Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel of Ramat Gan said Friday that he hoped the deal to release 1,027 security prisoners for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit was made purely on its practical merits. Interviewed by Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service, he said that while the Talmud warns against paying a certain price to ransom captive Jews as an incentive for more abductions, it also demands that committments to free captives must be honored and that "a Jewish soldier is worth 2,000 non-Jews."
Rabbi Ariel said the question was whether those released would return to terror, a question rabbis are not qualified to answer. He noted that it took Israeli governments five years to reach this decision and posited that they reached an understanding that the danger is not as severe as originally thought. He added that it was good for soldier morale to know that the state will do everything to bring a captive back.