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Kidnapped Soldier Alive, Now What?

By Tamar Yonah
10/4/2009, 12:00 AM

Skeletal thin and almost barely audible, Gilad Shalit appeared before a Hamas terrorist's video camera and told all of us that his terrorist captors were treating him 'excellently'.  Yah, right.  (Please read news story that Arab teens would rather sit in Israeli jails than live with their own people.)  Gilad also states in the video that his biggest dream is to be freed.  I have to admit that I personally thought that Gilad was probably dead.  No sign of life for three years except for some claimed letter that he wrote.  No visits allowed by the Red Cross or UN and not even a telephone call - since he was kidnapped over three years ago.  But now we know.  And now we must act.

Here is the video tape of Gilad Shalit with a translation I copied and pasted for you here (with minor additions). 

Translation:

“Hello, this is Gilad, son of Noam and Aviva Shalit, brother of Hadas and Yoel, who lives in Mitzpe Hila. My ID number is 397029.  Today is Monday, the 14th of the 9th month (September) 2009.

“As you can see I am holding in my hands, today’s Falasteen (Palestine) newspaper of today, Sept. 14, 2009 published in Gaza.  (The camera zooms in to show paper's date.)

“I read the newspaper with the goal to find information about myself, and in hopes of reading about information of my release and my return home soon.

“I hope the current government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t waste this opportunity to reach an agreement and as a result, allow me to finally fulfill my dream and be freed.

“I wish to send my well-wishes to my family and tell them that I love them and miss them greatly, and hope for the day I’ll see them again. Dad, Yoel, and Hadas, do you remember the day you arrived at my base in the Golan Heights, on  the date of December 31, 2005? We toured around the base and you took a picture of me on a Merkava tank and on one of the old tanks at the entrance to the base. Later we went to a restaurant in one of the Druze villages and on the way we took pictures on the side of the road, against the backdrop of the snowy Hermon Mountain.

“I want to tell you that I feel well in medical terms, and that the Mujahidin from the al-Qassam Brigades are treating me excellently. Thank you very much and goodbye.”   (Gilad gets up and shows the camera the paper he is holding with the date.)

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Well?  He's waiting for us.

What are we going to do?  Since we are not in the government and don't have any power to launch a rescue, the questions is what CAN we do?  One thing all of us CAN do is to pray for Gilad and do a  mitzvah (good deed) in his honor.  Perhaps this will tip the scales in his favor and show G-d that his nation cares and feels Gilad's and his family's pain, and that Gilad Shalit is not just the son of Noam and Aviva, but all of our's son.  It may not help on the earthly plane, but in the spiritual realm, it can move mountains.  Prayer is our most powerful weapon.  Let's use it, and let's additionally pray that our leadership stands strong and bold, and indeed launches a rescue mission, attack, or something, to bring our boy home.  We need to make the Hamas and their supporters suffer so much, that they will BEG US to take Shalit back, if we just stop (whatever it is we are doing to them that is making their lives unbearable - like they have been doing to Gilad, and the rest of the Israeli families, victims, that they have left in the wake of their terror). 

So, what part will you personally take in doing something positive for our son, Gilad?