I spent yesterday (Sunday) meeting with and listening to different politicians and public figures at various Sukkas I visited. Something the Chief Rabbi said intrigued me. This is what I remember him saying (it's not word-for-word, but rather the general gist of his talk):
This past year Israel faced an incredibly serious threat, a number of them actually. Yet September came and went, and no disaster fell upon is despite vocal cries of the upcoming Tsunami.
So what happened?
The threats were real. September was very real. Even more real and dangerous than the general public knows.
But Hashem doesn't turn away a prayer that comes from deep within. Because of the very real threat we faced, in our fear, we the nation increased our prayers, our depth, our concern expressed in those T'fillot, and as a result Hashem listened.
Hopefully our prayers are also helping to free Gilad Shalit soon. And that is a wonderful thing. An important thing.
But his coming home is coming with an awful, horrible price that the nation will have to face.
And we'll need to increase our prayers in response to this, to protect us more.
In was inevitable, that unless Israel launched a rescue operation, or started taking more aggressive steps against our enemy that this was the price we were going to eventually pay once Hamas decided it was ready to make a deal (assuming it happens).
And I think the Chief Rabbi summed it up succinctly. Getting Gilad Shalit back is important for Gilad and important for the nation. But it's now up to us to pray harder to protect us from what comes next as a result of this horrible deal.
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