Rabbis call for release of soldier

Metzger appeals to religious leadership in PA to hasten soldier's return.

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger called on the religious leaders in the Palestinian Authority to work immediately for the release of the kidnapped soldier in Gaza. He asked the leaders to ensure the soldier's safety and to provide him with the medical treatment he needs. "I appeal to the sympathy of the children of Abraham the Patriarch to return the soldier to his family," said Metzger. "That is the God- given commandment to you at this crucial hour." On the eve of the new Jewish month (Rosh Chodesh) it is a custom among some Jews to fast. Metzger called on those fasting to pray for the speedy recovery of the kidnapped soldier, Gilad ben Aviva, and for his imminent release. Menachem Fruman, an Orthodox settler rabbi who has advocated diplomatic and spiritual dialogue with the Hamas, said he sent a message to leading religious leaders in the Palestinian Authority to bring about the release of the soldier. So far, however, his attempts have been unsuccessful.