Questions about armed conflict and armed services.

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7
votes
2answers
249 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
443 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Were Amalek offered a peaceful exit?

Inspired by this: The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim 6:1 writes: אין עושין מלחמה עם אדם בעולם, עד שקוראין לו לשלום--אחד מלחמת הרשות, ואחד מלחמת מצוה War is not waged with anyone in the world ...
4
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

What's the reason for conquering the different nations in Joshua?

The first book of the prophets, Yehoshua, begins with God commanding Joshua to battle the various nations in Israel. Did these nations do any evil to the Jews prior? Or, was this simply the will of ...
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, ...
8
votes
1answer
677 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
380 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?
15
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
241 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
141 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
386 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
715 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
196 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Responding to an army draft before 20

מבן עשרים שנה ומעלה, כל-יוצא צבא בישראל--תפקדו אותם לצבאותם, אתה ואהרון. (במדבר א:ג)‏ Rashi, commenting on Bamidbar 1:3, says that you should not join the army younger than 20. Is it ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Soldier's Shovel

Is there a shiur for the item the soldier is obligated to carry in Devarim 23:14? וְיָתֵד תִּהְיֶה לְךָ עַל אֲזֵנֶךָ וְהָיָה בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ חוּץ וְחָפַרְתָּה בָהּ וְשַׁבְתָּ וְכִסִּיתָ אֶת צֵאָתֶךָ ...
3
votes
2answers
272 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
340 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?
2
votes
2answers
151 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 ...