Join Fox News for access to this content
Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account - free of charge.
By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.
Please enter a valid email address.
By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.

"You shall not go about spreading slander among your people; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake" (Leviticus 19:16). 

This verse comes from Leviticus, the third book of the Torah, or Old Testament. 

Leviticus means "of the Levites," one of the tribes of Israel, says the website Bible Study Tools. While the Book of Exodus provided instruction for building the tabernacle, "Leviticus gives the laws and regulations for worship there, including instructions on ceremonial cleanness, moral laws, holy days, the sabbath year, and the Year of Jubilee," says the same source. 

IN ISRAEL, FRANKLIN GRAHAM AND SAMARITAN'S PURSE DONATE AMBULANCES, HONOR LIVES LOST TO TERROR 

The lessons from Leviticus can be applied to situations today, said Jonathan Greenberg, an ordained Reform rabbi from Chicago. He's also an advisor to a private family charitable foundation.

"Throughout Jewish history, our communities — almost always small in number and without the ability to defend ourselves — have been targeted for kidnapping and ransom by surrounding populations," said Greenberg.

Leviticus split with Jonathan Greenberg

The book of Leviticus provides important lessons for the Jewish people, especially when it comes to protecting the lives of others, Jonathan Greenberg, a Reform rabbi from Chicago, told Fox News Digital. (iStock/Jonathan Greenberg)

The most notable example of this, he said, was the kidnapping of Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg, who was imprisoned in Alsace in the late 13th century. 

Rabbi Meir "refused to allow the Jewish community to pay an exorbitant price for his freedom," said Greenberg. "Fourteen years later, Rabbi Meir's body was returned to the Jewish community for burial after a ransom was paid. We value life and the vessel in which it resides." 

FAITH FOR CHRISTIANS MEANS KEEPING A FOCUS ON 'LIFE THAT IS EVERLASTING,' SAYS CALIFORNIA PROFESSOR

"Pidyon shvuyim" or the release of captives is "a religious obligation of the highest priority," said Greenberg. 

The directive to not "stand by idly" when life is at stake is clear in Leviticus, he stressed, and even more so in the Talmud, the main source of Jewish law.

The Talmud "says that captivity is worse than death and anyone who delays in paying ransom for captives is like a murderer."

Ofri Bibas Levy holds posters depicting her missing brother Yarden who was kidnapped by Hamas along with his wife and two children

Over 100 hostages remain held against their will in Gaza since the Oct. 7 attack, said Greenberg. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)

"Today, there are some 130 Israeli and dual-nationality hostages remaining in Gaza, including six Americans. Dozens of them are believed to be dead," said Greenberg.

With the clear directive in Leviticus and the Talmud to rescue captives, one could wonder "why has Israel not opened its prisons and bank accounts to make a trade happen," he said.  

The Talmud "says that captivity is worse than death and anyone who delays in paying ransom for captives is like a murderer."

The painful lessons of the past — including a 2011 prisoner exchange for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and the death of Rabbi Meir — still hold true today. 

CHILDREN HELD HOSTAGE BY TERROR GROUP: 'BRING THEM HOME NOW' SAYS IT WON'T REST UNTIL ALL ARE SAFELY RETURNED

"[Shalit] had been held in Gaza for more than five years and the Israeli public was largely, if reluctantly, in favor of the deal," said Greenberg. "Among those released was Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas mastermind of the Oct. 7 massacres." 

Demonstrators attend an

"The world should not doubt the commitment of Israelis — indeed, of all Jews — to see our hostages returned to us from the clutches of Hamas," Jonathan Greenberg told Fox News Digital. (Jennifer Mitchell for Fox News Digital)

In the late 1200s, "Rabbi Meir refused to allow the community to pay the price for his release because he knew it would incentivize the seizure of others," said Greenberg. 

"This exception is codified in Jewish law." 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

The desperation to rescue the hostages must be balanced with "the likelihood that our payment will redound to our eventual detriment," he said. 

"And the Jewish state exists, in no small part, so that Jews are never again so powerless that our loved ones can be stolen away from us consequence-free by hostile neighbors while we and our co-religionists are left to scrounge together enough of a ransom to release them," he also said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

With the lessons of history in mind, "the world should not doubt the commitment of Israelis — indeed, of all Jews — to see our hostages returned to us from the clutches of Hamas," said Greenberg.

"But not at any price." 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle

드라마 다시보기 NBA중계Link vào w88 mới nhất để chơi cá cược thể thao trực tuyến với nhà cái uy tín W88. Đây là những link w88 đượ cập nhật thường xuyên. Link vào w88 để chơi casino trực tuyến, cá cược thể thao, poker, băn cá. Hãy vào trang web nay để xem các link w88 của nhà cái uy tín nhất Việt Nam hiện nay. Cung cấp link w88 trên máy tính để bàn, link w88 trên điện thoại nên rất thuận tiện cho việc chơi cá cược trực tuyến. Hãy truy cập link w88 ở đây để ủng nhé. Link đăng nhập w88 mới nhất 2019
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news