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Why does the Torah allow for a יְפַת תֹּאַר only in the case of a victory?

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Can you source that fact into the question? –  Double AA May 6 '12 at 18:27

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The Meshech Chachmah answers with a very simple Pshat. If they did not win, she was used as a bargaining chip in the hostage exchange that happens after the battle.

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This is a good answer to those who say not to exchange ANY prisoners for Gilad SHalit. And I stress "ANY" –  SimchasTorah Aug 15 '10 at 13:24
    
not necessarily. The whole question re. Gilad Shalit is whether releasing him will cause Hamas to take more hostages. If they will, then even one for one will set a dangerous precedent. –  Shmuel Brin May 6 '12 at 18:11

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