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. Samuel

    Wow, the flawed logic from this rabbi is outstanding.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  2. Gary

    Israel is a nation granted statehood by the UN. It did not push anybody off its land. The Arabs are asking today for what they rejected in 1947 with violence.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Yes and no,

      They still hold the Golan and all of Jerusalem, they took the westbank, gaza and the sinai peninsula but have since returned those (which has never been done in recent memory, a country giving back conquered land for peace they could have attained through war).

      October 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Moosa

      I wish the jews had also bailed out their rabbi Jesus, the son of Mary 2000 years ago from the Romans. Was Jesus life not worth saving????

      October 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      Ridiculous. There's a slow motion ethnic cleansing job in progress.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Siimon

      Gary: Ok if before 1947 Israel pushed no one off their land where did all the arabs go? maybe they magically moved and said here you go... take my farm land... You know it was call Palastine before Israel, and that they used terrorism to take it off them... read your history

      October 16, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  3. Jojorican

    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.

    ...and there lies the real problem- religious leaders citing the same religious texts and coming to very different conclusions with religiously supported "evidence" on both sides...

    Until religion is recognized as the true, ultimate blight on humanity, none of the madness will cease.....

    October 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  4. Bo

    @ Hippy, no, I'm tring to find out what happened to Ezra's temple. It's not the same as Herod's Temple. It took 40 years to build Herod's temple, and that was long after Ezra's temple was built. Actually it seems that Ezra just "rebuilt" Solomom's Temple, none the less, what happend to it?

    October 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Chuckles


      The temple you're referring to was never actually built, the plans were laid out but it never came to fruition, these same plans are supposed to be used by the messiah when he comes back so he can rebuild the temple.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Bo, go here and research... its a great website http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/index.html

      October 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  5. us1776

    Nothing makes sense when you get Religion involved.

    The whole "Invisible Being" thing is a huge scam started tens of thousands of years ago.


    October 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Thank you for your factless opinion.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  6. yaaalif

    "Judaism places ultimate value on human life"what a contradiction?????....what about those Palestinians killed by you.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Howard

      You mean those peaceful people who shoot missiles into Israel?

      October 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • toronto girl

      you mean those same people who send their children as suicide bombers? Yes, they really revere life.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  7. Paul Edwards

    The rabbi said ""Judaism places ultimate value on human life." I suppose that doesn't include Palestinian lives, what with the way the Jews pushed their way into what was once the "Palestinian Mandate" under England, forcing legitimate home and land owners from properties that had been in their families for generations, shoving them into refugee camps that exist to this day, and treating them like nothing more than dogs in the ensuing years. How is that placing "ultimate value in human life?" Oh! There's nothing in the torah about placing any kind of value on QUALITY of life. Just keep them alive...until you decide to take out a few hundred of them.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • chamade

      Ironic, isn't it?

      Then again to be fair, religions by definition care only about their own, everyone else else deserves death, conversion or at best backhanded tolerance until one of the other options are inevitably carried out.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Grr82cu2

      You seem to have conveniently forgotton – that there has NEVER been a nation of "Palestine" – and that today's "Palestinians" are nothing more than Arabs who gradually wandered on to the land of Judah after the Romans defeated the Jews and renamed the land "Palestina" out of anger over their revolt.

      Judah – therefore – was the land of the Hebrews/Jews until that time and their return under the British Mandate sought to return them to their rightful homeland – a homeland that was theirs centuries before any of the current Arabs laid claim to it calling themselves "Palestinians".

      October 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Dean Schneider

      1 jewish life is worth 10000 arabs πŸ™‚

      October 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • William

      You seem to forget the many, many Arab and non-Jewish lives Israelis have saved, from emergency heart surgery of infants in Gaza and Iraq, to earthquake relief search & rescue operations – even in Pakistan and Turkey where they hate Israel. It was the IDF which arrested "Palestinian" youth stone throwers who paralyzed a 5-year-old "Palestinian" girl, and rescued the family from further attacks, saving the young girl's life. It was the IDF who protected "Palestinian" workers and healthcare patients when Hamas lobbed rockets on civilians centers in Israel, or launched attacks on crossing points into Gaza (which afterwards they complained were unjustly closed by Israel).

      Israel never attacked a peaceful people – as shown by the results of the Egypt and Jordan peace deals. But don't let the facts get in your way of a nice racist tirade.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  8. karl

    "Judaism places ultimate value on human life" said Ascherman, of Rabbis for Human Rights. Tell that to the Palestinians killed in Cast Lead. Israeli soldiers are just as much "terrorists" as these "prisoners.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • William

      Hamas admitted in December 2010 that over 1000 of the 1400 killed in Cast Lead were indeed terrorists from their group. That aligns with exactly what Israel told the Goldstone investigation team from the US, just one of the reasons why Goldstone rescinded his support for the report earlier this year because of obvious mis-represented facts.

      Go ask the Gazans why they would allow Hamas to build tunnels under civilian apartment blocks, hide weapons in homes and mosques, and place powerful IEDs in civilian areas to target Israel's army. According to the current definition, its Hamas who are the terrorists and not the IDF. It seems the US and EU also agree on that point.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  9. hippypoet

    @Bo, hey what happened to you, once i very clearly proved you wrong you just give up and go away.... sad, and here i thought one with such a high IQ would say smart things and produce a proper arguement.... guess i was right to think that your IQ was just a number you typed in to feel smart even thou you are far from it. or prove me wrong!

    October 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  10. Sam

    Judaism places ultimate value on human life.
    Please note that "human life" refers to jewish individuala. The rest of us are "Goyim" and Gentiles somehow sub-human whose who;e purpose is to serve the Jews.
    If they really valued human life as others define human, then how can they explain the so very many they killed in cold bold in Palestine and the middle east. Think of Sjeik Yassine

    October 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • William

      Please do note that your claim is unfounded and a strong indication of your own racist tendencies against Jews.

      When Israelis send medical teams to Haiti or pay for the travel, lodging, and surgery of toddlers with heart conditions, they do not ask whether they are Jewish or not. They save a life – full stop! There have even been cases of Israeli doctors working to save the life of a "Palestinian" terrorist in the next room from the Israeli victims he targeted in the attack.

      Your ignorance, which usually goes hand in hand with racism, is astounding....and sad.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • toronto girl

      hey sam, what's a dhimmi?? For those of you who do not know, a 'dhimmi" is someone who lives among Muslims and is subject to certain laws and fines. You are 'cared for' whether you like it or not. You are "protected" whether you like it or not. It also means you can't worship as you see fit, certain professions are forbidden and in medieval times (and probably quite recently) you had to pay a jizya or head tax. Muslims also call non-muslims 'donkeys and pigs" so I don't think they should be talking about the value of human life when they also send their children as suicide bombers.

      October 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  11. Shahid Sadiq

    Judaism places ultimate value on JEWISH life NOT human life. The biblical quote of treating the rest ( Gentiles ) as dogs is very true.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • chad

      If you want to know what the source of the problem in the middle east is, ask yourself these simple questions:
      1. If all of Israel disarmed tomorrow, what would happen?
      2. if all of the Arab world disarmed tomorrow, what would happen?

      Answer: if Israel unilaterally disarmed they would be annihilated within 48 hours. If the Arab world unilaterally disarmed, nothing would happen, peace in the region.

      Take your anti-semitism some where else

      October 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Buttocks

      Great logic Chaddie, but what if they both disarmed? I stagger to your cro magnitude.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • agarron

      Gotcha my little Arab Nazi Jew hater......lying again!
      Israel is USUALLY the 1st country to dispatch rescue teams to countries struck with disasters.
      Israel is a leading country in research medicines.
      Israel is the ONLY country in the M.E. that takes in refugees.....even MUSLIM refugees my Muslim NAZI Jew hating~ friend.
      You gotta come right man.
      Get some happy pills.
      Go to gym.
      Do some charity work.
      Snap out of the 'Islamic' (we gonna rule the world) funk man.
      G-d rules the world pal.
      Your job here is just "be nice".
      Can you do that job?

      October 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  12. chad

    One Israeli soldier is equal to 1000 Palestinians

    sounds about right πŸ™‚

    October 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  13. devil ariel sharon

    what a hypocracy,"Judaism places ultimate value on human life" they prefer life of one killer (they called soldier) over thousands of innocent palestians,that proves historical curse of God on sons of israel,they will never get a land on this earth but if get some (that they did with unjustice) will never get peace on it.
    See it to believe it.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • tad pole

      With all due respect, your statement seems slightly biased.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mupp

      I don't think anyone is innocent in that region anymore. Not the Israelis nor the Palestinians. To think anything else is extremely naive. But this step in prisoner exchange is better than nothing. It needs to happen.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I'm confused, when did at least 270 palestinians that murdered israelis in cold blood become innocent? Please explain and clarify (To do that you'll have to pull your head out of your ass, spit the sh.it from your mouth to speak)

      October 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • chad

      If you want to know what the source of the problem in the middle east is, ask yourself these simple questions:
      1. If all of Israel disarmed tomorrow, what would happen?
      2. if all of the Arab world disarmed tomorrow, what would happen?

      Answer: if Israel unilaterally disarmed they would be annihilated within 48 hours. If the Arab world unilaterally disarmed, nothing would happen, peace in the region.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • P00P on You

      Wow aren't you ignorant. Israel will SHlT on those palestinean terrorists. Israel seeks peace, palenstine does the exact opposite.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • William

      Well, your "name" says it all. Apparently you were part of the terror groups that got your asses kicked by Ariel Sharon.

      If you're Lebanese, then best you focus on the Phalangists who killed civilians in Sabra and Shantilla refugee camps which was not part of the agreement between them and Israel, to go after the "Palestinian" terrorists who killed the the Phalangist leader. Ariel Sharon was never deemed guilty of committing or planning that massacre, only of not knowing how blood-thirsty and full of revenge Arabs are.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  14. Un-Avarage Joe

    yeah right.... "makes sense in a jewish context"...
    the only context it makes sense in is if you're an inbred redneck with no understanding of math whatsoever.
    since when does 1=1027?!?!

    the israeli government released 270 inmates with life sentences – that's 270 murderers if the life sentence doesn't ring the the bell.
    the hammas initial demand was much lower, however because of the hype surrounding the kidnapping in israel, the hammas raised it's demands. that's economics 101 – supply and demand. if the naive israelies were smart enough to shut their mouths during the negotiations they might have had gilad walking among them much earlier and for a lower price.

    however what happened in reality was that protesters raised the hammas' demands tenfold, the israeli government refused to initiate a military opperation to rescue gilad – which is the logical solution to this crisis ( and the israelies had their chances during operation cast led and even afterwards... in fact, the israeli intelligence knew and still knows the exact location of shalit, but since the failure of the nahson vaxman rescue operation the israellie's government position on rescue operations changed dramatically.) and now israel has to fend off an extra 270 terrorists off of it's borders, as if it's border police's job wasn't difficult in the first place...

    now to give you an example of the aftermath of such a desicion – during the elhanan tenenboim exchange, israel gave 400 inmates for elhanan. as a result 27 israelies lost their life at terrorist attacks conducted by some of the inmates they released during the exchange. are 27 innocent, free, civilians are worth a 1 kidnapped soldier's life? i don't think so.

    So dear rabbi – if the value of human life is really what drives your desicion making mechanism, then you should really improve your math. because there is no mathematical possibility in which 1 is worth 27, or 50, or 100 and 1027.
    And it's because of people like you – people who think subjectivelly about strictly objective manners, that innocent civilians lose their life by the hands of ruthless, mindless, religious fanatics who will stop at nothing before taking another person's life for the chance of being called a "hero" by his comrades.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  15. tutuvabene

    So, one Jew is worth 1000 Arabs? Seems like that's always been Israel's worldview.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • William

      Israel thought it was 1-to-1. Apparently the Arabs, through Hamas, believe it's 1000 Arabs to 1 Jewish life. Blame them you racist ingrate, that was their demand.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  16. Bo

    @ Chuckles & Hippy, you must have missed something. There was Solomon's Temple, then the temple that was built by the Jews returning from Babylonian captivity I think about BC 457. That temple was destroyed, and I forget my secular history, I think by the Greeks. I'll look it up, but that temple as recorded in either Nehemah or Ezra, was not nearly so nice as Solomon's Temple, and Herod's Temple was even more beautiful (according to historians) than Solomon's Temple. Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple are the temples the people weap about.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • hippypoet

      "When the Temple is completed, Solomon inaugurates it with prayer and sacrifice, and even invites nonΒ­Jews to come and pray there. He urges God to pay particular heed to their prayers: "Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and revere You, as does Your people Israel; and they will recognize that Your name is attached to this House that I have built" (I Kings 8:43).

      Until the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians some four hundred years later, in 586 B.C.E., sacrifice was the predominant mode of divine service there. Seventy years later, a second Temple was built on the same site, and sacrifices again resumed. During the first century B.C.E., Herod greatly enlarged and expanded this Temple. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the failure of the Great Revolt."

      from http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/The_Temple.html

      October 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Almost Bo, but you are most certainly mistaken,

      The greeks didn't destroy th temple, they just trashed it and gutted it, but it still stood for a little longer before it was destroyed. To my knowledge there have only ever been 2 temples and the third one will be built once the messiah comes. The big controversy right now is that a lot of orthodox jews want to build the temple now, as a way of calling the messiah to them, rather than waiting with their thumbs up their ass. The issue is, theologically it would go against the prophecies and so would be destroyed most likely and not be rebuilt to its former glory until the messiah comes, there's also the issue that to rebuild the third temple they would need to knock down the Dome of the Rock (among other things) because the temple is pretty massive, and something tells me that muslims wouldn't exactly welcome the idea. Also, it's interesting to note that if the temple is ever rebuilt, Judaism would fundementally change from how you know it today. Animal sacrifice would be reinsti.tuted as well as a preistly class of people that can only be born into it, so everyone would have to try and trace their lineage all the way back to Aaron (moses brother).

      October 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @chuckles, i was under the impression that only Aaron's son survived, not Aaron himself, is that correct... i need to do more research now. πŸ™‚ yay for me!

      October 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I'm a little confused about your question. Aaron was the first priest and the one to do all the prayers for the tabernackle, so when the temple was built I think he was alraedy dead and it descendents took on the duty, but Aaron was the first.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @chuckles, yeah l just read about it.. lol, he had 3 sons, 2 of which died for bringing forbidden fire to an alter... that leaves one... i am having trouble finding his name thou... and yes Aaron was dead before the tabernakle was even built, but he laid down the proper prayers and the like. so i still need the last son that kept his teachings and his line going. its proving differcult....again, i suck at spelling, sry.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • hippypoet

      oh i am wrong, he had 4 sons, 2 were struck dead by god the other two became priests like the daddy-o .... however i am reading about how Aaron and Moses were presented to the king of Egypt and both laid into him as a keeper of there fellow man, and to LET MY PEOPLE GO! lol sry.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Interesting, I knew about the sons part, but I guess my confusion lies in what abernackle are you talking about. The very very first one was built imemdiately after Moses brought down the 10 commandments and I know Aaron was alive then, however THE tabernackle that we can glean from the text on what it eventually grew into might have taken a little longer to build and Aaron was dead by then. I'm not terribly sure, after the exodus my knowledge on the torah gets a little fuzzy.

      Also no worries on the spelling, it'sall good.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yea, i am getting confused now with when events go down with the very very long lives of these folks.... however i have studied that the first one built was only built as a tempary one and therefore was built with wood and earth. so that implies that a second one will be built and will be made out of stone as to be more perminent. i don't know... i need a rabbi to talk to now to clear some things up. LOL

      October 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Haha naw, they all give you differing opinons anyways. You basically have the right of it though. Aaron was around for a while, they built the first one, he was the first priest and then died, they built the second one, moved it around still and then brought it to Jerusalem where they set up camp finally and built the first temple around it. Aaron's descendents were and will always be the only people that can be priests and perform the rituals. After the destruction of the second temple however, the Sarcens (I totally spelled that wrong) and the rabbi's basically went to battle as warring factions to control the open position as religious leaders. The Rabbi's won by using the torah and mishnah and showing how the jewish people can still pray and worship god without the temple and made the entire process a lot more accessable to the people and not localized to a specific place.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  17. tom yuan

    I am happy for Gilad and his family. Israel's govt. value all its citizens. Likewise hamas should come to terms with the Israelis.
    There is no victory for both parties, let this be a step to peace. For the released prisoners please do not revert to revenge.
    Israel is always willing to talk peace and hamas should not miss this oppurtunity. God bless both the israelis and the hamas.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  18. J.W

    Chuckles I had a question for you I am glad you are here. If I am not mistaken, the Christians and Jews have the same requirements for the messiah. Which prophecies do the Jews feel that Jesus did not fulfill? Somebody told me that the book of Wisdom contained prophecies that Jesus fulfilled that the Jews did not want people to know about, and that is one reason why the 7 extra books are not in the Hebrew Bible. I have read the verses but I do not see it. It looks like they are just a reiteration of the same prophecies.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Yes and no. The issue here is generally that some of the christian prophecies about the messiah was made AFTER jesus lived and died, so it almost seems ridiculous to talk about something in the past and then say a new prophecy popped up "before" he was born and we learned about it afterwards and he just so happens to fulfill it.

      Other prophecies that jesus didn't fulfill is bringing all the jews back to israel (literally transporting them), being a great warrior leader, his lineage is definitly a problem because some claim that he was born of kings through his fathers line (josephs) but since he was emaculately conceived, then he doesn't have any of joseph's blood of genes or lineage.

      I think he did fulfill the riding a donkey through a gate in jerusalem though, then again if you know the prophecy, claim to fulfill the prophecy, that one seems pretty simple to do on your own. There are others that I can't remember off the top of my head, however anyone claiming that the jews are hiding prophecies because they refuse to admit jesus is the messiah is like when a believer comes on here and claims that all athesits actually do believe in god, they just want to rebel.

      There's also the part that when the messiah comes, he'll bring peace and prosperity to the world, as you can see from the year 0 BCE up till now we've definitly seen an upsurge in peace and prosperity, but it's far from being ubiqitous.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Jezmundberserker

      The messiah (or mashiach) is supposed to be a "son of David" not the Son of God as Jesus supposedly claimed. There's also the thing about the Third Temple, which is needed for this messiah to come, has not yet been built. I guess for Jews to consider Jesus as their messiah, this temple should have been built by now. There are a few other discrepancies, but these are the ones I remember right now.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Kouki

      You are greatly mistaken and the Christian Messiah did not even come close to the Messiah of Judea. Christ did not unite the Tribes of Israel, Christ does not inspire an army to end occupation by Rome. Christ was not the bloodline of David.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Kouki research king solomon and then compare him to your jesus... everything the great king does, jesus does as well, it was just a way of comparing and connecting the two, so to give rise to the idea that jesus was from the line david.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • J.W

      As far as the blood line of Jesus, is it possible that there is a mistake in Luke's genealogy, and that Luke's account is really Mary's blood line?

      October 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Well thats the problem. Off the top of my head I don't remember it exactly, but one author claims the lineage comes from Joseph and another says Mary is part of the bloodline (which would then make Jesus a descendent of David), the problem is that it's conflicting viewpoints. It's also interesting to note two other things. 1) going along that line, it's interesting that the authors even knew the lineage of Mary or Joseph and they also make it a point to include that jesus has a royal bloodline (presumably to hammer home that Jesus fulfills the prophecies) and the second part is that the messiah is said to be born in Bethlehem (which is widely accepted that jesus was) and Bethlehem is Josephs (not mary's) fathers land, but they do end up living in Nazareth, so it makes you wonder a couple of things, why take a very pregnant mary to Bethlehem to have her son? Some people say its because it was Joseph's fathers land and that's where the descedents of David dwell, but again we run into the problem that if Joseph is david's descendent, then it has nothing to do with Jesus.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • J.W

      So when you say the prophecies were added later, do you mean the prophecies themselves? Or the fulfillment of the prophecies?

      October 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Both, sort of

      The specific prophecies you are referring to, just the fulfillment was added later. I mean, we know that the new testement was written and edited after jesus' life and death. It's not hard to jigger around some names and facts to shoehorn the guy you believe to be gods son into a couple of prophecies.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  19. Bo

    @ Chuckels 11:39 I do hope you are wrong, but I have somwhat of an evil mind too. I was thinking the Isaelites ought to return some of the 1000 with remote controled, concealed, strapped on, or "underwear" bombs. After all, isn't that the way some of them captured? I mean they had bombs that failed. Send them back with good bombs, that won't fail. I know, I know! That won't happen!

    October 12, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Chuckles

      I hope I'm wrong too, it would be a very tragic ending that this boy would be killed so close to freedom, however the thing that separates the israeli's from the palestinians is they do not have a constant barrage of suicide bombers terrorizing palestinians on a daily basis, the palestinians do that to themselves and then blame it on israel for making them do it.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @chuckles, thats like saying a pen writes because it has ink!

      October 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Nick

      Its funny how ignorant or missinformed some people are. now the story is that the ugly palestinians are killing poor israelis!!! i invite all those who need to see what actually happens to visit palestine. and those who really want to see the nazis and how they came back in the new form: ISRAELIS to visit the OCCUPIED land.
      those freed prisoners had lives that were distroyed by israeli occupation, and then they became "terrorists".

      October 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Wow you are so informed! The nice and peaceful palestinians sure have done absolutely nothing to warrent their treatment right? I mean they definitly haven't kidnapped, killed, maimed jewish men, women and children. The definitly don't lob rockets into city centers from schools and hospitals so they can try and kill as many civilians while using their own as shields. Those horrible israelis, doing everything they can to protect themselves without literally annhilating these folks, for shame!

      October 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Nick

      Chuck: again, these cities you are talking about used to be their cities before the jews occupied the palestinian land... so to make things clear, these terrorist palestinians are launching rockets towards their occupied cities trying to recapture them... if jews wish not to get hurt, probably they shouldnt be wr they dont belong! it would be best for them to go back to europe, russia, and wr ever they came from. and dont tell me that this is your promised land PLEASE! i dont recall ever hearing about God working in real estate business.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @nick, i'll make this quick... god said to moses, take my chosen people to the promised land... did you read that strange word, land... think about it, that kinda sounds like real estate to me.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Nick – The Jews were originally there before the Palenstineans so you argument about being there first is moot. Aside from that, it's clear to anyone with a brain that Israel seeks peace and Palestine doesn't. Question for you; what religion are 99.99% of the suicide bombers and crazy people on this planet?

      October 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Alright nicky boy

      First and foremost, read the bible, god clearly states that israel is the promised land, it's in genesis. But that's a stupid argument to use a facetious book as a way to lay claim over land. Alfonzo is correct however that the jews, regardless of being promised the land by god or not, were there first, so your arguement in that regard is idiotic at best. Your other claim about rockets being fired at "occupied cities to recapture them" is breathtakingly stupid. These cities didn't exist in Palestine before the jews came (except jerusalem, which is the only city not being attacked) so to recapture a city that was never theres doesn't make sense. They also aren't at war and taking or losing land, they are firing these rockets to murder and destroy, they have no intention of taking a city after the launched rockets fly.

      Stop with the revisionist history to cast the palestinians as the victims, it will never work.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      I highly doubt Nick will respond since he just got owned and has no basis for his pathetic self defensive view.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • toronto girl

      @nick – the only city the Arabs ever built in Palestine (even under the Ottoman Empire) was Acre. There is archiaeological and historical proof that jews lived in that area long before Mohammed was born!!

      October 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  20. juan sol

    I dont believe that, so many times in history Jews have sacrificed even their own for certain goals, can go back to Joseph, so for them human life is so expendable as to any other group on earth

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

      "So the Torah differentiates between a Jew and a Gentile with regards to the killing of a man."



      October 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
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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.