1000 for One: Is It Worth It?

[I did not write this piece. The author wishes to remain anonymous.  ~LBD]

Gilad ShalitOver 1000 of the most despicable people on the planet are about to be released from jail, for one lone Jewish soldier.

Worse than that, say many, these 1000+ can kill and injure many more Jews, both soldiers and civilians.

May we suggest a Sukkot perspective. The words below are based on ideas derived from beautiful words of Torah, heard by “co-incidence” only this week from my Rabbi.

Sukkot is the festival of faith. At the beginning of the winter rainy season we leave the comfort and security of our homes for the Sukkah, a temporary dwelling covered in Schach.

The rickety Schach represents our faith in the protection of the Almighty. We have done Teshuva over the last weeks and now we have come to realize that we cannot change what was, nor can we control the future. As human beings, we are limited to the “now”. We just have to do what is right NOW.

Moreover, the Torah commands us on Sukkot to be “be’simcha”, grateful for the NOW, for the opportunities of the NOW. We must understand that what we have at any given moment is what we need to have. It is what is right for us, what is good for us. As with medical treatment – each person needs a different prescription; if you had someone else’s, it could kill you.

And so to Gilad.

We cannot bring back the Victims of Terror – if only we could!! We feel the acute pain at this time of those left behind.

Right NOW, we now have a mitzva available of Pidyon Shvuyim, of releasing a prisoner, a Mitzva of the highest level. The danger of paying the price we all know.

Or do we?

We know that we can get Gilad back; we don’t know whether any damage will result. That is called ברי ושמא ברי עדיף – where there is a certainty versus a possibility, we choose the certainty. The future – let Him take care of that.

As for the timing….

What is Schach, the essence of Sukkot? According to our Rabbis it is “פסולת גורן ויקב”, the waste material from the silo and the winery: in modern parlance, garbage. We take the garbage and do a mitzva. And not just any Mitzva, but the Mitzva that shows our absolute faith in Him.

Moreover, for Schach to be kosher, the shadow it casts must be greater than the light it allows to enter. The inference for Gilad’s return is clear.

This year on Sukkot, the Jewish people have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform 2 mitzvot with “garbage”; we will cover our Sukkot and we will use “פסולת” as currency to buy back one Jewish soldier.

May the Almighty repay our absolute trust in Him with peace for our people.
May He know that we genuinely believe that what we are doing is the right thing in the HERE & NOW, the only time-frame in which we can operate.
May those whose dear ones were killed or injured by those being released take comfort in the thought that this פסולת that caused so much pain is being elevated לעילוי נשמתם to save a Jewish soul – as if they are saving a whole world.

May he take care of our future because…

“אין לנו על מי להשען ,אלא על אבינו שבשמים”

Chag Sameach

About the Author

Laura Ben-David is the author of numerous articles and the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has done public speaking about Israel and Aliyah all over the United States and Israel. Contact her at laura@aliyahbook.com or follow her tweets at http://www.twitter.com/laurabendavd