In Israel it is natural for everyone from political leaders to construction workers to elementary school students to become engrossed in the fate of a young soldier taken captive. His name and face are known by all, and he is the object of national prayer.
It is not so natural elsewhere. How many American third graders, or their parents, have ever talked about Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier held captive by the Taliban since 2009?
Editor's note: Earlier this year Rabbi Hammerman discussed the ethical implications of exchanging terrorists to save the life of an Israeli soldier. In light of the dramatic news of such a deal emerging from Israel he is revisiting that issue this week.
Q – Is the release of Gilad Shalit worth an exchange of a thousand Hamas prisoners, including some who have blood on their hands and could well kill more innocent Israelis (and others)?