Tzfas – Rabbi: Schalit Family’s Pressure For Son’s Release Contributed To Kidnappings

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    FILE - PM Netanyahu Welcomes Gilad Shalit on His Return Home After 5 Years in Captivity   October 18, 2011. Photo GPOTzfas – Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief cleric of Safed, accused the family of abducted soldier Gilad Schalit on Sunday of weakening Israel by appealing to the public’s sentiment in order to ratchet up pressure on the government for a prisoner swap.

    The remarks by Eliyahu, who has made a series of controversial statements in the past, appear in Olam katan, a special religious pamphlet distributed to synagogues across the country. The quotes were first reported by Walla! and Israel Radio.

    “One of the major factors contributing to the erosion of Israeli society was the atmosphere of ‘me as the individual’ and the loss of national identity,” Eliyahu wrote.

    “The Schalit family and the group that put in motion the campaign around it [for the release of their son] enhanced this erosion,” he wrote. “It adopted an attitude of whining and playing on sentiment. They blamed everyone [and] perpetuated the culture of ‘I deserve it.’ It was as if the only important thing to consider is today, not what happens tomorrow. As long as they get their son back, damn the consequences, even if it means that innocent civilians will pay the awful price. And the awful price has come. Three young boys were kidnapped.”

    Eliyahu drew a comparison between the Schalit family and its vocal public relations campaign to bring pressure to bear on the government for their son’s release after five years in captivity, and the reaction of the families of the kidnapped youngsters who went missing 10 days ago.

    “Today, a new spirit is blowing,” the rabbi wrote admiringly of the families of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah. “It is a spirit of might and heroism, a spirit of responsibility, a spirit of unity. It’s a more responsible, healthier, more moral spirit. This spirit is alive and well in the army and the government, the Knesset, and the entire public. It’s a spirit of remedying the defects of the past.”

    “This spirit is being fostered by the families of the young people,” the rabbi wrote. “With quiet conduct, they have managed to tug on the heartstrings of the Israeli society and to rehabilitate it. There are no accusations of guilt, no whining, no public pressure, no bitterness. What they do have is belief.”

    MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) condemned the rabbi’s comments, calling them “unfortunate to have been uttered at such a sensitive time.”

    Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

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    18 COMMENTS

    1. Rabbi Eliyahu’s remarks were disgraceful, and despicable. If the family of Gilad Shalit had been a religious family, instead of a secular family, I seriously doubt if he would have stated what he did. Essentially, he is blaming the victim. Is it the fault of Gilad Shalit’s Father that those kidnappers struck in 2014? They would have kidnapped people anyway, as that is their modus operandi.

    2. Lets say there is some truth to those sentiments. There is also a way to say it, a time and a place that are to be considered, as well as the feelings of those who might be hurt. People have a habit of wrapping themselves up in the flag of Yiddishkite and talking it into themselves that they have to make a “maacha” for the sake of shamayim. We find it all thru the Tanach. Yet only Pinchus was 100% L’shaym shamayim, and was 100% right. Others miscalculated and suffered as a result. One has to be very careful when, for the “sake of shamayim”, they trample over other people, and their feelings. Most of the time it is not the correct thing to do.

    3. Rabbi Eliyahu is a man of integrity and wisdom. Muslims are showing 3 fingers to prove that the kidnapping is 3x Shalit. They are the ones taunting Israelis, threatening kidnappings and making the Shalit comparison. They are proud of terrorism.

    4. I agree with those who feel that every Israeli or Jewish life is worth whatever it takes to get back. The soldiers who put their lives on the line for the rest of us, like Gilad Shalit, are absolutely entitled to know that they have the IDF and our prayers behind them. Likewise, every civilian who is in danger due to the fact that he is an Israeli( or a Jew living elsewhere), should know that he is not alone should something like this happen.

      • Rabbi EEliyahu is 100 precent right.
        How many more jewish lives need to be lost in order to proof that by giving un to terrorists you ignite them more.

      • How would you propose to let every Israeli know the Israeli government will pay whatever is demanded for one Israeli hostage without letting the Arabs know the Israeli government will pay whatever is demanded for one Israeli hostage?

    5. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, is a great man who made a great, and painfully true, statement. ‘Am novon vechochom?’ Lack of ‘Torah’ learning and observance creates such terrible news. WAKE UP YIDDEN FROM YOUR DREAMS OF EXILE!

    6. What do statements like this accomplish, especially now, irrespective of whether they are right or wrong? Can any family ever be blamed for doing everything possible to get their loved one back safely? Achdus and Teffilos among Klal Yisrael are what’s important now, as the IDF does what they can, not irresponsible remarks.

    7. I don’t know about personally attacking the family (as was mentioned, who wouldn’t do that for their child?!) but you can’t blame him for stating some very obvious truths which HAVE to be.said.
      How can we learn from our mistakes if we can’t even mention them.

      It’s all very nice to be sentimental about schalits return but that these could very likely be the unfortunate consquences is something that we have to at the very least think about.

      And to all those commenters who say ‘ now is not the time’, when is exactly? When its not news so noone pays attention?

    8. Schalit is not a tension bubble. This rabbi is not a respectable friend of the idea that we must bring the captive home. Let this rabbi have his future planned by an indifferent grin of lost voice. His reality is that he closes the door on human trust to build his own digression of disrespect for real Torah. Good luck. Another rabbi bites the lost cabin of limited freedom.

      Close the door!

    9. Learn from Jewish history the story of the kidnapping and Halachic decision of the Maharam MeRutenberg(of Ruthenberg) Google the story and then comment.

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