Cancelled: Redeeming Hostages in the Jewish Tradition

January 9, 2024 10:30 am

With Rabbi Jamie Kotler

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 
10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Please note that this class has been canceled.

Since the brutal Hamas attack on October 7, when 240 hostages were taken into captivity in Gaza, we have been in intense negotiations for their release. It is believed that 130 hostages remain in Gaza. Tanach has several stories of hostage-taking, and the Talmud has much to say about it as well. Medieval commentators, like Maimonides, offer their insights as well. Difficult questions are raised: Should we “pay” for hostage release? Who is obligated to pay? How much? Should the level of one’s education or social standing affect the amount? Is this a private obligation, or a societal one, and does that affect how we think about payment? What are the implications inherent in these payments? What are the incentives and disincentives? Should some hostages be released when it is not possible to release all of them?

These questions resound with us today. Join us for learning and discussion as we probe this difficult issue.