Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger praised the prisoner swap deal on Wednesday afternoon that will bring home kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit after five years. He waited to congratulate the Schalits ahead of Succot at their protest tent.
Metzger said he felt he was closing a circle, having also visited the Schalits in Mitzpe Hila in the days after the kidnapping. Metzger added that it was fitting that the news of Gilad's return came just before Succot, "the time of our joy."
The chief rabbi also pointed out that in the gematria
, the number of days Gilad has been in captivity, 1935, add up to 18, the Hebrew symbol for life.