If you think that’s an easy statement to proclaim, try it. It’s not easy.
But what’s the alternative? As the Sages rhetorically ask: Is your blood redder than anyone else’s? (They weren’t referring to anemics.)
I won’t say I’m a hero. I’m not looking forward to being kidnapped. I know that if I’d survive it and am kept hostage, my prayers will improve. But I hope that G^d will be pleased enough with what I can do as a free man.
I know that my kids would suffer tremendously if I were to be captured and held prisoner by a gang of murderers. But they’d also understand that it’s my life and I have to live with myself afterward. And they will know that I will never die unless against my will and won’t agree to die, period.
But, I’m not going to break into prison to free a bunch of un-repented Jew-hating convicted murderers, also not under duress.
If I can’t be freed in my own merit, so be it. Maybe bomb the capturers to smithereens. If I die in the bombardment, know, that in their hands, I was as good as dead anyway. And that way, their friends might learn that the only price for kidnapping an Israeli Jew is death.
With all the good we try to do in our lives, sometimes only our martyrdom will give us wings (pardon the pun). Don’t get me wrong. I’ll do almost anything to not die, even a martyr. But if it would happen, I can tell you, there are worse ways to die. (Maybe then, I’ll finally get the readership I wanted all my life.)
Jonathan Pollard always refused to be swapped for anyone. Good for him!
I don’t judge others who’d happily (or unhappily) agree to be swapped. Or those who seek this for captured loved ones. I’m not judging them. We each need to decide for ourselves. But I say: not even over my dead body.
Talking of which. There is no greater honor or burial for a Jew than your body held hostage by antisemites. Right under the L^rd’s Wings.
We can always use another heroic Jew in our history books. And let the world know what we Jews really are about.