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According to the meforshim (Rashi, Rabbi Munk, Rav Hirsch, etc.) Shimon's status was that of "honored hostage". An example of this status can be seen from the history of the Roman empire. The hostages were treated as honored "guests" with the status of the nobility, except they could not leave. It is not the same as a prisoner. One of the Ohr Sameach ...

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