The weekly publication Sichat HaShavua, issued by the Chabad movement, recently featured an editorial discussing the commandment of releasing hostages.

Rabbi Menachem Brod, the author, highlights the limitations of this commandment as established by the Mishnah. He advocates against yielding to those who insist on striking deals at any cost.

Brod emphasizes the importance of treating the families of those abducted on October 7 with utmost sensitivity, while acknowledging the significance of ransoming captives in Judaism.

However, he references the Mishnah's cautionary stance: "They do not ransom captives above their value for the sake of correcting the world."

This principle warns against setting excessively high ransoms, which could incentivize more kidnappings.

The editorial challenges the portrayal of a deal with Hamas to release hostages as a reflection of Jewish values and mutual responsibility.

Brod argues that Judaism urges resistance against demands that could prove destructive to society at large.

He reflects on the past campaign for the release of Gilad Shalit: "In retrospect, was it right to release Sinwar and hundreds of other murderers from prison? Did saving the life of one soldier justify the many sacrifices and terrible bloodshed that this release brought?"

Brod asserts that the lives of both southern and northern residents are equally precious as those of the hostages.

He concludes, "There is no alternative but to end the war by defeating the enemy and completely dismantling the bloodthirsty terrorist organization. This is the sole path to securing the release of the abducted and ensuring security for years to come."