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Din & Daf: Redeeming Captives- Obligation, Evolution and Dilemmas

Din & Daf: Conceptual Analysis of Halakha Through Case Study with Dr. Elana Stein Hain

Bava Batra 3b, Bava Batra 8

In this session, we examine several sources within the Bavli about the mitzvah of redeeming captives that conflict with each other, impacting decisions about what โ€œcostโ€ or sacrifice is appropriate to expend on saving hostages. Given the resonance of this topic with todayโ€™s Israeli reality, we also set the stage for 20th-century Israeli discussions about this issue.

Dr. Elana Stein Hain โ€“ dinanddaf@hadran.org.il

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โ€œWhy is the world accepting that 240 human beings from almost 30 countries have been stolen and buried alive?โ€

-Rachel Goldberg, Nov. 14, 2023

  • Pidyon Shevuyim: A Central Public Mitzvah

  • ื‘ื‘ื ื‘ืชืจื ื—.-:

ืึฒืžึทืจ ืœึตื™ื”ึผ ืจึธื‘ึธื ืœึฐืจึทื‘ึผึธื” ื‘ึผึทืจ ืžึธืจึดื™: ืžึฐื ึธึทื ื”ึธื ืžึดื™ืœึผึฐืชึธื ื“ึทืึฒืžื•ึผืจ ืจึทื‘ึผึธื ึทืŸ ื“ึผึฐืคึดื“ึฐื™ื•ึนืŸ ืฉืึฐื‘ื•ึผื™ึดื ืžึดืฆึฐื•ึธื” ืจึทื‘ึผึธื” ื”ึดื™ื? ืึฒืžึทืจ ืœึตื™ื”ึผ, ื“ึผึดื›ึฐืชึดื™ื‘: ืดื•ึฐื”ึธื™ึธื” ื›ึผึดื™ ื™ึนืืžึฐืจื•ึผ ืึตืœึถื™ืšึธ ืึธื ึธื” ื ึตืฆึตื, ื•ึฐืึธืžึทืจึฐืชึผึธ ืึฒืœึตื™ื”ึถื ื›ึผึนื” ืึธืžึทืจ ื”ืณ, ืึฒืฉืึถืจ ืœึทืžึผึธื•ึถืช โ€“ ืœึทืžึผึธื•ึถืช, ื•ึทืึฒืฉืึถืจ ืœึทื—ึถืจึถื‘ โ€“ ืœึทื—ึถืจึถื‘, ื•ึทืึฒืฉืึถืจ ืœึธืจึธืขึธื‘ โ€“ ืœึธืจึธืขึธื‘, ื•ึทืึฒืฉืึถืจ ืœึทืฉึผืึฐื‘ึดื™ โ€“ ืœึทืฉึผืึถื‘ึดื™ืด. ื•ึฐืึธืžึทืจ ืจึทื‘ึผึดื™ ื™ื•ึนื—ึธื ึธืŸ: ื›ึผื‡ืœ ื”ึทืžึฐืื•ึผื—ึธืจ ื‘ึผึฐืคึธืกื•ึผืง ื–ึถื” ืงึธืฉืึถื” ืžึตื—ึฒื‘ึตื™ืจื•ึน.ย 

Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: Concerning this matter that the Sages stated, that redeeming captives is a great mitzvah, from where is it derived? Rabba bar Mari said to him: As it is written: โ€œAnd it shall come to pass, when they say to you: To where shall we depart? Then you shall tell them: So says the Lord: Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for famine, to famine; and such as are for captivity, to captivityโ€ (Jeremiah 15:2). And Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: Whichever punishment is written later in this verse is more severe than the one before it.ย 

ื—ึถืจึถื‘ ืงึธืฉืึธื” ืžึดืžึผึธื•ึถืช โ€“ ืึดื™ ื‘ึผึธืขึตื™ืช ืึตื™ืžึธื ืงึฐืจึธื, ื•ึฐืึดื™ ื‘ึผึธืขึตื™ืช ืึตื™ืžึธื ืกึฐื‘ึธืจึธื. ืึดื™ ื‘ึผึธืขึตื™ืช ืึตื™ืžึธื ืกึฐื‘ึธืจึธื โ€“ ื”ึทืื™ ืงึธื ืžึดื™ื ึผึทื•ึผึทื•ืœ, ื•ึฐื”ึทืื™ ืœึธื ืงึธื ืžึดื™ื ึผึทื•ึผึทื•ืœ. ื•ึฐืึดื™ื‘ึผึธืขึตื™ืช ืึตื™ืžึธื ืงึฐืจึธื โ€“ ืดื™ึธืงึธืจ ื‘ึผึฐืขึตื™ื ึตื™ ื”ืณ ื”ึทืžึผึธื•ึฐืชึธื” ืœึทื—ึฒืกึดื™ื“ึธื™ื•ืด.ย 

The sword is worse than death. If you wish, say that this is learned from a verse; if you wish, say instead that it is derived by way of logical reasoning. If you wish, say that this is derived by way of logical reasoning: This punishment, i.e., death by sword, mutilates the body, but that punishment, i.e., natural death, does not mutilate it. And if you wish, say that the fact that the sword is worse than death is learned from a verse: โ€œPrecious in the sight of the Lord is the death of Godโ€™s pious onesโ€ (Psalms 116:15).ย 

ืจึธืขึธื‘ ืงึธืฉืึถื” ืžึตื—ึถืจึถื‘ โ€“ ืึดื™ื‘ึผึธืขึตื™ืช ืึตื™ืžึธื ืกึฐื‘ึธืจึธื: ื”ึทืื™ ืงึธื ืžึดืฆึฐื˜ึทืขึทืจ, ื•ึฐื”ึทืื™ ืœึธื ืงึธื ืžึดืฆึฐื˜ึทืขึทืจ. ืึดื™ื‘ึผึธืขึตื™ืช ืึตื™ืžึธื ืงึฐืจึธื: ืดื˜ื•ึนื‘ึดื™ื ื”ึธื™ื•ึผ ื—ึทืœึฐืœึตื™ ื—ึถืจึถื‘ ืžึตื—ึทืœึฐืœึตื™ ืจึธืขึธื‘ืด. ืฉืึถื‘ึดื™ [ืงึธืฉืึถื” ืžึดื›ึผื•ึผืœึผึธื] โ€“ ื“ึผึฐื›ื•ึผืœึผึฐื”ื•ึผ ืึดื™ืชึทื ึฐื”ื•ึผ ื‘ึผึตื™ื”ึผ.ย 

Famine is worse than the sword. If you wish, say that this is derived by way of logical reasoning: This one, who dies of famine, suffers greatly before departing from this world, but that one, who dies by the sword, does not suffer. If you wish, say instead that the fact that famine is worse than the sword is learned from a verse: โ€œMore fortunate were the victims of the sword than the victims of famineโ€ (Lamentations 4:9). And captivity is worse than all of them, as it includes all of them, i.e., famine, the sword, and death.ย 

  • ื‘ื‘ื ื‘ืชืจื ื’:

ืึธืžึทืจ ืจึทื‘ ื—ึดืกึฐื“ึผึธื: ืœึนื ืœึดื™ืกึฐืชึผื•ึนืจ ืึดื™ื ึดื™ืฉื ื‘ึผึตื™ ื›ึฐื ึดื™ืฉืึฐืชึผึธื, ืขึทื“ ื“ึผึฐื‘ึธื ึตื™ ื‘ึผึตื™ ื›ึฐื ึดื™ืฉืึฐืชึผึธื ืึทื—ึฒืจึดื™ืชึดื™. ืึดื™ื›ึผึธื ื“ึฐืึธืžึฐืจึดื™: ืžึดืฉึผืื•ึผื ืคึผึฐืฉืึดื™ืขื•ึผืชึธื, ื•ึฐืึดื™ื›ึผึธื ื“ึฐืึธืžึฐืจึดื™: ืžึดืฉึผืื•ึผื ืฆึทืœึผื•ึนื™ึตื™…ย 

Rav แธคisda says: A person may not demolish a synagogue before building another synagogue to take its place. There are those who say that the reason for this ruling is due to potential negligence, lest they fail to build a new structure after the old one has been razed. And there are those who say that the reason for this ruling is due to the disruption of prayer, for in the meantime there will be nowhere to prayโ€ฆย 

ืึฒืžึทืจ ืœึตื™ื”ึผ ืจึธื‘ึดื™ื ึธื ืœึฐืจึทื‘ ืึธืฉืึตื™: ื’ึผึฐื‘ื•ึผ ื–ื•ึผื–ึตื™ ื•ึผืžึทื—ึฒืชึดื™, ืžึทืื™? ืึฒืžึทืจ ืœึตื™ื”ึผ: ื“ึผึดื™ืœึฐืžึธื ืžึดื™ืชึฐืจึฐืžึตื™ ืœึฐื”ื•ึผ ืคึผึดื“ึฐื™ื•ึนืŸ ืฉืึฐื‘ื•ึผื™ึดื™ื, ื•ึฐื™ึธื”ึฒื‘ึดื™ ืœึฐื”ื•ึผ.ย 

Ravina said to Rav Ashi: What is the ruling if money for the construction of a new synagogue has already been collected and it rests before us for that purpose? Is it then permitted to demolish the old synagogue before building the new one? Rav Ashi said to him: Even if the money has been collected there is still concern that perhaps an opportunity for redeeming captives will present itself, and they will hand over the money for that urgent requirement, and the community will be left without a synagogue.ย 

ืฉืึฐืจึดื™ื’ึดื™ ืœึดื™ื‘ึฐื ึตื™, ื•ึฐื”ึธื“ึฐืจึดื™ ื”ื•ึผื“ึฐืจึตื™, ื•ึผืžึทื—ึฒืชึดื™ ื›ึผึฐืฉืื•ึผืจึตื™, ืžึทืื™? ืึฒืžึทืจ ืœึตื™ื”ึผ: ื–ึดืžึฐื ึดื™ืŸ ื“ึผึฐืžึดืชึฐืจึฐืžึตื™ ืœึฐื”ื•ึผ ืคึผึดื“ึฐื™ื•ึนืŸ ืฉืึฐื‘ื•ึผื™ึดื™ื, ืžึฐื–ึทื‘ึผึฐื ึดื™ ื•ึฐื™ึธื”ึฒื‘ึดื™ ืœึฐื”ื•ึผ. ืึดื™ ื”ึธื›ึดื™, ืึฒืคึดื™ืœึผื•ึผ ื‘ึผึธื ื•ึผ ื ึธืžึตื™! ืึฒืžึทืจ ืœึตื™ื”ึผ: ื“ึผึดื™ืจึฐืชึตื™ื”ึผ ื“ึผึฐืึดื™ื ึธืฉืึตื™ ืœึธื ืžึฐื–ึทื‘ึผึฐื ึดื™.ย 

Ravina continues: What is the ruling if the bricks to be used for the construction of the new synagogue are piled up, the boards are prepared, and the beams are ready? Is it permitted to demolish the old synagogue before building the new one? Rav Ashi said to him: Even so, sometimes an opportunity for redeeming captives will present itself, and they will sell the building materials and hand over the proceeds for this purpose. Ravina raises an objection: If so, that is, if you are concerned that they will sell the materials to redeem captives, then even in a case where they already built the synagogue there should be a concern that they might come to sell the structure for that purpose, and therefore one should never be permitted to destroy an old synagogue. Rav Ashi said to him: People do not sell their residences.ย 

  • ืจืžื‘”ื ื”ืœ’ ืžืชื ื•ืช ืขื ื™ื™ื ื—:ื™

ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ืงื•ื“ื ืœืคืจื ืกืช ืขื ื™ื™ื ื•ืœื›ืกื•ืชืŸ,โ€ฏื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืžืฆื•ื” ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ื›ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื,โ€ฏืฉื”ืฉื‘ื•ื™ ื”ืจื™ ื”ื•ื ื‘ื›ืœืœ ื”ืจืขื‘ื™ื ื•ื”ืฆืžืื™ื ื•ื”ืขืจื•ืžื™ื, ื•ืขื•ืžื“ ื‘ืกื›ื ืช ื ืคืฉื•ืช. ื•ื”ืžืขืœื™ื ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืžืคื“ื™ื•ื ื•, ื”ืจื™ ื–ื” ืขื•ื‘ืจ ืขืœ “ืœื ืชืืžืฅ ืืช ืœื‘ื‘ืš ื•ืœื ืชืงืคื•ืฅ ืืช ื™ื“ืš” (ื“ื‘ืจื™ื ื˜ื•, ื–), ื•ืขืœ “ืœื ืชืขืžึนื“ ืขืœ ื“ื ืจืขึถืš” (ื•ื™ืงืจื ื™ื˜, ื˜ื–), ื•ืขืœ “ืœื ื™ึดืจื“ื ื• ื‘ืคืจืš ืœืขื™ื ื™ืš” (ืฉื ื›ื”, ื ื’), ื•ื‘ื˜ืœ ืžืฆื•ืช “ืคืชึนื— ืชืคืชื— ืืช ื™ื“ืš ืœื•” (ื“ื‘ืจื™ื ื˜ื•, ื—), ื•ืžืฆื•ืช “ื•ื—ื™ ืื—ื™ืš ืขืžึธืš” (ื•ื™ืงืจื ื›ื”, ืœื•), “ื•ืื”ื‘ืช ืœืจืขืš ื›ืžื•ืš” (ืฉื ื™ื˜, ื™ื—), ื•”ื”ืฆืœ ืœืงื•ื—ื™ื ืœืžื•ืช” (ืžืฉืœื™ ื›ื“, ื™ื) ื•ื”ืจื‘ื” ื“ื‘ืจื™ื ื›ืืœื•.โ€ฏื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืžืฆื•ื” ืจื‘ื” ื›ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื.

Redeeming captives proceeds supporting the poor with food and clothing. And there is no mitzvah as great as redeeming captives, for a captive is among the hungry, thirsty and naked, and is in mortal danger. And one who averts their eyes from redeeming the captive violates: โ€œdo not harden your heart and shut your hand (against your needy kinsfolk) (Deut. 15:7),โ€ โ€œdo not stand by the blood of your fellow (Lev. 19:16),โ€ โ€œand โ€œhe shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight (Lev. 25:53),โ€ and one who does not redeem a captive has nullified the mitzvah of, โ€œyou shall surely open your hand to him (Deut. 15:8),โ€ and the mitzvah of let him live by your side as your kinsman (Lev. 25:36),โ€ โ€œand you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18), โ€œrescue those taken off to death (Proverbs 24:11),โ€ and many others like this. And there is no mitzvah as great as redeeming captives.ย 

  • ืฉื•ืœื—ืŸ ืขืจื•ืš ื™ื•ืจื” ื“ืขื” ืจื ื‘:ื’

ื›ืœ ืจื’ืข ืฉืžืื—ืจ ืœืคื“ื•ืช ื”ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื, ื”ื™ื›ื ื“ืืคืฉืจ ืœื”ืงื“ื™ื,โ€ฏื”ื•ื™ ื›ืื™ืœื• ืฉื•ืคืš ื“ืžื™ืย 

Every moment that one delays redeeming captives where they can do so earlier, it is as though they are shedding blood.ย 

ย 

  • Redeeming Captives at What Cost? Talmudic and Medieval Discussions

  • ื’ื™ื˜ื™ืŸ ืžื”.ย 

ืžึทืชึฐื ึดื™ืณ ืึตื™ืŸ ืคึผื•ึนื“ึดื™ืŸ ืึถืช ื”ึทืฉึผืึฐื‘ื•ึผื™ึดื™ืŸ ื™ึธืชึตืจ ืขึทืœ ื›ึผึฐื“ึตื™ ื“ึผึฐืžึตื™ื”ึถืŸ, ืžึดืคึผึฐื ึตื™ ืชึผึดื™ืงึผื•ึผืŸ ื”ึธืขื•ึนืœึธื…ย 

Mishnah: The captives are not redeemed for more than their actual monetary value, for the betterment of the worldโ€ฆย 

ื’ึผึฐืžึธืณ ืึดื™ื‘ึผึทืขึฐื™ึธื ืœึฐื”ื•ึผ: ื”ึทืื™ ืดืžึดืคึผึฐื ึตื™ ืชึผึดื™ืงึผื•ึผืŸ ื”ึธืขื•ึนืœึธืืด โ€“ ืžึดืฉึผืื•ึผื ื“ึผื•ึผื—ึฐืงึธื ื“ึฐืฆึดื‘ึผื•ึผืจึธื ื”ื•ึผื, ืื•ึน ื“ึดื™ืœึฐืžึธื ืžึดืฉึผืื•ึผื ื“ึผึฐืœึธื ืœึดื’ึฐืจึฐื‘ื•ึผ ื•ึฐืœึทื™ึฐื™ืชื•ึน ื˜ึฐืคึตื™?ย 

Gemara: A dilemma was raised before the Sages: With regard to this expression: For the betterment of the world, is it due to the financial pressure of the community? Is the concern that the increase in price will lead to the community assuming financial pressures it will not be able to manage? Or perhaps it is because the result of this will be that they will not seize and bring additional captives, as they will see that it is not worthwhile for them to take Jews captive?ย 

  • ืจืฉ”ื™ ืฉื ื“”ื” ืื• ื“ื™ืœืžื

ืื• ื“ื™ืœืžื:…ื•ื ืคืงื ืžื™ื ื” ืื ื™ืฉ ืœื• ืื‘ ืขืฉื™ืจ ืื• ืงืจื•ื‘ ืฉืจื•ืฆื” ืœืคื“ื•ืชื• ื‘ื“ืžื™ื ื”ืจื‘ื” ื•ืœื ื™ืคื™ืœื”ื• ืขืœ ื”ืฆื‘ื•ืจ

Or perhaps:โ€ฆ And the practical difference between these two explanations is a case where someone has a wealthy parent or family member who wants to redeem them for an excessive amount and will not foist that upon the community.

  • ืชื•ืกืคื•ืช ื›ืชื•ื‘ื•ืช ื ื‘. ื“”ื” ื•ื”ื™ื• ืžื‘ืงืฉื™ืŸ

ื“ืืคื™ืœื• ืœื˜ืขืžื ื“ืœื ืœื™ื’ืจื• ื•ืœื™ืชื• ื˜ืคื™ ืœื ืชืงื™ื ื• ] ืฉืœื ื™ื•ื›ืœ ืœืคื“ื•ืช ืื“ื ืืช ืขืฆืžื• ื™ื•ืชืจ ืžื›ื“ื™ ื“ืžื™ื•, ืฉื”ืจื™ “ืขื•ืจ ื‘ืขื“ ืขื•ืจ ื•ื›ืœ ืืฉืจ ืœืื™ืฉ ื™ืชืŸ ื‘ืขื“ ื ืคืฉื•” (ืื™ื•ื‘ ื‘, ื“) ื•ื”ื›ื ืืฉืชื• ื›ื’ื•ืคื•.

Even based on the reasoning that we do not wish for them to take more captives, the sages did not decree that an individual is not permitted to save themselves by paying an excessive amount, as the verse states: โ€œโ€œSkin for skin – a person will give all that they have to save their own life (Job 2:4).โ€ And in this case, his wife is as himself.ย 

  • ื’ื™ื˜ื™ืŸ ื ื—.ย 

ืชึผึธื ื•ึผ ืจึทื‘ึผึธื ึทืŸ: ืžึทืขึฒืฉื‚ึถื” ื‘ึผึฐืจึทื‘ึผึดื™ ื™ึฐื”ื•ึนืฉืึปืขึท ื‘ึผึถืŸ ื—ึฒื ึทื ึฐื™ึธื” ืฉืึถื”ึธืœึทืšึฐ ืœึดื›ึฐืจึทืšึฐ ื’ึผึธื“ื•ึนืœ ืฉืึถื‘ึผึฐืจื•ึนืžึดื™, ืึธืžึฐืจื•ึผ ืœื•ึน: ืชึผึดื™ื ื•ึนืง ืึถื—ึธื“ ื™ึตืฉื ื‘ึผึฐื‘ึตื™ืช ื”ึธืึฒืกื•ึผืจึดื™ื, ื™ึฐืคึตื” ืขึตื™ื ึทื™ึดื ื•ึฐื˜ื•ึนื‘ ืจื•ึนืึดื™ ื•ึผืงึฐื•ื•ึผืฆึผื•ึนืชึธื™ื• ืกึฐื“ื•ึผืจื•ึนืช ืœื•ึน ืชึผึทืœึฐืชึผึทืœึผึดื™ื. ื”ึธืœึทืšึฐ ื•ึฐืขึธืžึทื“ ืขึทืœ ืคึผึถืชึทื— ื‘ึผึตื™ืช ื”ึธืึฒืกื•ึผืจึดื™ื, ืึธืžึทืจ: ืดืžึดื™ ื ึธืชึทืŸ ืœึดืžึฐืฉืึดื™ืกึผึธื” ื™ึทืขึฒืงึนื‘ ื•ึฐื™ึดืฉื‚ึฐืจึธืึตืœ ืœึฐื‘ื•ึนื–ึฐื–ึดื™ืืด? ืขึธื ึธื” ืื•ึนืชื•ึน ืชึผึดื™ื ื•ึนืง ื•ึฐืึธืžึทืจ: ืดื”ึฒืœึนื ื”ืณ ื–ื•ึผ ื—ึธื˜ึธืื ื•ึผ ืœื•ึน ื•ึฐืœึนื ืึธื‘ื•ึผ ื‘ึดื“ึฐืจึธื›ึธื™ื• ื”ึธืœื•ึนืšึฐ ื•ึฐืœึนื ืฉืึธืžึฐืขื•ึผ ื‘ึผึฐืชื•ึนืจึธืชื•ึนืด.ย 

There was an incident involving Rabbi Yehoshua ben แธคananya who once went to the great city of Rome, where they said to him: There is a child in prison with beautiful eyes and an attractive appearance, and his curly hair is arranged in locks. Rabbi Yehoshua went and stood by the entrance to the prison. He said: โ€œWho gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers?โ€ (Isaiah 42:24). That child answered by reciting the continuation of the verse: โ€œDid not the Lord, He against Whom we have sinned, and in Whose ways they would not walk, neither were they obedient to His law?โ€ย 

ืึธืžึทืจ: ืžื•ึผื‘ึฐื˜ึฐื—ึทื ึดื™ ื‘ึผื•ึน ืฉืึถืžึผื•ึนืจึถื” ื”ื•ึนืจึธืึธื” ื‘ึผึฐื™ึดืฉื‚ึฐืจึธืึตืœ, ื”ึธืขึฒื‘ื•ึนื“ึธื”! ืฉืึถืึตื™ื ึดื™ ื–ึธื– ืžึดื›ึผึธืืŸ ืขึทื“ ืฉืึถืึถืคึฐื“ึผึถื ึผื•ึผ ื‘ึผึฐื›ื‡ืœ ืžึธืžื•ึนืŸ ืฉืึถืคึผื•ึนืกึฐืงึดื™ืŸ ืขึธืœึธื™ื•. ืึธืžึฐืจื•ึผ: ืœึนื ื–ึธื– ืžึดืฉึผืึธื ืขึทื“ ืฉืึถืคึผึฐื“ึธืื•ึน ื‘ึผึฐืžึธืžื•ึนืŸ ื”ึทืจึฐื‘ึผึตื”, ื•ึฐืœึนื ื”ึธื™ื•ึผ ื™ึธืžึดื™ื ืžื•ึผืขึธื˜ึดื™ืŸ ืขึทื“ ืฉืึถื”ื•ึนืจึธื” ื”ื•ึนืจึธืึธื” ื‘ึผึฐื™ึดืฉื‚ึฐืจึธืึตืœ. ื•ึผืžึทื ึผื•ึผ? ืจึทื‘ึผึดื™ ื™ึดืฉืึฐืžึธืขึตืืœ ื‘ึผึถืŸ ืึฑืœึดื™ืฉืึธืข.ย 

Rabbi Yehoshua said: I am certain that, if given the opportunity, this child will issue halakhic rulings in Israel, as he is already exceedingly wise. He said: I take an oath by the Temple service that I will not move from here until I ransom him for whatever sum of money they set for him. They said that he did not move from there until he ransomed him for a great sum of money, and not even a few days had passed when this child then issued halakhic rulings in Israel. And who was this child? This was Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha.ย 

  • ืชื•ืกืคื•ืช ื’ื™ื˜ื™ืŸ ื ื—. ื“”ื” ื›ืœ ืžืžื•ืŸย 

ื›ืœ ืžืžื•ืŸ ืฉืคื•ืกืงื™ืŸ ืขืœื™ื• – ื›ื™ ืื™ื›ื ืกื›ื ืช ื ืคืฉื•ืช ืคื•ื“ื™ืŸ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ืŸ ื™ื•ืชืจ ืขืœ ื›ื“ื™ ื“ืžื™ื”ืŸ…ืื™ ื ืžื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืžื•ืคืœื’ ื‘ื—ื›ืžื” ื”ื™ื”:

Where there is mortal danger, we redeem captives even for more than they are worthโ€ฆor perhaps it was because he was a geniusโ€ฆ

  • ืจืžื‘”ืŸ ื’ื™ื˜ื™ืŸ ืžื”.

ื•ื™”ืœ ื“ื”ืชื ื‘ืฉืขืช ื—ืจื‘ืŸ ื”ื‘ื™’ ื•ืœื™ื›ื ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืื™ื’ืจื™ ื‘ื”ื• ื˜ืคื™ ืฉื”ืจื™ ื›ื•ืœื ื‘ืฉื‘ื™ ื”ืœื›ื• ื”ื  ืจ’ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื“ืขื‘ื“ ืœื’ืจืžื™ื” ื”ื•ื ื“ืขื‘ื“ ื•ืช”ืง ื“ืคืœื™ื’ ืขืœื™ื” ื“ืจืฉื‘”ื’ ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ืจ’ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื•ืœื ืก”ืœ ื›ื•ื•ืชื™ื”.
ื•ื™”ื ื“ื›ืœ ื”ื™ื›ื ื“ืื™ื›ื ื—ืฉืฉื ื“ืžื™ืชื” ืคื•ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชืŸ ื‘ื›ืœ ืžืžื•ืŸ ืฉื™ื›ื•ืœื™ืŸ ืœืคื“ื•ืชืŸ ื•ืœื ืžืกืชื‘ืจ ื“ื›ืœ ืฉื‘ื™ ื›ื•ืœื” ืื™ืชื ื”ื• ื‘ื™ื”

And we answer that in that case it was a time of destruction, and thereโ€™s no concern of getting more captives, because they were all taken captives. Or perhaps R. Yehoshua did this of his own accord, and he disagrees with R. Shimon son of Gamliel.

And some say that whenever there is a mortal danger, we redeem for any amount of money, but this is illogical because there is always mortal danger in a situation of captivity.

  • Redeeming Captives at What Cost? Contemporary Israeli Discussions

  • โ€œThe Jibril Agreement,โ€ Wikipedia Entry

The Jibril Agreement (Arabic: ุงุชูุงู‚ูŠุฉ ุฌุจุฑูŠู„, romanized: Ittifฤqฤซyat Jibrฤซl) or “Jibril Deal” (Hebrew: ืขืกืงืช ื’’ื™ื‘ืจื™ืœ, romanized: Iskat Jibril) was a prisoner exchange deal which took place on May 21, 1985 between the Israeli government, then headed by Shimon Peres, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (an organization often known as just ‘PFLP-GC’). As part of the agreement, Israel released 1,150 security prisoners held in Israeli prisons in exchange for three Israeli prisoners (Yosef Grof, Nissim Salem, Hezi Shai) captured during the First Lebanon War. This was one of several prisoner exchange agreements carried out between Israel and groups it classified as terrorist organizations around that time.

  • โ€œThe Gilad Shalit Prisoner Exchange,โ€ Wikipedia Entry

The Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange (Hebrew: ืขืกืงืช ืฉืœื™ื˜; Arabic: ุตูู‚ุฉ ุดุงู„ูŠุท), also known as Wafa al-Ahrar (Arabic: ูˆูุงุก ุงู„ุฃุญุฑุงุฑ) (“Faithful to the free”),[1] followed a 2011 agreement between Israel and Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners โ€” almost all Palestinians and Arab-Israelis, although there were also a Ukrainian,[2] a Jordanian[3] and a Syrian.[4] Two hundred and eighty of these had been sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Israeli targets.ย 

  • Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, โ€œShould we concede to pressure and redeem captives?โ€ ื”ื™ืฉ ืœื”ื™ืขื ื•ืช ืœืกื—ื˜ื ื•ืช ื‘ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ื•ื‘ื ื™ ืขืจื•ื‘ื”?” Torah Shebaโ€™al Peh 17, 69โ€“76ย 

ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉืืœื” [ื—ื™ื™ืœื ื•] ื™ืฆืื• ืœืžืœื—ืžื” ื‘ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืช ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื” ื•ืžื˜ืขืžื”, ืœื”ื’ื ืช ื”ืขื ื”ื™ื•ืฉื‘ ื‘ืฆื™ื•ืŸ, ื”ืจื™ ืงื™ื™ืžืช ื•ืขื•ืžื“ืช ื”ืชื—ื™ื™ื‘ื•ืช ื‘ืœืชื™ ื›ืชื•ื‘ื”, ืื‘ืœ ืžื•ื‘ื ืช ืžืืœื™ื”, ืฉื›ืœ ื˜ืฆื“ืงื™ [=ืืžืฆืขื™ื] ืฉื™ืฉ ื‘ื™ื“ื™ ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื” ืขืœื™ื” ืœืขืฉื•ืช (ื‘ื’ื‘ื•ืœื•ืช ืกื‘ื™ืจื™ื ืฉืื™ื ืŸ ืคื•ื’ืขื™ื ื‘ื‘ื˜ื—ื•ื ื” ื”ื›ืœืœื™) ื›ื“ื™ ืœืคื“ื•ืชื ื‘ืžืงืจื” ืฉื™ืคืœื• ื‘ืฉื‘ื™. ื•ื›ืฉื ืฉืงื™ื™ืžืช ื”ืชื—ื™ื™ื‘ื•ืช ื‘ืžืงืจื” ืฉืœ ื”ื™ืคื’ืขื ื—ืก ื•ืฉืœื•ื ื‘ืžืœื—ืžื”, ื”ืŸ ืœื ื ื•ืคืœ ืžื–ื” ื”ื—ื™ื•ื‘ ืœื ืงื•ื˜ ื›ืœ ืคืขื•ืœื” ืฉื”ื™ื ืœืฉื ื”ื•ืฆืืชื ืžืŸ ื”ืฉื‘ื™, “ื“ื›ื•ืœื”ื• ืื™ืชื ื”ื• ื‘ื”ืด.

ื•ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉืžื” ืฉื”ืžื“ื™ื ื” ื™ื›ื•ืœื” ืœืขืฉื•ืช ื‘ื–ื” ื”ื•ื ืžื›ื•ื— ื”ื—ื™ื•ื‘ ืฉืงื‘ืœื” ืขืœ ืขืฆืžื” ืชืžื•ืจืช ื”ืฉื™ืจื•ืช ืฉืœื”ื, ื”ืจื™ ืื™ืŸ ื–ื” ืืœื ื›ืื™ืœื• ื”ื ืคื•ื“ื™ื ืืช ืขืฆืžื, ืฉื‘ื–ื” ื›ืžื‘ื•ืืจ ืœืขื™ืœ ืœื ืงื™ื™ืžืช ืฉื•ื ื”ื’ื‘ืœื”, ื•ืœื ืฉื™ื™ืš ื‘ื–ื” ื”ืชืงื ื” ืฉ”ืื™ืŸ ืคื•ื“ื™ืŸ ืืช ื”ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ื™ื•ืชืจ ืขืœ ื“ืžื™ื”ื”.ย 

Since they [our soldiers] went to war as agents of the state and in service of its endsโ€”protecting the Jewish people who dwell in Zionโ€”there is an unwritten but self-evident commitment on the part of the state to use all available means (within reasonable limits which do not impinge upon general security) to redeem them in an instance where they are taken captive. Just as the state has such a commitment in an instance where they are injured in war, Heaven forbid, it can be no less committed to take every available course of action to get them out of captivityโ€”โ€œas it includes all of them.โ€

Since the state takes on these obligations in exchange for the services of the solders, it is as if they were redeeming themselves. As is made clear above, in such a situation there are no restrictions, and the rule that โ€œWe do not redeem captives for more than their worthโ€ does not apply.

  • Rabbi Hayyim David HaLevi, Responsa Aseh Lekha Rav, 7:53ย 

ื›ืืžื•ืจ, ืคืกืง ื”ืœื›ื” ื”ื ”ืœ ื”ื‘ื ื•ื™ ืขืœ ื”ืกื•ื’ื™ื ื‘ื’ื™ื˜ื™ืŸ ื”ื ”ืœ, ื•ืคืกื™ืงืชื ืฉืœ ื’ื“ื•ืœื™ ืจืืฉื•ื ื™ื ื•ืื—ืจื•ื ื™ื, ื”ื•ื ื‘ืจื•ืจ ื•ื ื›ื•ืŸ. ื•ืืขืคื™”ื› ื ืจืื” ืœืขื ”ื“ ืื—ืจื™ ื”ืžื—ื™”ืจ ืฉืื™ืŸ ืžื›ืœ ื”ื ”ืœ ืจืื™ื” ืžื›ืจืขืช ืœื ื“ื•ืŸ ื“ื™ื“ืŸ. ืฉื›ืŸ ื‘ื›ืœ ื”ื ”ืœ ืžื“ื•ื‘ืจ ื‘ืงื‘ื•ืฆื•ืช ืฉืœ ืœื™ืกื˜ื™ื ืฉื•ื“ื“ื™ื ืฉื›ืœ ืžื˜ืจืชื ื”ื™ื ืœืกื—ื•ื˜ ื›ืกืคื™ื ืจื‘ื™ื ื›ื›ืœ ื”ืืคืฉืจ ืชืžื•ืจืช ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ ื”ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื, ืื• ืžื›ื™ืจืชื ืœืขื‘ื“ื™ื. ื•ืœื›ืŸ ืคืฉื•ื˜ ื•ื‘ืจื•ืจ ืฉื›ืœ ื›ื ื™ืขื” ืœืกื—ื˜ื ื•ืชื ืชื’ื“ื™ืœ ืชื™ืื‘ื•ื ื ื•ืชืจื‘ื” ืจื“ื™ืคืชื ืœืฉื‘ื•ืช ื“ื•ืงื ื™ื”ื•ื“ื™ื, ื”ืžืจื‘ื™ื ื‘ืžื—ื™ืจ ื”ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ.ย 

As I have said, this ruling built upon the passage in Gittin mentioned above, and the rulings of the greatest earlier and later decisors is clear and correct. And yet, it seems in my humble opinion that none of these are decisive proofs for our situation. For all those situations concern bandit thieves whose goal is to extract money by trading captives or selling people into slavery. Therefore, it is clear that any capitulation to their extortion will increase their appetite and cause them to further chase specifically Jews who are willing to pay more for the redemption.ย 

ื•ืื™ืœื• ืื ื• ื ืชื•ื ื™ื ื‘ืžืฆื‘ ืžืœื—ืžื” ืงืฉื” ื•ืžืžื•ืฉืš ืขื ื›ืœืœ ื”ืขื ื”ืคืœืฉืชื™ื ื™, ืฉืžืชื•ื›ื• ื™ืฆืื• ืงื‘ื•ืฆื•ืช ื”ืœื•ื—ืžื•ืช ื‘ืื›ื–ืจื™ื•ืช ื‘ืขื ื”ื™ื”ื•ื“ื™ ื‘ืืจืฆื•, ื•ื”ืจืงืข ื”ื•ื ืžื“ื™ื ื™ – ืœืื•ืžื™, ืฉื›ืœ ื–ืžืŸ ืฉืœื ื™ืžืฆื ืœื• ืคืชืจื•ืŸ, ืžืœื—ืžื” ื–ื• ืชื•ืกื™ืฃ ืœื”ื—ืจื™ืฃ. ืงื‘ื•ืฆื•ืช ื˜ืจื•ืจ ืืœื” ืขื•ืฉื•ืช ื›ื›ืœ ืืฉืจ ืœืืœ ื™ื“ืŸ ืœืคื’ื•ืข ืงืฉื•ืช ื‘ืขื ื”ื™ื”ื•ื“ื™ ื‘ื›ืœ ืžื“ืช ืืคืฉืจื•ื™ื•ืชื™ื”ื. ื•ืื™ืŸ ืกืคืง ืฉืœื• ื™ื›ืœื• ืœืžืกื•ืจ ื ืคืฉื ืœืชืคื•ืก ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ื™ื”ื•ื“ื™ื ื”ื™ื• ืขื•ืฉื™ื ื–ืืช ืžื™ื“ื™ ื™ื•ื ื‘ื™ื•ืžื• ื›ื“ื™ ืœืฉื—ืจืจ ืืช ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื”ื ื•ืืกื™ืจื™ื”ื ืฉื‘ื™ื“ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ, ื•ืื•ืœื™ ืืฃ ื›ื“ื™ ืœื”ืฉื™ื’ ื”ื™ืฉื’ื™ื ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื™ื ื ื•ืกืคื™ื.ย 

But we are in a difficult and ongoing war with the Palestinians, among whom there are bands who go out and fight cruelly with the Jewish people in its nation, and the context is political-national. So long as there is no resolution, this war will continue to get more severe. These bands of terrorists do whatever is in their power to severely harm the Jewish nation with every possible measure. And there is no doubt that if they could capture Jewish captives every day, they would do so in order to release their captives and prisoners that are in the hands of Israel, and perhaps also to achieve other political goals.ย 

  • Rabbi Shlomo Goren, โ€œRedeeming Captives in Exchange for Freeing Terroristsโ€ ืคื“ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ืชืžื•ืจืช ืฉื—ืจื•ืจ ืžื—ื‘ืœื™ื Torat Hamedinah (1996), 424โ€“436

ย ืฉื—ืจื•ืจ ืฉืœืฉืช ื”ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ื”ื™ื”ื•ื“ื™ื, ื—ื™ื™ืœื™ ืฆื””ืœ, ืžืฉื‘ื™ ืฉืœ ืื—ื“ ืžืืจื’ื•ื ื™ ื”ื˜ืจื•ืจ ื”ืงื™ืฆื•ื ื™ื™ื ื‘ื™ื•ืชืจ, ืชืžื•ืจืช ืฉื—ืจื•ืจื ืฉืœ 1150 ืจื•ืฆื—ื™ื ืžืกื•ื›ื ื™ื ื ื•ื“ืขื™ื ืœืฉืžืฆื”, ืžืงืจื‘ ืืจื’ื•ื ื™ ื”ืžื—ื‘ืœื™ื ื”ืฉื•ื ื™ื, ืขื•ืจืจ ืกืขืจื” ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ื‘ืืจืฅ ื•ื‘ืชืคื•ืฆื•ืช, ืžื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ื–ื” ื”ื’ื‘ืจื ื• ืืช ื›ื•ื—ื ื”ืžืกืคืจื™ ื•ื™ื•ืงืจืชื ืฉืœ ื”ื˜ืจื•ืจื™ืกื˜ื™ื…

Freeing the three Jewish captives, IDF soldiers, from captivity in the hands of one of the most extreme terror organizations, in exchange for freeing 1150 dangerous murderers from various terror organizations has raise a great tumult in Israel and the diaspora, because in so doing, we strengthened the numbers and value of the terrorists…

ื”ื›ืคืœื ื• ื•ืฉื™ืœืฉื ื• ืืช ื”ืกื›ื ื” ื”ื ืฉืงืคืช ืœืื–ืจื—ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžืฆื“ ืืจื’ื•ื ื™ ื”ืžื—ื‘ืœื™ื ืžืฉืœื•ืฉ ืกื™ื‘ื•ืช ืขืงืจื™ื•ืช ื“ื”ืœื”ืœืŸ:

ื) ื”ื’ื‘ืจืช ื›ื•ื—ื ื”ืžืกืคืจื™ ื•ื”ืื™ื›ื•ืชื™ ืฉืœ ื”ืžืจืฆื—ื™ื…ืฉ…ื™ื•ืกื™ืคื• ืœื”ื™ืœื—ื ื‘ื ื•…

ื‘) ื”ื’ื“ืœื ื• ืืช ื›ื•ื— ื”ืกื—ื™ื˜ื” ืฉืœ ืืจื’ื•ื ื™ ื”ืžื—ื‘ืœื™ื…

ื’) ืœื ืงื™ื™ื ื›ืขืช ื‘ืžื“ื™ื ื” ืฉื•ื ืขื•ื ืฉ ืืฉืจ ื™ืจืชื™ืข ืืช ื”ืžืจืฆื—ื™ื ืžืœื‘ืฆืข ืืช ื–ืžืžื ื ื’ื“ ืžื“ื™ื ืช ื™ืฉืจืืœ…ืžื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื”ืžืจืฆื—ื™ื ื™ื•ื“ืขื™ื ืžืจืืฉ ืฉืชื•ืš ื–ืžืŸ ืงืฆืจ ื™ืฉื—ืจืจื• ืื•ืชื…

We have doubled and tripled the anticipated danger to Israeli citizens from terror organizations in three main ways:

  1. strengthening the numbers and value of the murderers…who will continue to fight against us…
  2. we have increased the ability or the terror organizations to extort us…
  3. there is now no punishment that will deter murdered from carrying our their plots against the State of Israel…because the murderers know ahead of time that within a short time, they will release them…

โ€ฆ

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ย ืื•ืœื ืขืœ ืืฃ ื›ืœ ื”ืืžื•ืจ ืœืขื™ืœ ื™ื™ืชื›ืŸ ืฉื‘ืžืงืจื” ืฉืœ ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ ืžืœื—ืžื” ืฉืœ ื—ื™ื™ืœื™ื ืฉื ืฉื‘ื• ืชื•ืš ืžื™ืœื•ื™ ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืช ืฉืœ ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื” ืฉืฉืœื—ื” ืื•ืชื ืœืžืฉื™ืžื•ืช ื”ืžืœื—ืžื” ืžื•ื˜ืœืช ื—ื•ื‘ื” ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืœืขืฉื•ืช ื”ื›ืœ ืœืฉื—ืจื•ืจื, ื•ืื™ืŸ ืขืœื™ื”ื ื›ืœืœ ื”ืžื™ื‘ื’ืœื•ืช ืฉืœ ื”ืžืฉื ื” “ืื™ืŸ ืคื•ื“ื™ืŸ ืืช ื”ื”ืฉื‘ื•ื™ื™ื ื™ืชืจ ืขืœ ื›ื“ื™ ื“ืžื™ื”ื” ืžืฉื•ื ืฉื—ื™ื™ืœื™ื ื• ื ืคืœื• ื‘ืฉื‘ื™ ื‘ืžื™ืœื•ื™ ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืช ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื”…

But notwithstanding all that was said above, it seems that in the case of soldiers taken captive in war while carrying out the mission of the state that send them, there is a holy obligation to do everything to free them, and the limitation of the mishnah, “we do not redeem captives for more than there market value” does not apply because our soldiers were captured while carrying out the mission on which the state sent them…

  • Rav Ovadia Yosef, Responsa Yabia Omer Choshen Mishpat 6ย 

ื•ื”ื› ืืฃ ื‘ื ”ื“ ื™”ืœ ืฉืืคื™’ ืืช”ืœ ื“ื—ืฉื™ื‘ ื‘ื›ื””ื’ ื›ื™ื•ืชืจ ืžื›ื“ื™ ื“ืžื™ื”ืŸ, ืžื˜ืขื ื“ืœื ืœื’ืจื• ื•ืœื™ื™ืชื• ื˜ืคื™, ืž”ืž ื›ืฉื™ืฉ ืกื›ื ื” ืžืžืฉื™ืช ื‘ื“ื‘ืจ, ื›ื‘ื ”ื“, ืœื ื—ื™ื™ืฉื™ื ืŸ ืœื”ืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ื“ื™ืœืžื ืžื’ืจื• ื‘ื”ื• ื•ืžื™ื™ืชื• ื˜ืคื™, ื•ื‘ืœื”ื” ื”ื ืขื•ืฉื™ื ื›ืœ ืžื” ืฉื‘ื™ื›ืœืชื ืœื—ื˜ื•ืฃ ื•ืœื”ืจื•ื’ ื•ืœืจืฆื•ื— ื›ื“ื™ ืœืฉื‘ืฉ ืžื”ืœืš ื”ื—ื™ื™ื ื”ืจื’ื™ืœื™ื ื‘ืžื“ื™ื ืช ื™ืฉืจืืœ, ื™ื””ืจ ืฉื—ืจื‘ื ืชื‘ื•ื ื‘ืœื‘ื ื•ืงืฉืชื•ืชื ืชืฉื‘ืจื ื”. ื•ืืขื™ืงืจื ืื™ืŸ ืœื ื• ืœื”ื•ืกื™ืฃ ื•ืœื”ื›ื ื™ืก ื’ื ื ื™ื“ื•ื ื ื• ื‘ื˜ืขื ื”ื’ืž’ ื“ืœื ืœื’ืจื‘ื• ื•ืœื™ื™ืชื• ื˜ืคื™ ืฉื ืืžืจ ืขืœ ืชืงื ื” ืžืกื•ื™ื™ืžืช, (ื›ื™ ื‘ื ”ื“ ืœื ื—ืฉื™ื‘ ื›ืœ ื›ืš ื›ื™ื•ืชืจ ืขืœ ื›ื“ื™ ื“ืžื™ื”ืŸ), ื•ืžื›ื™ื•ืŸ ื“ื”ื•ื™ื ืจืง ืชืงื ื”, ื•ืงื•ื“ื ืฉืชื™ืงื ื• ื›ืŸ ื‘ื•ื“ืื™ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืคื•ื“ื™ืŸ ื‘ื™ื•ืชืจ ืžื›ื“ื™ ื“ืžื™ื”ืŸ, ืืžืจื™ื ืŸ ื“ื‘ื›ื””ื’ ืฉื”ื•ื ืกืคืง ืื ืชื™ืงื ื• ื‘ื›ืœืœ, ืื•ืงืžื ืื“ื™ื ื.

And if so even in our case, we may say that even if this constitutes paying more than their โ€œworthโ€ (which is a concern) so that they will not kidnap more people, nonetheless when there is a real danger, as in our case, we do not worry about this reason that perhaps they will kidnap more people. And even without this incentive, they do whatever they can to kidnap and murder to upend regular life in the State of Israel โ€“ may their swords enter their hears and their bows break. And on the principle we should not add and bring in based on the reasoning of the Gemara that they should not kidnap others which was said about a specific decree (for in our case, it is not considered so much as paying above their worth), and because it is only a decree and before they decreed it they certainly would redeem for more than the worth of the captives, we say that in this case where there is uncertainty over whether they made the decree at all, we establish the ruling based on the original law.

 

Dr. Elana Stein Hainย is the Rosh Beit Midrash and a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Passionate about bringing Torah into conversation with contemporary life, she teachesย Talmud from the Balcony, an occasional learning seminar exposing the big ideas, questions, and issues motivating Talmudic discussions; she authoredย Circumventing the Law: Rabbinic Perspectives on Legal Loopholes and Integrityย ย which uses halakhic loopholes as a lens for understanding rabbinic views on law and ethics; and she co-hostsย For Heavenโ€™s Sake, a bi-weekly podcast with Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi, exploring contemporary issues related to Israel and the Jewish world.ย Elanaย has also startedย TEXTing; a podcast where she and guest scholars study Torah texts that engage issues of the moment for the Jewish world. She lives in Manhattan with her beloved family.


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Beyond the Daf is where you will discover enlightening shiurim led by remarkable women, delving deep into the intricacies of Talmudic teachings, and exploring relevant and thought-provoking topics that arise from the Daf.

 

Dr. Elana Stein Hain

Dr. Elana Stein Hain is the Rosh Beit Midrash and a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Passionate about bringing Torah into conversation with contemporary life, she teaches Talmud from the Balcony, an occasional learning seminar exposing the big ideas, questions, and issues motivating talmudic discussions; she authored Circumventing the Law: Rabbinic Perspectives on Legal Loopholes and Integrity (pre-order discount code: PENN-ESHAIN30) which uses halakhic loopholes as a lens for understanding rabbinic views on law and ethics; and she co-hosts For Heavenโ€™s Sake, a bi-weekly podcast with Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi, exploring contemporary issues related to Israel and the Jewish world. In mid-January, Elana will be starting a new podcast called TEXTing, where she and guest scholars study Torah texts that engage issues of the moment for the Jewish world. She lives in Manhattan with her beloved family.
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