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Unread 11-24-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
emes m'eretz
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What was the Rebbe's opinion re trading prisoners?

As I recall, the Rebbe was against releasing terrorists.

Would this apply to the current situation in Israel, or might there be different or extenuating circumstances with the current situation?

Also, I would appreciate if someone can give links or sources, so that I can see the Rebbe's exact words.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
Torah613
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Being a halachik question, I think you are asking in the wrong place and the wrong people.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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Not only is the Rebbe against it, but he said to kill terrorists once captured. See Korosi Ve'ein Oneh, p. 2.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
emes m'eretz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
Being a halachik question, I think you are asking in the wrong place and the wrong people.
It's good that you are pointing out that (when it comes to maaseh bepoiel) it's a question for a Rav.

However, I am just asking, for information purposes, what the Rebbe said etc.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
emes m'eretz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
Not only is the Rebbe against it, but he said to kill terrorists once captured. See Korosi Ve'ein Oneh, p. 2.
Thank you for your answer.

I did see what you mentioned (that the Rebbe advised to kill terrorists), but it was difficult to look further since there are about 500 pages.

I wonder if there is an easy way to see what the Rebbe said about actually exchanging prisoners.

As I mentioned, I seem to recall that the Rebbe was against it. But I would like to see the Rebbe's exact words, and if it was similar to the current case.

Vetoidah meroish.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
Torah613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emes m'eretz View Post
It's good that you are pointing out that (when it comes to maaseh bepoiel) it's a question for a Rav.

However, I am just asking, for information purposes, what the Rebbe said etc.
Being that this
Quote:
Would this apply to the current situation in Israel, or might there be different or extenuating circumstances with the current situation?
was part of the question, you are not merely asking for what the Rebbe said in the past, but you are asking for a judgement what present circumstances demand - which is why I said it is a halachik question.

My point was not to ask a Rov (why would he answer, as it is not relevant lemaaseh?), but rather, that any answer would have to be halachik, after having learned the relevant sugyos and halachos, which I somehow doubt anyone here has done, in which case we merely get unsubstantiated opinions which are basicly meaningless.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 05:49 PM   #7
emes m'eretz
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Ok. Let's start over.

Does anyone have links or sources to what the Rebbe said about exchanging prisoners?

(This post is subject to T613's approval.)
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Unread 11-24-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
Torah613
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Very funny. But - compare your last post to your first. If you think my point was off-base, please inform me why.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 07:31 PM   #9
MahTovChelkeinu
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T613 - It is a common discussion on this site whether the Rebbe's words on one point or another would apply in a given situation.

I don't think it is an innapropriate discussion, for example, to ask what the Rebbe said about wearing skirts (women yes men no) and whether it applies today given Hillary Clinton's oft-copied use of the pant suit. Most people on this site would cite various sichos, letters, etc and would opine that the Rebbe's opinion would indeed apply.

That's healthy discussion in my mind, even if it needs to be qualified with the occasional "Ask your Rav" disclaimer. This is too.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 07:51 PM   #10
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Discussing whether women should wear skirts is "healthy"?! That's outrageous!
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Unread 11-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #11
Torah613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
T613 - It is a common discussion on this site whether the Rebbe's words on one point or another would apply in a given situation.
....

That's healthy discussion in my mind, even if it needs to be qualified with the occasional "Ask your Rav" disclaimer. This is too.
Of course. But in this issue in particular, I daresay that hardly anyone here (if anyone) know the relevant halochos, sugyos and tshuvos (which are more complex than merely quoting OC #329, for example). Therefore, without that knowledge, the discussion cannot even begin, unlike the other examples you gave.

But you can disagree, of course. Feel free to raise, argue and discuss halachik scenarios about halochos you are clueless about... it never stopped anyone else...

[Shhh ... My real point was to perhaps entice someone into opening a sefer and actually bring something substantial to the table, more than the usually "I feel and I think". But this is between me and you...don't tell anyone that...].
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Unread 11-24-2009, 08:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
Discussing whether women should wear skirts is "healthy"?! That's outrageous!
I have the sneaking suspicion that the example was slightly tongue in cheek.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 08:51 PM   #13
emes m'eretz
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I agree with Mahtov.

I think that for "yagdil Torah viyaadir," discussing the sichos and analyzing (theoretically) their possible ramifications for current events is perfectly fine.
(And if someone has relevant halachik sources to add to the discussion, by all means.)

But as you (T613) and Mahtov write, it's important to make it clear that halacha lemaaseh is a shaala for a Rav.
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Unread 11-25-2009, 12:26 AM   #14
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Oh, sorry, MTC. Now I see what you mean. Forgive me.

As for the inyon itself:
-released terrorists go on to commit terror attacks again;
-releasing terrorists spurs them to capture Jews in order to exchange them (or their remains Hy''d) for terrorists;
-releasing terrorists gives increased motivation and encouragement to terror (especially considering the typically vastly disproportionate nature of these exchanges, such as the disgraceful ones perpetrated in recent years by Sharon and Olmert);

IMHO this is a clear-cut case of not saving a life in a way that endangers others--see Sanhedrin 74a "Who says that your blood is redder?" It is always ossur to actively do something that endangers other Jews, so much so that it's yeihoreig v'al yaavor. Releasing terrorists endangers Jews. So it's always ossur, even if it means saving Jews, as per the Gemoro above, which is halocho l'maaseh.

That's why the Rebbe says in the source I cited that one should rather execute captured terrorists, because that way they can't be exchanged, and then go on to kill more Jews.

But really, this is a matter of common sense that stam a goy on the street could understand. Only people whose minds have been corrupted by lots of warped secular liberal culture can think otherwise.
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Unread 11-25-2009, 12:48 AM   #15
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At what point is someone considered a terrorist? Do we mean someone who has actually done an act of terror and somehow hurt someone (ch"v)? What if they are only suspected of being involved, or were involved in an indirect way? Would that matter according to halocho/in this case?
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Unread 11-25-2009, 01:01 AM   #16
Torah613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
IMHO this is a clear-cut case of not saving a life in a way that endangers others--see Sanhedrin 74a "Who says that your blood is redder?"
I don't see that particular gemoro having to do with this discussion, unless you meant to borrow the expression and don't mean that specific sugya.

AFAIK, the basic source for not exchanging prisoners, is the Mishna (?) about overpaying for ransom, and the story of Maharam of Rottenburg.

[Before someone misconstrues anything: I never said anything about, or advocated freeing terrorists. I have no idea in what way the situation may be different today, than it was 25 years ago (as alluded by the original poster).

I just think such a discussion should be halachik, and not just another "macho'oh" thread, where we rail against ploni and almoni. In order for it to be halachik, one has to know something about halacho... and I do not mean halacha lemaaseh. But I guess I was outvoted, so...].
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Unread 11-25-2009, 02:39 AM   #17
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That sugya, especially Tosfos, proves the idea that one may not actively endanger a life in order to save one. No? Letting terrorists loose actively endangers Jewish lives, so one may not do so even in order to save lives.
Thank you for mentioning the Maharam--that's very relevant, though only part of the equation, i.e., only one of several reasons to forbid this abomination totally.
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Unread 11-25-2009, 08:54 AM   #18
Torah613
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Which Tosfos?
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Unread 11-25-2009, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
As for the inyon itself:
-released terrorists go on to commit terror attacks again;
-releasing terrorists spurs them to capture Jews in order to exchange them (or their remains Hy''d) for terrorists;
-releasing terrorists gives increased motivation and encouragement to terror (especially considering the typically vastly disproportionate nature of these exchanges, such as the disgraceful ones perpetrated in recent years by Sharon and Olmert);
Israel is in a much better position to "stockpile" POWs than are Hammas and the PLO. For that reason, even if the exchanges are extremely lopsided, they get the job done. Sharon (back when he was head of the Israeli army) specifically engaged in this strategy and it was fairly effective. If terrorists are already going to kidnap Jews, there is (according to the theory) negligible danger that this strategy would encourage them - they are going to do it anyway.

Along those lines, the story of the Maharam and also the basic halachah about not overpaying for prisoners do not negate prisoner exchange as a real possibility. If the "price" paid by releasing stockpiled terrorists (a "maybe") is acceptible to save the life of a Jewish captive (a "definite") then there is room for discussion.

But, I share T613's interest in seeing more source material. And wouldn't you know it... the Americans have a long weekend to spend looking up information.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 12:21 AM   #20
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Yes, Sharon's exchange of hundreds of terrorists for some body remains was very effective in encouraging terror and giving these monsters a chance to spill Jewish blood again.
Quote:
If terrorists are already going to kidnap Jews, there is (according to the theory) negligible danger that this strategy would encourage them - they are going to do it anyway.
The Rebbe spoke many times about how showing weakness encourages terror, and that through a consistent show of force it can be stopped altogether. I'm shocked that you can suggest this. Especially while the current debacle and tragedy of Gilad Shalit is going on (may he be speedily released). It's simple--if the arabs see that kidnapping Jews (or attacking them in other ways ch"v) furthers their goals, they are encouraged to do it.

Torah613--see Tosfos d"h Deho here, line starting verotzeiach.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 12:50 AM   #21
Torah613
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Ah, yes ... a famous line in Tosfos - see the first R' Chaim Brisker on the Rambam (I thought you were referring to a Tos on 74a), but I don't really see the connection.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 03:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Yes, Sharon's exchange of hundreds of terrorists for some body remains was very effective in encouraging terror and giving these monsters a chance to spill Jewish blood again.
That was Prime Minister Sharon, not General Sharon - there is a difference. When Sharon was general he swapped live Jewish prisoners for live Palestinian prisoners on more than one occasion.

Keep in mind that the Shalit kidnapping was not met by an offer of prisoner exchange but by a rather impressive show of force from the Israeli army. You could argue that we could have sent more bombs/troops/etc, but Israel definitely made its point and Gilad was not released.

I'm not saying definitely one way works best or is even correct in every situation, but there are cases where prisoner exchange worked well.

Quote:
The Rebbe spoke many times about how showing weakness encourages terror, and that through a consistent show of force it can be stopped altogether.
Again, I am not disputing what the Rebbe said, and I happen to agree that a strong hand is the way to survive in the middle east. But show me one case where a "consistent show of force" has successfully ended terrorism in a country.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 03:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Keep in mind that the Shalit kidnapping was not met by an offer of prisoner exchange but by a rather impressive show of force from the Israeli army. You could argue that we could have sent more bombs/troops/etc, but Israel definitely made its point and Gilad was not released.
No, it was met by a show of pathetic weakness. The gov't should have reconquered Gaza during the war, and made life total hell until he was released--cut off electricity, water, etc. The same goes for the earlier war supposedly with the goal of bringing about the release of the captives taken by Hezbollah--they weren't fighting to win, and to achieve the goal of recovering the captives. It was nothing but a publicity stunt at the expense of the lives of Jewish soldiers, Hy"d.
Quote:
Again, I am not disputing what the Rebbe said, and I happen to agree that a strong hand is the way to survive in the middle east. But show me one case where a "consistent show of force" has successfully ended terrorism in a country.
I don't need to prove that what the Rebbe said is correct on a Chabad forum. It's nice that you happen to agree with the Rebbe, though.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 04:00 AM   #24
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From the Desk of Moshe Feiglin: The Shalit Deal

An ominous sense of an impending deal is in the air. It is hard to oppose it. All of us pray for Gilad's release. All of us will cry with joy when, with G-d's help, we will see his parents hugging their beloved son.

But we already know the price that we will have to pay. 80% of Hamas terrorists return to terror after their release, as do 60% of Fatah terrorists. In other words, 16 of the 20 terrorists released in exchange for the short video of Gilad, will commit new acts of terror. It is reasonable to assume that two or three Jews will pay for this movie with their lives.

The wholesale release of professional murderers will cost much more, G-d forbid. But their victims are still nameless and faceless. They do not have addresses, they do not know that they are the next in line and they cannot lobby politicians on their own behalf. In the Israeli reality in which questions of life and death are decided by rating considerations, the future victims have no chance.

About a month ago, I published an open letter to Defense Minister Barak in which I requested that no negotiations should be conducted for my release if I were to be abducted, G-d forbid. The letter made waves and many people joined added their signatures to my letter or penned letters of their own. One of those people was Yitzchak Ovitz, a soldier in Gilad's company. His letter was widely covered in the media:

"Since Gilad was abducted, I feel torn and I do not know what to do to help him. Like every Jew on earth, I pray for him and hope that he will be released soon - safe and sound.

Yet, I am dismayed at how our entire country kneels before the terror organizations every time that they succeed in capturing one of our fighters in their clutches. This situation is intolerable and we fall into this trap time and again. I am frequently forced to refuse the requests of my fellow soldiers from our company and brigade to participate in demonstrations for Gilad. I have reached the conclusion that our intellect must take precedence over our emotions, as painful as this is for me."

Manhigut Yehudit put an internet petition on its website, affording people the opportunity to add their signatures to the request not to negotiate their release. Due to lack of funds, we were not able to run a major campaign to publicize the petition. Nevertheless, approximately 100 soldiers and citizens signed. In light of this spontaneous response, we are certain that tens of thousands of citizens would sign this petition if they could. A major public outcry against the pending dangerous deal could sway some ministers from authorizing the exchange.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #25
emes m'eretz
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