officials, who considered him to be an extremely dangerous individual, endowed with leadership skills, operational vision, and creativity.

    In 2009, Hamed was part of a list of prisoners whom former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert refused to release, since he was considered to be “an extremely dangerous” role model.

    The Shin Bet attributes the murder of 90 Israelis to Hamed; among other attacks, he was responsible for the bombing in the Jerusalem restaurant Café Moment; in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; in the capitol’s Zion Square; as well as several shooting attacks across the West Bank.

    He was apprehended in 2006, but has not admitted to the crimes attributed to him during interrogation.

    Shin Bet officials have claimed that Hamed has continued masterminding terror attacks since his imprisonment, including one unsuccessful kidnapping attempt in the Rimonim junction, east of Ramallah. He has been in solitary confinement since that attempt.

    Another key name in the newly released list is Hamed’s partner, Abdullah Barghouti, an engineering student from Kuwait who arrived in the West Bank following his marriage.

    Barghouti’s prowess as a bomb builder was soon picked up by Hamas, prompting the Kuwaiti national to construct lethal and sophisticated explosive devices.

    He constructed the devices which were used in the attacks on the Sheffield Clun in Jerusalem’s Hebrew University; the attack on Café Moment; the bombing in Zion Square, and in Tel Aviv’s deadly Bus 5 bombing.

    Shin Bet officials have feared that Barghouti would pass on his bomb-building know how to others upon his release. As of right now the West Bank does not hold any bomb expert.

    In 2004, Barghouti was convicted of the murder of 66 Israelis and was sent to 67 life sentences, representing the largest number of life sentences ever issued in Israel’s history. He has been in complete solitary confinement since his capture. Recently, he has claimed to have gone insane, and has sought to see his family and exit solitary confinement.

    Another accomplice of Hamed and Barghouti is Mohammad Arman, who had enlisted the Silwan terror squad that executed the bombings themselves, briefed them, and supplied them with bombs.

    Hassan Salameh of Gaza, another prisoner which until now Israel was unwilling to release, was also on list of those to be freed as part of the Shalit deal. He is linked to retaliation attacks against Israelis in the wake of Israel’s assassination of Hamas strongman Yihyeh Ayash.

    Salameh was convicted of initiating a double, simultaneous attacks in an Ashkelon bus station and in Jerusalem’s Bus 18. A week later, he was responsible for another attack on a Bus 18, and all in all was convicted of the murder of 46 Israelis.

    He has been held in solitary confinement since his arrest. Salameh is considered to be a revered figure in Gaza, one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing.

    A prominent name on the list of prisoners due to be released is Marwan Barghouti, a prominent Fatah field commander and member of the Palestinian legislative council, who had opposed attacks within Israel.

    In 2002 he was arrested and tried in Tel Aviv’s District Court, with which he refused to recognize or cooperate with. He was sentenced to 5 life sentences over orders he gave which resulted in the killing in 5 Israelis.

    Ahmed Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is also due to be released as part of the deal. Saadat, among other operations, ordered the murder of former Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi.

  6. Thanks Daniella. Of course we all want Gilad ben Aviva & Noam Shalit to be free but the price likely to be paid in blood later is a terrible thing to contemplate. The question of what changed now, so that the government has decided to release terrorists after so many years it chose not to, that is also an awful question. I wish I had answers.

    Meantime I do think it’s important to use this opportunity to speak with our older children, and anyone else interested, to explain the very difficult nature of what’s going on and the difference between individual concerns and those of Klal Yisrael and what if they seem incompatible…


    I hope Israel has the sense to make Gilad’s return very low-key. Thousands in the street? I sure hope not. As happy as we will be at Gilad’s return, the release of the man who took part in the murder of Nachshon Wachsman and two of the people who took part in the Sbarro’s massacre is – I don’t have words strong enough to express this – reprehensible, immoral, sickening. These despicable individuals should have been executed long ago. Why does Israel hold on to them, feed them and care for them, if not for the purpose of giving them up when it caves in to terrorist demands?

    Meir Schijvesschuuder, who lost his parents and three siblings in the Sbarro attack said said all five remaining members of the family would leave the country forever after the deal was completed.

    “We feel betrayed and we are going back to Holland,” he said.

    Thousands in the streets celebrating? No! Israel should be hiding its head in shame for not having forced Gilad’s return over 5 years ago. Kill a terrorist (or more) a day until his safe return; cut off all food, medicine, supplies of any kind to Gaza until his return; bomb Gaza nonstop until his return. The world will scream? They scream regardless, and since when does the world screaming take precedence over retrieving our soldier? Shame on Israel!

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