Questions about armed conflict and armed services.

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4
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2answers
113 views

Why did it take so long to conquer and divide the land?

We learn that Yehoshua took 7 years to conquer the land and another 7 to divide it. Why did both of these take so long? Conquest (at least from the details of the description in the text) took at ...
7
votes
1answer
90 views

Why was Mesha king of Moav successful?

King Mesha of Moab fought against the kings of Yisrael, Yehuda and Edom (2 Melachim chapter 3). The navi Elisha prophecies, under oath, that the Jews will be successful. However at the end of the ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Difference between the spoils in Yericho and Ai

Why by the plunder of Yericho (Yehoshua chapter 6) the Jews were forbidden to take anything, but by Ai they were commanded to take the spoils (Yehoshua 8:6)? Any insight would be appreciated.
11
votes
3answers
253 views

Why was there a distinction made for women captives?

In Numbers 31, God tells the Israelites to wipe out the Midianites (and incidentally, Balaam) by killing every male. But they spared certain women (v17-18): Now therefore kill every male among the ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

War between Ten Tribes and Yehuda

There is a reference to Bereshis Rabba 65:20 and Vayikra Rabba 33:5 to 2 Chronicles 13:17 which says that 500,000 soldiers of the northern tribes killed by the army of Yehuda. The Midrash states that ...
12
votes
3answers
527 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
-1
votes
2answers
146 views

When to go out to fight the enemy?

I'm sure everyone knows what's going on right now in Eretz Yisrael with the rockets being fired at the Israeli population from Gaza and the response of the IDF. I have heard many people say ...
7
votes
2answers
396 views

What is the appropriate response of someone outside Israel during a war?

During a war or large scale military operation what are some of the best things for a person living in chutz l'arertz to do? Is saying tehillim and doing extra chesed enough? Should a person run to ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

What is the correct kavanah when going to war?

I am specifically talking about going to war that is a mitzvah such as the wars fought while conquering Eretz Yisroel in the beginning of the Neviim and the mitzvah we have and will fulfill of ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

How strong was Midian's army?

When Israel took vengeance on Midian they sent 12,000 troops (Numbers 31:4) and prevailed. We aren't told how numerous Midian was, only that the spoils includes 32,000 virgin women (31:35). This ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Killing all of 'Amalek - Mitzvah or Reshuth?

This may be two questions that are closely related. Would engaging in war with 'Amalek without a specific command (a la Shaul) be a Milhemeth Mitzvah or Milhemeth Reshuth? Is killing all of 'Amalek ...
7
votes
3answers
226 views

Why was Kozbi not an eshes yefas toar?

Why was Kozbi bas Tzur not considered an eshes yefas toar (a non-Jewish woman who is taken captive during wartime and is permitted to her captor) who would then be permitted to Zimri? This question ...
8
votes
3answers
181 views

Why does the census “of all who are able to go forth to war” include a few women?

The census in Bamidbar 26 is directed thus: Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all that are able to go ...
7
votes
2answers
255 views

What is the Jewish view on creating an army to defend ourselves against armies?

Jews over the last few thousand years have been persecuted mercilessly! Leaving out making a state for ourselves, is it the wrong haskafah to prepare ourselves with the fighting skills necessary to ...
15
votes
2answers
356 views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army ...
8
votes
1answer
269 views

(Why) is the construction of the 3rd Temple necessary to restore peace in the world?

Is it essential to build the 3rd Temple to restore peace in the world? If so, why? And why can only the Messiah do this? And how should this goal be achieved in a way that keeps everyone happy?
6
votes
3answers
207 views

Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? If so, which one?

I guess this is a two-part question. Are there any sources that support this common maxim? And if so, are there any sources that provide guidance on which enemy we now befriend? If one enemy ...
11
votes
2answers
851 views

Why didn't Shaul kill Agag?

As recorded in I Sh'muel (chapter 15), Shaul, the king, was told by the prophet to destroy the nation of Amalek from man to woman, youngster to suckling, ox to sheep, camel to donkey. So he ...
8
votes
1answer
807 views

Fighting Wars on Shabbat

As I mentioned in another question, I was reading the Book of Maccabees over Shabbat (I and II). In the book of Maccabees, it mentions that early on in the struggle, there were a group of Jews hiding ...
11
votes
1answer
78 views

Description of what Yaakov's sons plundered from Shechem

Gen. 34:28-29 describes how Yaakov's sons plundered the city of Shechem after wiping out its (adult male) inhabitants: אֶת-צֹאנָם וְאֶת-בְּקָרָם וְאֶת-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר בָּעִיר וְאֶת אֲשֶׁר ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

What was the composition of Yaakov's two camps?

In Parshat Vayishlach Yaakov divides his group into two camps so that if one is attacked the other might escape. How did he divide people between them? Did Leah go in one and Rachel in the other, ...
3
votes
2answers
287 views

Should retroactive divorce (a la David & Batsheva) be reinstituted?

Almost all the commentaries on David and Batsheva's seeming indiscretion follow Rashi who points out during that time a retroactive divorce was given upon the husband leaving for war, therefore ...
9
votes
1answer
202 views

Why was Shlomo more worthy to build the Beis Hamikdash than David?

We see throughout the Navi that David does not want people killed on his behalf (Saul, Ish Boshet...) yet he does not get to build the Temple and the most common reason that David is told no by Hashem ...
11
votes
1answer
121 views

Were Avraham's tactics in rescuing Lot typical of the time?

Parshat Lech L'cha describes how Lot was captured in the battle of four kings against five kings. When Avraham heard, he mounted a night-time attack to rescue him. This got me wondering: was a ...
10
votes
2answers
469 views

Halachic Considerations for Women in the IDF

For a religious girl going into the IDF very soon, there are a few questions that are often asked: Especially in active units, wearing a skirt while on base can be a problem: While crawling, ...
4
votes
2answers
454 views

English translation of Sefer Machaneh Yisrael

Is there an English translation (preferably online) of the Chofetz Chaim's sefer Machaneh Yisrael (a guide for Jewish army conscripts), or other English works on the same topic?
3
votes
2answers
379 views

Shabbat restrictions in the Army

Are there any Shabbat restrictions in the army during basic training? If this is only basic training and not war-time is this still considered pekuach-nefesh?
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Yefat To'ar: Only for the Victors

Why does the Torah allow for a יְפַת תֹּאַר only in the case of a victory?
2
votes
1answer
443 views

Bringing a gun into a synagogue

Can you bring a gun into a synagogue? (The question is in reference to Israel.)
6
votes
3answers
208 views

Dovid haMelech and Amalek

In Shmuel Alef chapter 15 Shaul HaMelech (King Saul) loses his kingship because in his battle against Amalek he failed to kill King Agag and saved livestock to offer as sacrifices. Later we find ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

Chanuka - what was the real miracle?

Was the miracle the fact that they found the oil? Was it that the oil lasted all 8 days? Was it that they won the war over the mighty greeks? From the fact that we light menorah, it seems that the ...