Friday, July 07, 2006

Gilad ben Aviva - "Whoever Saves One Life from Israel is considered as if he has saved an entire world"

Last we have heard, Gilad Shalit (ben Aviva) is alive and still held hostage by terrorists. In the gemara Bava Basra 11a, we learn about Binyamin the righteous who saved the lives of a woman and her seven children by providing them tzedakah. After a short while, Binyamin was lying on his deathbed. The ministering angels came before HaShem and said, "Did you not say that one who saves one life from Israel is considered as if he/she had saved an entire world?" Immediately the negative decree was ripped up. In the merit of saving Gilad Shalit and other Jews, may HaShem Grant long-life and protection to all who are involved in the mission to rescue Gilad, whether in the army, fighting to protect other Jews, or those who are davening, learning, or doing anything else in the merit of saving fellow Jews. Amen!

May we see Gilad's safe return in the very near future and may our captives be returned soon, just as they were in Parshas Chukas - all the Jewish People should come out safe! May HaShem Grant the safe return of Gilad conclude somewhat as it did in Entebbe, even surpassing that situation, with no Jew harmed in the process.

One last thing, Shabbos Chukas-Balak rarely occurs in the U.S. - it happened in 1976, the time of the rescue from Entebbe. The rescue occurred at the beginning of the week of Chukas-Balak. Just as Gilad and Entebbe relate timewise in the beginning, so may it in the end.


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