October 12th, 2011
09:23 AM ET

Shalit swap based on 'ultimate value of human life,' rabbis say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Israel's government approved an extraordinary deal Tuesday night - agreeing to release more than 1,000 Palestinians from prison, including hundreds serving life sentences for attacks on Israelis, in exchange for a single slender young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

But the exchange of 1,027 inmates for a single captive does make sense in a Jewish context, Rabbi Arik Ascherman explained Wednesday.

"Judaism places ultimate value on human life. Therefore in the Jewish tradition, in Jewish law, redeeming captives trumps just about everything else," said Ascherman, of Rabbis for Human Rights. "It takes priority over anything else you can possibly do."

Jews around the world greeted the news that Shalit would be released after spending more than a fifth of his life in captivity with overwhelming joy, said William Daroff of the Jewish Federations of North America.

"We have prayed for his release. We have met with his parents, we have sat with his family in their tent outside the prime minister's residence, we have marched for Gilad's release," he said.

"When I announced the news of Gilad's forthcoming release at a reception with Jewish leaders on Capitol Hill this afternoon, it was met by tears, applause, and a spontaneous prayer of thanks," he told CNN late Tuesday.

"Jews across the world have been pining for Gilad Shalit's release for over five years," he added.

Many have left an empty chair in honor of him at their seders, the family meal marking the beginning of Passover, Daroff said.

"We are indeed thankful that Gilad Shalit will soon return to his family and to the Jewish people. It is long overdue," he said.

But the exchange is not without controversy, said Ascherman.

"There has been a very, very difficult debate about this and similar cases over the years," he said.

There is a question in Jewish law about whether it's moral to free a captive in a deal that could potentially endanger other lives - as many Israelis fear will happen when Palestinians who have killed Israelis are released.

Ascherman sees the benefit of the deal.

"On the one hand, we have somebody who - if he isn't redeemed - faces death or danger or captivity, versus a theoretical possibility that someone could be harmed if these people go back to terror," he said.

"I would say it is possible to redeem the prisoner you definitely know," he argued. "But it's certainly a terrible dilemma and Israelis are coming down on both sides."

The spiritual leader of Hezbollah praised Israel for its dedication to repatriating its citizens, dead or alive, during a previous exchange, in 2004.

"We have a fierce enemy in Israel, but I stand here in respect for the enemy that is concerned about his captives and bodies of his soldiers and works diligently day and night addressing those concerns," Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said as Israel handed over hundreds of prisoners for a kidnapped businessman and three bodies.

"We should acknowledge positives in our enemy when it exists. Whatever their motive is, the fact that they are concerned about their captives, their dead or the bodies of their dead is something to be respected," the Hezbollah leader said.

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum is not certain the swap for Shalit is wise.

He too cites Jewish law, or halacha, and says the literature is so vast that there's no clear answer.

"Unfortunately there is an abundance of halachic literature about the redemption of captives," he said.

He cited the example of the 13th-century German Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, known as the Maharam of Rothenburg, who refused to allow the Jewish community to pay a ransom for him when he was held by the Emperor Rudolph.

"He feared that his ransom would encourage any cash-strapped person to grab a hostage. You can't create an incentive for kidnapping," the rabbi said.

"He did not allow the community to redeem him. He died in jail," said Rosenberg, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi and writer. "The idea is that you shouldn't encourage further kidnappings."

The precedent still applies, he argued.

"You see in any Latin American country in which captives are ransomed, it becomes a major criminal activity," he said.

But he, too, circled back to the value Judiasm places on human life.

"However one arrives at the balance in this case, the redemption of captives is a tremendous value," he said.

He said one of Israel's most important rabbis, Shas party spiritual mentor Ovadiah Yosef, had backed the Shalit exchange, and that government ministers must have discussed it with him before it was announced.

"The Shas party would not have voted for it otherwise," he said.

"A friend of mine in the gym the other day asked me why so many government ministers have been going to see Rabbi Yosef," he said. "This has obviously been in the works for some time."

CNN's Paul Colsey and Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Ethics • Israel • Judaism

soundoff (598 Responses)
  1. Arny

    I dont get it. So in order for your life to be most valuable in Jewish culture, you must spend a fifth of your life as a prisoner, then they come to your rescue...

    October 12, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Chuckles

      I don't think you understand the situation at all, do you even know what happened? No? Let me help you.

      Gilad was/is being held prisoner after being kidnapped by millitants at an outpost. Since his kidnapping the Israeli governement has been doing everything they can for his return including offering trades, sending out missions and the like. The israeli governement, short of sending troops into gaza and reclaiming it as israeli territory to find him have been trying to find Gilat for a while.

      It's cool though, they do say that ignorance is bliss.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • hippypoet

      no, they place value on human life and a human in prison is not fully living and so thats a crime against that person and the faith.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • michael

      I think the issue here is if they will kill him or not, like terror groups have done many times before with all the beheadings etc.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Arny


      I was being sarcastic. I was referring to their ineffective strategy to rescue one of their own.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Arny... Why don't you offer a MORE EFFECTIVE way to the Israelis to save one of their own? If you KNOW such way and was hiding it for all these years it's YOUR fault that this poor guy spent five years in Hamas prison. If, however, you DON'T KNOW a bettter way for Israelis to save one of their own it means that the ways Israelis were using are the BEST ways to save captured prisoners you know.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Arny

      If it were one of my own, i would go Liam Neeson on their butts. But honestly, I don't believe the Israeli government were working a guestimated 5 years on this young boys release. He was just the next sticky note on their desk. This was just another news article boast the sincere need of government in general. You must see this. The U.S. government pushes the same fear into us citizens.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    @Fascist Poet, LOL yes it is accecptable ...whats not ok it the way you spelt my name, hippypoet with a y not ie... but its ok.

    the only reason why i even said something in the first place was a Rabbi once told me that to spell Yahweh with a V was the moabite form, the lost tribe and eternal enemy of the chosen people. that is all.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  3. elcatala

    "You see in any Latin American country in which captives are ransomed, it becomes a major criminal activity"
    this guy is an ignorant and have no credibility to write.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  4. Bo

    @Hippy, very good 10:57 post, however, the temple that the Romans destroyed was the 3rd temple. I can't remember when the second temple was destroyed, that event isn't in waht is left of the OT and is a part of secular history. Herod built the 3rd temple and it must have been very beautiful with a lot of gold in it. Probably the Dome of the Rock is more ornate, anyway it is very beautiful. Secular history tells us that is why the Romans destroyed it, stone by stone: to get the melted gold that floed between the stones. I wonder how much gold was in the cracks of the foundation that the Dome of the Rock was also built on? (by the way, you know that Jesus predicted this would happen 'not one stone left upon another', and you know, that none of the NT writers even mention the destruction of the temple, you also know, it is only by secular history that we know what happened in AD 70.; do you not?

    October 12, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Chuckles

      Whoa whoa whoa, when has there ever been a third temple? Growing up jewish we mourn the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temple but I have never heard of a third temple, did I miss something in Sunday School?

      October 12, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • hippypoet

      i agree with chuckles, there was no third temple, if you count the tabernakle as a temple then maybe yes a third but thats a stretch. and as far as joshua and his prophecy about temple – any one could have made such a claim knowing that the romans made teh claim that they would if they (the jews) revolted again. so if joshua has said there will be another revolt everyone would have said "no sh!t sherlock" minus the sherlock and you get the drift.
      so to word things a certaint way does make all the difference.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      1st Temple..the one Solomon had constructed.
      2nd...the one built during Cyrus/Ezra's time
      3rd...this is usually referring to the one called Herod's Temple. It was destroyed in 70CE.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  5. sun52shine

    There can never be a money value place on a human life. This is a lesson worthy of teaching the whole world.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      The value of human life is defined as how much it will cost me to have someone killed.

      Luckily, new technologies make that even more efficient than in the past.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sure you can!
      In the modern world, the weighted average global sales price of a slave is between $340 and $1,900 for the average s.ex slave, and a low of $40 to $50 for debt bondage slaves in parts of Asia and Africa

      In 1862 America, a healthy adult male slave went for around $5,000 (or $200 in confederate dollars).
      Females were usually worth less.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • ThinkForYourself


      Try telling that to the insurance industry.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  6. hippypoet

    @Bo, so you never answered me... what did i do that mad you upset? lets have a debate, i like your IQ numbers, i wish i knew mine, i'd post them as well...but huh, fuk it, i care not! maybe you have a good website for a proper IQ testing. SO, come on, lets debate over something – your religious, i know things about religion, maybe we can learn from each other – that is the over all goal of a debate. a proper debate that is, other wise its just an arguement, i can have those with my wife!

    October 12, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • sean47

      Can I debate too?ah go on...should Ireland have been beat Armenia last night?The goalie had his hands up it was obviously a handball!!

      October 12, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • hippypoet

      lol, maybe i should state that i don't watch any sports... i find them boring. i love to play them, but just not watch. And i was hoping for a religious debate, but thank you for the effort!

      October 12, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      If you wish to have a proper debate, you should learn correct grammar and English first. Nobody can you seriously when you spell worse than a 4th grader.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • sean47

      Aw my bad...I can totally do religion!! Catholic is the way to be 😛 only messin but I think if you believe in an almighty power and it makes your life a happier place to be then it shouldnt matter who that "almightyness" does be 🙂 It could be Michael Jackson for all I care but if it does the trick then.... BOOM....alls good in the hood.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Chuckles


      You know better than to shy away from a debate just beacuse of spelling. I mean if it's horrendous mispellings every other word I'll grant you it's tough, but misspellings here or there on a comment board is a way of life. Give Hippy what he wants, ask any question you are interested in hearing from the otherside.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  7. sean47

    Lads, chill the bean..

    October 12, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  8. Let my people go!

    Iran-Free the pastor and all others you have falsely accused and imprisoned for their 'Faith'

    October 12, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    A gob is a puss or a yap. German language: Schnauze, Maul, Fresse, Goschen. Goschen is the bavarian word for yap.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • hippypoet

      so are you saying that Hitler was a Boo b and therefore was put as the face man for the Nazi party?

      October 12, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    Read the book "Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich " by Prof. Dr. David Clay Large.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  11. William Demuth

    A thousand to one ratio?

    That actually does say a quite a bit about the value of human life as BOTH sides see it.

    It also seems to be comporable to the casulaty rate!

    October 12, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      Ha! I was thinking the same exact thing.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • YB

      The ratio is 1:4
      The total Palestinians causeless is much much lower than ANY other conflict in the middle east. Even Turkey/Kurd conflict cause to 5 times more people killed.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • William Demuth


      Please, don't make me laugh!!

      October 12, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  12. Rainer Braendlein


    Hitler indeed had a big gob. That was even his nickname: Goschen (gob). Hitler's gob was his main weapon and he was discovered, when he attended a meeting of the DAP (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) as an agent of the German Military and made some remarks. The DAP leaders said: " Jeez, that one has a gob, he could be useful for us!" Finally they adopted Adolf and he made the DAP the NSDAP.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • hippypoet

      not sure i follow, what is a gob. very lost at the moment.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  13. Bo

    @Rainer 10:43 post, very good, I would only add, that along with loosing their faith, they were disobient and followed after "strange gods". After the "Babyllonian" captivity they went completely the other way and dreamed up impossiable laws and rules

    October 12, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • hippypoet

      so when and how did i p!ss you off? you are showing pride in your post that states your IQ and so there is another thing that leads you to hell, just to let you know. oh and i have some more things on pride if you would like them... or we could just have a nice debate, but for the sake of pages lost, please learn to use the reply button!

      October 12, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      The reply is on the upper right hand corner of the post if you're viewing this page on a mobile phone!

      October 12, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  14. William Demuth


    Forgive them brother, they know not what they do.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • hippypoet

      i do not forgive, i am not there false god. he does the whole forgiviness thing, even thou he does love to destroy everything at times... very fickle that dude, as Rainer as stated.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • M Hatherstone

      Now where have I seen that saying before. Something to do with the conflict - no, too deep in the Orwellian memory hole is that one. No one has dared to make the comparison in the mainstream media, and I wager no one will. Maybe it is not relevant but old wounds can take some time to heal.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  15. Bo

    Hippy, I may not be so book learned as you, perhaps my 136 IQ isn't as high as yours, but you continue to make foolish statements. How I define 'stupid' is that a person does something that he/she knows better not to do. So the more enlighted you are the more stupid your remarks.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      Lol, hippy is a regular here and unfortunately so are his idiotic remarks. I keep responding to his ridiculous remarks to show him his ignorance but he's clearly living in his own world. If he actually thinks the way he posts in real life, then I feel tremendously sorry for him. Best to ignore trolls like that.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • hippypoet

      oh you both totally hurt me with your silly comments... i will cry myself to sleep now for the rest of my life. 🙁

      OR being i know enough to have a conversation and not just insult, thats just multi-tasking, i am better then those who jkust get upset and bash others... enjoy your point godless existence! and if there is a god, you have just judged me, have fun in hell.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • hippypoet

      maybe your issue is that you both have no debating skills... i'm sure Cicero can teach you all you need to know... first try to read a doc. suess book, then give cicero a try, much easier that way. LOL

      October 12, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Can't we just all agree that I'm right? That makes this simple. Then no one has to argue or name-call.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Chuckles


      No, no we can not.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • hippypoet

      @ chuckles, its good to have ya back! where ya been?

      October 12, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Chuckles


      good to be back, Work has gotten the best of me and as it turns out I needed to pay attention and cut myself off from the internet for a little bit. But now I'm back just in time for Gilad Shalit to be released which is a great day. The sad part however is that he'll most likely be returned in a coffin which is pretty depressing that 1000+ live criminals will be released for one dead israeli.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  16. Bo

    Rainer–How many good German people did not agree with Hitler and his gang? I was in Gemany with the military after the war and almost all the German people I met were not in favor with what Hitler did, even though many of them were forced to serve in the military.. (I wonder how good their aim was when they looked down their gun sights?) So don't blame your people, blame Hitler

    October 12, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • hippypoet

      how about we blame the stoneage workers who found metal in the ground and started using it to make stronger weapons... which evolved into guns, and without guns i can't see hilter doing as good as he did as he had little to no real military training. He was a speaker, a good one too, but only a speaker.

      infact i would like to see an arguement with two sides that go like this, one is for hitler as for as his skill speaking and the other side argue for Cicero, both gave hour+ long speeches that drove people to act on things they normally wouldn't have.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      I am proud to be a German, despite our crimes against the Jews. I love my people and my country.

      It is only that we Germans should finally get cured of our eternal disease: Making an idol out of obedience. We must learn to distinguish, whom we obey: It is a good trustworthy man or a bad dishonest man?

      October 12, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • fred

      Bo, I agree with you to some extent as my dad told me how Hitler’s men came into Austria and rounded up the young men and boys to send off to the Russian front. On the other hand my mom told me how some of her friends changed and began to treat Jews they knew for years like dogs. The tempo of the hate picked up and swept through her town.
      This still happens today. Chavez used the same tactics to sway the people of Venezuela, Castro in Cuba. Obama has been laying the ground work for some time now stirring the populist pot with rich bashing that carries a different tone than politics as usual. Gays find Christian bashing to be great sport and the list goes on.
      It appears a core weakness in humans where one heads toward a heart filled with hate and the another a heart filled with hope. When the Bible speaks of separating the wheat and the tares we again see two distinct groups. In the beginning there were two trees in the garden the tree of life and the tree man desired. Looks like our hearts are easily turned.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  17. Patrick Wise

    Bet you the 1'000 Palestinians released will have some hidden tracking devices in them put by Israel.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • William Demuth

      More likely a simple poke with an HIV infected needle.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    I am a German. I regret all the crimes, which we have committed against the Jews. As far as I know around 6 Million Jews were killed by Germany. What a calamity.

    Hitler had had the idotic idea that the Jewish blood would contaminate the German blood. Hitler was an extreme racist. To a large extent Hitler was influenced by the wicked composer Richard Wagner, who was a fanatical anti-Semite too. It is a shame that Wagner's operas are still performed in Germany and elsewhere. The name Richard Wagner should gain a meaning like the name Judas Iscariot. Judas indirectly killed the King of the Jews. Wagner indirectly killed the folk of the Jews.

    In a way God has two people on earth: The Jews (His earthly folk) and the Christian Church (His heavenly folk). The Jews are God's Chosen People, according to God's promises of the Old Testament, which are still valid. The Christians are God's people, according to the New Covenant, which was introduced by Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.

    Although the Jews are God's Chosen People, according to the Old Testament, they need to recognize their Messiah, which has yet come. Jesus from Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel. He proved his divine sonship by the miracles, which he worked.

    Yet before Jesus came, faith was necessary to be a real Israelite. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were models of faith. God wants every member of his earthly folk (the Jews or the Israelites) to become a member of his heavenly folk (the Christian Church).

    The Ruler of the universe (the Triune God or Yahveh) is able to protect His people against every enemy as he yet did at oldtestament times. Thus, conversion to Christianity would mean peace and security for Israel. God would not allow the Muslims to attack his beloved Israel any longer, if they would accept Jesus as Messiah at last.

    Israel, recognize your Messiah today! His name is Jesus from Nazareth. Jesus loves Israel.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok... a couple of things.. first jesus never existed, his name was joshua. second – i normally leave spelling errors alone but this one is kinda big, its not Yahveh its Yahweh. and last but most certainly not least – if the Jews were gods chosen people before joshua, they will still be after, it was for the other non jewish folks to find worship in joshua's teachings... ok now that thats out of the way we can move on. YAY ...YOU SAID "Judas indirectly killed the King of the Jews. Wagner indirectly killed the folk of the Jews." he wasn't king of the jews, that was Herod. Joshua was only the so called son of god. Have you read the gospel of Judas... its very interesting, you should give it a read, it paints a different picture of the way it went down.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "if the Jews were gods chosen people before joshua, they will still be after,"

      This as.sumes, though, that god doesn't change his mind. The bible tells us otherwise. He's kinda fickle.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • hippypoet

      @thinkforyourself... i totally agree with the fickle part, as he does change his point of view of humans in the old testiment all the time. However the jewish god never sways from the statement of the jews of Abraham's son Isaac's decendants as the chosen people.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      Yet at Old Testament times the problem of the Jews was a lack of faith. Thus, they got repeatedly defeated by their enemies and finally lost their homeland (70 a. D.). Did you know that nearly nobody of the Israelites, which had left Egypt and wandered through the sea, reached the Promised Land. It was because of their disbelieve (St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 10). Even a baptized Christian can lose his health, if he doesn't live according to his first faith.

      Faith really matters for Jews and Christians. You are baptized? Fine, but keep your faith!

      October 12, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Hippy – The whole Jesus/Joshua thing is dumb, just shows your ignorance and you keep repeating it like you somehow know something more you clown. At best you can say that Jesus came from a mistranslation of a mistranslation, but I doubt you'd care to actually learn the truth.

      Yeshua, (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַ yēšūă‘ in Hebrew)[1] was a common alternative form of the name Joshua "Yehoshuah" יְהוֹשֻׁעַ in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple Period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous, from which comes the English spelling Jesus.[2][3]

      October 12, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Alfonzo, if you are going to insult you can atleast be correct after the insulting...but your not, so moving on to correct you..

      the translation you spoke of i know all about, name was joshua, then translates into greek, then into latin which was lassus, then in the (this is the important part) 6th century a.d. the latin starts to change... sometime in the next hundred years or so the latin translation became jesus, which is wrong on all accounts, so please, shut up,go away or speak truth with proof!

      October 12, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Rainer... part of the 70 ad mishap was the uprise of the jews which as the romans said they would do if the jews did this again, they distroyed the second temple, which was only just finished.. sucks because i would have loved to see it, not just the temple mount and the Dome of the Rock. which is also very beautiful. Did you know that they didn't travel thru the Red sea as thought but the Reed sea which there is a stop at which the 2 banks are so close that at low tide one can easly walk across, and the stuff we have found at the bottom of the Red sea can be part of the same event by looking at the fact that Moses was the military leader for Egypt befors his calling home, and so he would have known all the in's and outs of the land, so once he marched across the sea he marched north along its bank which becomes the Red sea's bank of course this eggs on the Pharoh(i can't spell) and he goes and gives it a try, we have found loads of the timeline chariots and horse bones down there.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @hippy: I said "At best you can say that Jesus came from a mistranslation of a mistranslation." So thanks for reiterating exactly what I previously said. The point of my post was not to argue the semantics of his name, just to point out that you're dumb for trying to correct people and act like you are smarter, know more about their religion, and hence you're correct on all your points. Once again, you're extremely ignorant and narrow minded (but you claim the complete opposite, what a surprise).

      October 12, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Chuckles

      Really Folks?

      You know, Jesus Christ translates to "Anointed One" so the name is actually more of a ti.tle, of course jesus wasn't his real name, the folks who believe it is need to read their bibles more often.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • fred

      Since we seem to picking on details this morning, I say no veh mon to yo spelling correction of Yahweh. But, if you want it yo weh be my guest that is the spelling in yo country but not my German Bible. Now that we have that out of the veh why do you imply Christ never existed? He did exist and most reputable Historians agree he was; at least a preacher, had a following and died at the order of Pilate. Is this not commonly accepted in the U.S. ?

      October 12, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • J.W

      Jesus could still be his real name even though it means something else. We don't call Ndamakong Suh 'House of Spears' Suh even though that is what Ndamakong means in the native language.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Fascist Poet

      Dear hippie poet,
      Yahveh is completely acceptable, just another step in the transliteration evolution, i assume you know all about this as you seem so intent on dazzling the computer screen masses with your staggering depth and profundity. Then again i wouldn't have said anything in the first place because the spelling really isn't all that important.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • heavenlyfolkNOT

      Christians aren't the heavenly folk....they are the annoying folk. I personally met Jesus, and he was very egotistical, and surrounded by heckling annoying gabby Christians laughing hatefully. It appears that Jesus was gifted in the fourth dimension. However, his political views and philosophy are dated. Clearly Jesus was the inside job of the year "0". Jesus is a snake oil salesman. And although he broke on through to the other side like Jim Morrison and didn't fear the reaper like the Blue Oyster Cult, it is so...that he is NO Messiah. He is a phoney, and as a result the less enlightened among us today still plant their head up their a** and are of no assistence fighting the oil monopolies and ending the wars they cause. You want a Messiah? Maybe Nikola Tesla and run cars, homes, and businesses on Water. End pollution, end war, end terror by breaking middle eastern petroleum based economies etc etc. The 911 inside job and Iraq war were NOT even necessary, and neither is Jesus. Quit fearing the past, and live in the present with the rest of us. Cheers.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • hippypoet


      @Fascist Poet, LOL yes it is accecptable ...whats not ok it the way you spelt my name, hippypoet with a y not ie... but its ok.

      the only reason why i even said something in the first place was a Rabbi once told me that to spell Yahweh with a V was the moabite form, the lost tribe and eternal enemy of the chosen people. that is all

      October 12, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @hippy-"first jesus never existed, his name was joshua."

      Neither did Joshua. You know who ppl are referring to when they say Jesus. Why bring up Joshua? Heck..even you are wrong there...it's Yeshua.
      Now plz don't go down the road of saying that you are translating Yeshua to Joshua because you are condemning ppl from using the name Jesus which is just a translation from the latin that came from the greek that came from the hebrew.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Uncouth Swain... dude, its different spelling of the exect same name, its even said the same way...so its joshua for those who can't read proper Hebrew. just said the name Joseph, its spelt with a Y instead of a J, sounds and spellings don't always work together...for instance, we are writing in a tongue that has silent letters – what the fuk is up with that, like there is really a need to have a letter in a word if the letter doesn't make a sound. the anicent did this, they didn't use letters where one didn't say the letter .

      October 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  19. Bo

    Hippy if you're so enlightend, why do make such stupid remarks?

    October 12, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • hippypoet

      so you agree that i am so elightened, and me of course being so, i have to wonder why such a small creature of non enlightened status is asking me why i do something...as if you could possibly grasp the intentions of ME! such argance! LOL

      October 12, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  20. hippypoet

    "in exchange for a single slender young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit." sounds s e xually motivated!

    October 12, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • meme

      It was a deal with the devil – Hamas

      October 12, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Watch for the special "release" edition of his swimsuit calendar, just in time for the new year!

      October 12, 2011 at 10:24 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.