Gilad Shalit - The Lookstein Center

Nov 23, 2009 - TV anchor ends his daily newscast by mournfully reciting how many days the soldier has ..... ... Institute of Jewish Studies, which has the complete text of Rabbi Golinkin's.
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Gilad Shalit: Halacha Meets the Messy World A CURRENT EVENTS UNIT -Gary Levine November, 2009 TEACHERS’ GUIDE: Grade Levels: 7 – 12 * The Goal of this lesson/unit is to give students an opportunity to consider and discuss the various halachic perspectives being presented regarding the possibility of ransoming kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. * *There is an extensive amount of material collected here. Each teacher must decide how much of this material s/he might wish to utilize. Based on the grade level, the class level and the specific curricular goals the teacher may wish to reach, there is ample opportunity to add, omit or alter this material to suit the best interests of the class. The teacher might also wish to consider that extensive use of the material could service a unit of several lessons; more limited selection might be appropriate for a single lesson.

Overview: THE QUESTION: Gilad Shalit is a solider who was kidnapped by Palestinian Militants in June of 2006. The militants holding him have demanded the release of 1300 Palestinian militants held in Israeli jails, many of them convicted of murder and violent acts of terrorism. Should Israel release hundreds of convicted terrorists to ransom one kidnapped soldier? In considering the issue of the kidnap and ransom of Gilad Shalit from a halachic perspective, we find two primary approaches: o Although the Rabbis identify the redemption of captives as among the highest priorities of all mitzvot, the mishna, later codified by Rambam and others, declares that a captive cannot be redeemed for more than s/he is worth. o A number of reasons are offered as to why the case of Gilad Shalit should not be included in the category of captives who may not be ransomed for more than their value.

The material in this package presents these two approaches and explains the reasoning behind them. The teacher is asked to select material to present on this issue and to facilitate discussion and/or other methods of presentation or evaluation which call upon students to apply their knowledge, values and communication skills to the consideration of this issue.


Process The teacher should acquaint him/herself thoroughly with the background information provided, as well as materials for students in the package.

As noted above, based on the grade level, class level, etc. of the student, the teacher should select from the student materials and prepare packages of materials for the students.

After presenting the various points of view expressed in the halacha, the teacher should facilitate the class discussion. This is a lesson which calls for student evaluation and application, and the teacher must facilitate and, to some extent, guide the flow of the discussion, but should neither dominate the discussion nor unduly influence its outcome.

The teacher should determine what follow-up classwork, homework or additional research might be done by the students to further investigate this issue.



• Gilad Shalit – Wikipedia • Redeeming Captives – Rabbi Dovid Golinkin 2.

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STUDENT MATERIALS • Photo of Gilad Shalit • Timeline of Gilad Shalit • Classic Sources o Mishna : a captive may not be redeemed for more than his value

o RAMBAM: codification of the law of the Mishna o Braita: an example in Mishnaic times of a captive

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redeemed for more than his value


o Tosafot: a captive CAN be redeemed for more than his value under certain conditions

• Modern Documents o Rabbi David Silverberg: the law and exceptions o Rabbi Weiman-Kelman: Rabbi Goren v. Rabbi HaLevi o Isria Press: Summary of Editorials o YNet: Rabbis Oppose Negotiation for Shalit Hebrew English

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o YNet: