Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top


What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve?

I am obviously not talking about the controversial draft. But if a Jew by his own volition wanted to serve in the IDF does he fulfill a Mitzvah DeAroaita. I've heard certain mitzvot like Protecting the Land, or Pikuach Nefesh are cited, but I wanted to know if anyone has any sources from contemporary poskim.


share|improve this question
@TropicanaYid But the urim vtumim weren't available for questions during the Second Temple. Were the Maccabees wrong for fighting the Greeks? – Double AA Jun 11 '14 at 13:19
@Tropicana yid , Its Igros Moshe CM 2:78 ,see also OC 4:75 at end – sam Jun 12 '14 at 1:33
I would also suggest one read his Hilchos Medina hebrewbooks.org/20825 – sam Jun 12 '14 at 1:54
Torahmusings.com just published an article on this today, but many already exist (some positive views from Rav Schachter and Rav Zevin though for different reasons) – Matt Jun 23 '14 at 5:27
@rosenjcb A majority of the citizens of Israel are still Jewish, so על פי רוב you are protecting Jews. Pikuach nefesh comes to mind. So does assisting people do a mitzvah (of ישוב הארץ if you hold that mitzvah is fulfilled in our current situation). – Y ez Jun 26 '14 at 19:37

Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says IDF soldiers may risk their lives to recover the body of a slain comrade because if soldiers think that if they are killed their bodies will be left in the field this would cause a weakening of their combat moral which poses pikuach nephesh to klal yisrael.

From this it seems evident RSZA was of the opinion that the IDF are protecting klal yisrael from a situation of pikuach nephesh and subsequently one can deduce that fighting in the IDF is a mitzva de'oraisa of saving many lives.

RSZA also paskened it is permissible to give maaser money to the IDF because it is le'tzorech mitzva.

share|improve this answer
Hi pcoz. Adding citations to support the claims in this post would make it more usable for us. Thanks. – Double AA Mar 2 at 1:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.