Questions about armed conflict and armed services.

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2
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185 views

Should one living in Israel leave?

The Torah commands us, ‘Venishmartem meod lenafshotechem' ['You shall take care exceedingly of your lives' — Deut. 4:15). It seems anyone living in Israel is in grave danger due to the recent ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Does the book of Daniel accurately date the war with Babylon?

According to Wikipedia: The introductory verses tell how, in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (606 BCE), Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish ...
3
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0answers
37 views

Source for story about the Maskilim's play mocking what the “orchei hamilchama” would look like according to chazal

Does anyone know of a reliable source for the story about how the Maskilim made a play to mock what a milchama would look like according to the torah/chazal, in which they depicted only the Chofetz ...
3
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2answers
46 views

When was the war with Amalek?

It seems from its placement in Chumash that the (first) war with Amalek occurred between the exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah at Sinai. (Is that the case, or did it occur at another ...
2
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1answer
283 views

Vilna Gaon, Gog and Magog war and Hoshana Rabba

1) I read on Soul Mazal, the following: "...The Vilna Gaon on the Mechilta (Shmos 14:20) says that the Gog U'Magog war shall begin three hours before "Hanetz Hachama" (crack of dawn) on Hoshana ...
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0answers
24 views

Why does Avraham's Torah protect before battle reaches him more than Yaakov's g'milas chasadim?

In the Haamek Davar on Lech L'cha 12:17, the author tells us a rule you should understand for all the subsequent sections of Genesis, the "book of the upright", Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: that it ...
11
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2answers
272 views

How do soldiers in the IDF obey Deuteronomy 23:13?

The mitvah talks about ensuring every soldiers have a spade to cover their excrement. The mitvah seems to be pretty obsolete because by now we have toilets all over the place. So, how it's done? Do ...
1
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1answer
58 views

What do our Rabbis say about wearing a poppy in the button-hole on Armistice Day?

The British Legion appeals for funds (called the Poppy Appeal) around Armistice Day (11 November) each year. People donate to the activities of the Legion and are given a paper/plastic poppy to wear. ...
0
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1answer
40 views

What did King David do to the people of Ammon after he captures the city in Shmuel 2 at the end of Chapter 12

What does this actually mean? Was it that King David put them to work or he literally tortured them? where it says: 31. And the people that were therein he brought forth and he put them under saws, ...
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1answer
33 views

Milchemet mitzvah b'yameinu

I heard recently a certain rabbi say that "nobody disagrees that [our "war" to conquer Israel] is a milchemet mitzvah." What sources are there, either way, for conquering Israel today being milchemet ...
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0answers
31 views

How far out will Israel's borders reach at the time of Mashiach?

In Genesis 15:18, God promises Avram (Abraham) that his offspring will be given the land from the river of Egypt (it is disputed which body of water this refers to) all the way until the great river ...
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3answers
318 views

How did the Jewish people understand and make sense of the destruction of the Second Temple?

Since I began studying the history of the Christian faith, and the relation between Judaism and Christianity, I have been struck by the idea of the Second Temple's destruction. I simply can't imagine ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Can a person break an oath to G-d to save a life?

Can a person break an oath to G-d to save a life? For example, if someone in the army made an official oath to serve the army and obey the commands always, but one day the person saw his commander ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the modern Jewish attitude towards the Zealots and Sicarii?

One of the leading factions in the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 was the Zealot movement, and its splinter group, the Sicarii. I would imagine that the attitude towards them is somewhat complicated, or at ...
4
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1answer
66 views

Why was Joshua allowed to break the Shabot in attacking Yericho?

In Joshua 6, the Jews marched around Jericho, thereby attacking it. Why was Joshua allowed to break the Shabot in attacking Yericho? Did not this march around Yericho begin on Rosh Chodesh and last ...
1
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1answer
45 views

Where did the king's horses come from?

It's written in this Torah portion that a king isn't allowed to acquire any horses for himself, because it will cause people to go to Egypt and buy them, and it is forbidden to return to Egypt. ...
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0answers
38 views

Hand-Held Electronic Body Scanners on Shabbat

Can hand held electronic body scanners be used by synagogue volunteers on Shabbat for security purposes? This is in response to terrorist threats against American (specifically American-Jewish) ...
6
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1answer
756 views

What is the Jewish position on aggressive acts of war?

I am reading the "The Jewish State" by Theodor Herzl, he proposes the creation of a Jewish State through mostly financial means. I don't recall a war in recent (hundreds of years) where the Jewish ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Why did Moshe insist on killing the Midianite babies?

After the Midianites enticed the Israelites to fornicate and worship their false deity (Baal of Peor), Moshe launched a surprise attack and slaughtered all the adults, but the warriors left the ...
4
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2answers
529 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?
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2answers
59 views

Why didn't Joshua take Prisoners When conquering Israel?

Why didn't Joshua take prisoners when conquering Israel? In Joshua chapter 10 it lists a number of nations that they conquer and kill. In verse 35 it states: [they] destroyed every soul that was ...
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2answers
54 views

List of books (sforim) and articles about Jewish war in halacha

What are good books or articles (either for free online or for sale anywhere) on the laws of war, particularly how it should be done today and how it will be done when Moshiach comes?
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King David conquering bandits/troops (literally, גדוד) to get money for Jews in need

The Talmud Bavli Brachot (3b) says that when Jews needed financial assistance and the economy did not have enough money to go around, King David would advise the sages of Israel to confiscate money ...
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1answer
72 views

Understanding the incident with Goliat

In I Shmuel 17 the Jews are camped opposite the Plishtim, preparing for battle. Goliat the giant offers an alternative to fighting, one warrior from each side will do battle, the winner 'wins' the ...
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2answers
77 views

What was the Plague of the Sword?

In the Haggadah you will find the following exegesis of part of Deuteronomy 26:8: וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. זוֹ הַחֶרֶב, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ, נְטוּיָה ...
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0answers
24 views

What was the nature of the tax of 32 people?

BeMidbar 31:40 states that, after the war with the Midyanim, in which Bnei Yisrael were instructed to take captives and booty, and to pay taxes to HaShem from this plunder, they "paid" a total of ...
4
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1answer
118 views

What Have Modern Posqim said about Nuclear Weapons?

I'm looking to find teshuvot from modern posqim that discuss the permissability of possessing and using nuclear weapons.
3
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1answer
32 views

Discrepancy -shoftim 7:18 and 7:20

Before Gideon goes out to war: יח וְתָקַעְתִּי בַּשּׁוֹפָר אָנֹכִי וְכָל אֲשֶׁר אִתִּי וּתְקַעְתֶּם בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת גַּם אַתֶּם סְבִיבוֹת כָּל הַמַּחֲנֶה וַאֲמַרְתֶּם לַיהֹוָה וּלְגִדְעוֹן: He says ...
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2answers
946 views

Mosaic Law and ISIS

Recently I had a conversation about ISIS with a friend who is Catholic by faith, he said that ISIS should be stopped but that we (The US or any other foreign power) should not kill them, whereas I ...
7
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2answers
76 views

Why did it take 2 days in the city of Shushan?

The reason Purim is celebrated for two days in a "walled city" is that the Megilat Esther says the Jews of the city of Shushan (the capital) needed/took an extra day to fight for their survival. My ...
2
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2answers
88 views

Is an Eishet Yefat Toar beautiful physically or spiritually?

Devarim 21:10-14 explains the law of an Eishet Yefat Toar. The standard commentaries there indicate that she is desirable because of physical beauty. This also seems to be what the pshat is. ...
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0answers
15 views

In the Book Of Judges(Shoftim) Why was Judah unable to conquer the inhabitants in the valley?

It says in Judges 1:19: And the Lord was with Judah, and they drove out the inhabitants of the mountains; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, for they had iron chariots. ...
2
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2answers
98 views

Who was for and against Jews fighting back against the Germans in WW2?

There was a famous controversy regarding the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that was the largest uprising the Jews performed against the Nazis. I have heard tell that a lot of Rabbonim banned fighting back ...
11
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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
70 views

“Your teeth are like a flock of ewes” — why teeth?

Mesillas Yesharim (ch. 11) cites the interpretation of Medrash Rabba on a verse in Shir Hashirim: ‏"שניך כעדר הרחלים," מה רחל זו צנועה, כך היו ישראל צנועים וכשרים במלחמת מדין.‏ ...
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2answers
251 views

Torture in Jewish Law Used Against the Enemy

Does Halacha allow Jews to commit physical or psychological torture against their enemies when necessary (e.g. in a time of war, to get vital information from them, etc.) and to what extent is it ...
0
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1answer
68 views

how is a Jewish war leader dedicated?

As I recall from some passages, there were times when a priest had to anoint a war-leader... not necessarily a king, but sometimes a dedicated warrior to handle an emergency. Can an expert in sword ...
10
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1answer
135 views

Can a yefas toar be Jewish?

I realize that when the torah discusses אשת יפת תואר it specifies כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ (Bamidbar 21:10) But I would still like to know if the halacha of אשת יפת תואר could ...
5
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1answer
144 views

Did the Israeli soldiers who were involved in Operation Protective Edge eliminate any parts of davening?

I assume that those driving the tanks, going in the tunnels, and otherwise in immediate dangerous situations either completely miss a prayer, or eliminate parts of it. Maybe they are saying "Havinenu" ...
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2answers
169 views

Pirates and Torah

In the 16th and 17th centuries European nations granted "letters of marque" licensing pirates to attack rival nation's ships. The major powers at the time were England, Portugal, Spain, and France ...
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2answers
121 views

War, Pray and Learn

The Medrash Rabbah and the Yalkut relate that during the war against Midyon, for every one that went out to battle there was a designated person whose task it was to pray and learn for him. Where in ...
5
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3answers
293 views

Which tehillim are best to say for the welfare of soldiers at war?

At least one Israel Defense Forces soldier fighting in Gaza is the son of dear friends of my family. I want to focus my tefilla on his welfare, by name, although I certainly pray for the well-being ...
1
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2answers
40 views

Had B'nai Yisra'el not sent the spies, would they have had to fight against Amalek?

Rashi on Devarim 1:8 says that if it weren't for the sin with the spies, we would have never needed armaments. Bamidbar 14:25 tells us that Amalek lived in the valleys, and Devarim 25:29 states that ...
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1answer
118 views

Arabs recognise Hashems watchfull hand over Klal Yisroel

I heard that recently an Arab officer claimed that they are competent with aiming their missiles but that Hashem is helping Eretz Yisroel Does anyone know a source for this [online or other]?
3
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0answers
77 views

Which of the Napoleonic wars had no casualties?

The Chasam Sofer (droshos 8th Tamuz) writes about a war in the year 1809 with no causalities on our side. Can anyone tell us which war this was, and where these details may be recorded?
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71 views

Operation Protective Edge and My Brothers Keeper [closed]

In light of current events are there what are the halachic resolutions surrounding Operation Protective Edge and Operation My Brother's Keeper? Issues include: firing at legitimate targets if it is ...
7
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1answer
163 views

What is the correct emotion to feel upon hearing about enemy civilian casualties?

Recent missiles sent by Hamas landed in Hebron. When my neighbor told me about this, it was unclear whether they had hurt any Arab civilians. I said that I hoped not, while my neighbor basically said ...
4
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1answer
66 views

Would Moshe have lived longer if he had delayed fighting Midyan?

Rashi to Bamidbar 31:3 says: וידבר משה וגו': אף על פי ששמע שמיתתו תלויה בדבר עשה בשמחה ולא איחר: Moses spoke: Although he heard that his death depended on the matter, he did it joyfully, ...
5
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0answers
243 views

Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד 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 ...
0
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1answer
143 views

The spies mentioning Amalek

When the spies come back, all of them (aside from Yehoshua Bin Nun and Calev Ben Yefuneh) return with negative reports of the land. Among these reports is a reference to Amalek: “Amalek dwell in the ...