The prohibition against murder is the 6th of the Ten Commandments. Murder does not include court executions, defensive wars, or wars commanded by G-d.

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Is it better to kill 1 person or let 5 die?

I was recently reading about the Trolley Problem A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, ...
14
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2answers
529 views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
11
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2answers
451 views

Why do accidental killers sent to arei miklat go free after the Kohen Gadol dies?

When someone kills accidentaly he is sent to live in an ir miklat ("city of refuge") until the Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") dies. This seems like an arbitrary time. What does the Kohen Gadol's death ...
11
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3answers
452 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 ...
10
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2answers
164 views

Esav was coming with 400 men: why then

Why was Esav going toward Yaakov (Gen. 33:1, 32:7) if he had (27:41) planned to wait to kill him until Yitzchak was dead? (Please cite your source, if any.)
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572 views

Is Mossad Assasination allowed in Torah?

The Torah seems to allow many instances of killing. Genocide is sometimes okay if you give fair warning. So is the execution of a convicted murderer, or even those who break the Sabbath. It does ...
9
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3answers
313 views

Would halacha permit bombing Auschwitz?

I know there's a lot of talk about whether Allied forces during World War II could have / should have taken military action directly against the Holocaust. I'm not opening that can of worms here. ...
8
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1answer
216 views

What if Someone Accidentally Killed Someone in an Ir Miklat (City of Refuge)?

If someone kills a someone else through gross negligence in an Ir Miklat in which the victim and/or his relatives live, must he leave and seek refuge in another Ir Miklat? After all, surely the victim ...
8
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1answer
339 views

Is abortion of a gentile child of a Jewish father permissible?

If a Jewish man were to father a child with a gentile would they be allowed to consider an abortion or would that be disallowed in the Halachic literature ?
8
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707 views

Does demolition of terrorists' homes have any basis in Judaism?

Israel is currently implementing a policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists, even after they have been 'eliminated', as a deterrent to others. Is this kind of action OK, according to halacha + ...
8
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1answer
99 views

“A life for a life”: execution or reparations

The Torah states (Ex. 21:23) that if two people are fighting and accidentally kill an innocent bystander (such as a woman), "you shall give a life for a life." The Gemara (Sanhedrin 79a-b) records a ...
7
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3answers
342 views

Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/suicide?

Was the mass coordinated mutual killing at Masada (for lack of a better term) an act of heroic martyrdom or immoral murder and suicide? While it is unknown for certain what exactly transpired, ...
6
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1answer
748 views

What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

An ordinary person who accidentally kills someone has to go to an Ir Miklat (city of refuge) until the Kohen Gadol dies. But what if it's the Kohen Gadol himself who accidentally kills? He would ...
6
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4answers
153 views

Asara Haruge Malchut (Ten Martyrs), why were 10 Rabbis killed?

In Vayigash, Rabenu Bahya (also the Zohar) comments and says that the reason we had Asara Haruge Malchut because the brothers sold Yosef. However, Reuven didn't sell Yosef, so why should the ...
6
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2answers
202 views

Can I defend my animals with lethal force?

We know that it is permitted, in self-defense, to kill one who is trying to kill you, and I have heard that this applies to other people too (I see someone trying to kill someone else and I ...
6
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1answer
72 views

If a king kills accidentally does he go into exile?

The mishna in makkos teaches that even someone who the entire Jewish people have a need for such as Yoav ben Tzrurya would have to go into exile (to a city of refuge) if he killed accidentally. I ...
6
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3answers
89 views

How could we learn behavior from animals?

The gemarah in Eiruvin 100b says that had the Torah not been give we would have learned various behaviors from certain animals, such as modesty from the cat. To me this presupposes that had the Torah ...
6
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2answers
296 views

Does one sit shiva for someone he killed?

I understand sitting shiva to be an expression of bereavement. If I (hypothetically) was the victim of constant abuse which lasted for years and I ultimately, in an act of self defense, had to kill my ...
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3answers
1k views

What's with the 5th rib killing?

2 Sam. 20:10: וַעֲמָשָׂא לֹא נִשְׁמַר בַּחֶרֶב אֲשֶׁר בְּיַד יוֹאָב וַיַּכֵּהוּ בָהּ אֶל הַחֹמֶשׁ וַיִּשְׁפֹּךְ מֵעָיו אַרְצָה וְלֹא שָׁנָה לוֹ וַיָּמֹת M'tzudos says this means he stabbed him ...
4
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1answer
223 views

What is the law for a Goel Hadam (Avenger of Blood) outside of the Land of Israel?

The halacha is you can only build a city of refuge in Israel. What if someone killed by accident outside of Israel. Can the relative of the guy who was killed go after and try to kill the murderer who ...
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2answers
258 views

Why did Bigtan and Teresh want to kill the king?

I am very puzzled by the whole episode with Bigtan and Teresh (Esther 2:21-23). What exactly made them so mad that they wanted to kill the king? The gemarah (megillah 13b) says they were complaining ...
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3answers
808 views

Homosexuality is “worse than murder”?

A sign at a recent rally protesting New York's 2011 Marriage Equality Act reads Judaism considers male homosexuality a worse sin than murder I imagine that this is a minority opinion, but does ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Eglah Arufah (עגלה ערופה) Measurement

How does one measure, for עגלה ערופה purposes, which city the dead is closest to: from which part of the body?
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Accidental Murder

A person who kills another person by accident must run to a city of refuge. While he's running, relatives of the person he killed may kill him. Why are the relatives allowed to kill in such a case? ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Who killed Shaul?

Ⅰ Sh'muel 31:3–5: וַתִּכְבַּד הַמִּלְחָמָה אֶל שָׁאוּל…. וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לְנֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו שְׁלֹף חַרְבְּךָ וְדָקְרֵנִי בָהּ… וְלֹא אָבָה נֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו כִּי יָרֵא מְאֹד וַיִּקַּח שָׁאוּל אֶת ...
3
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2answers
133 views

Can two siamese twins be separated by killing one if that one would die anyway and the other would live

In two Simaese twins where the first will definitely die soon, whereas the second has a chance of life if the first stops being a 'drain' him. Like if there is only one heart. Can one kill the first ...
3
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0answers
61 views

Deadly force in self defense vs defense of others

In this answer Ephraim quoted the עץ חיים as quoting the רא"ם as saying that a נרדף - someone who is being pursued and could be killed - doesn't have to worry about using non-deadly force if it would ...
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57 views

Can one be liable for death by delivering upsetting news?

In Parshas Chayei Sarah (23:2), Rashi quotes Bereishis Rabbah (58:5) that the reason the Parsha of Sarah's death is juxtaposed to Akeidas Yitzchak is: לספוד לשרה ולבכתה: ונסמכה מיתת שרה לעקידת ...
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42 views

Doctor's mistake and homicide

The mishnah in Makkos (beginning of 2nd chapter) teaches that if the person inadvertently killed someone through performing a mitzvah, the murder is exempt from the punishment of exile, which I ...
2
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3answers
143 views

Why did Pharaoh try to kill Moshe?

Moshe Rabbeinu was raised in Pharaoh's house. Yet when Dasan and Aviram claimed that Moshe killed an Egyptian taskmaster, Pharaoh tried to kill him (Shemot 2:13-15). Why would an all powerful tyrant ...
2
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3answers
91 views

The full story behind “Kohen and Navi”?

In Eicha (and in Kinnot), there's mention of a "Cohen and Navi" that was killed. Traditionally, this is ascribed to a Navi Zecharia who lived in the time of Yoash who was killed in the Beit Hamikdash. ...
2
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1answer
81 views

How can the prohibition against murder be reconciled with capital punishment in the Torah (mitath beth din)?

How can the prohibition on murder be reconciled with capital punishment in the Torah, i.e., mitath beth din? I understand that the death penalty was effectively abolished by the Sanhedrin in 30 CE. ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Redistribution of refuge cities after expansion

When the Torah commands the establishment of cities of refuge in Eretz Yisra'el to protect accidental murderers from vengeful relatives it states that the three cities must be evenly placed ...
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140 views

What if a Goel HaDam (Blood Redeemer) accidentally kills his kinsman's accidental murderer - inside the latter's 'Ir Miklat (City of Refuge)?

Another question asks what happens if a someone accidentally kills someone else inside an 'Ir Miklat (City of Refuge) in which the victim and/or his family live, and whether he needs to move to ...
2
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4answers
334 views

How was Saul a Tzadik if he wiped out Nov?

I've read many commentaries that argue that despite losing the kingdom, Saul is a righteous guy. But how, after he mass murdered priests (Samuel 1 21-22)? To be more exact, he ordered priests to be ...
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85 views

King Yoash murdered - Who's responsible?

II Melechim 12:21 and II Divri HaYamim 24:25 both indicate that servants conspired and killed King Joash. There seems to be a little bit of confusion on the murderers' names---Yozacar vs Zabad ben ...
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2answers
142 views

If a gentile commited murder and then converted, can he be executed?

Assuming these are witnesses who warned him of the penalty immediately before he acted, as specified in Sanhedrin, if a gentile committed murder (or any other violation of the Noachide Law) and then ...
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1answer
76 views

Signposts Ahead

Why do we go out of our way to put up roadsigns for unintentional murderers (Makkos 10a) while we do not for people going to Yerushalayim for Yomim Tovim (which is a Mitzva)?
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1answer
87 views

Were Shimon and Levi allowed to do what they did?

Shimon and Levi deceive and kill out an entire city, yet Yaakov only curses their hasty anger, not their actions. Were they allowed to do what they did?
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1answer
109 views

Why Many of Saul's Descendants got Killed?

Mefiboshet is crippled because he fall when Saul's descendants are running away from mass slaughter. Am I correct here? Also when Abner is killed looks like there is more mass slaughter again. But ...
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43 views

If a thief comes by day may one kill him in self defence

The gemoro psochim 2b mentions only about a 'ganev' (stealthy thief) coming at night that one may kill the thief even if he is not sure this thief is about to kill him. What about if this thief came ...
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We know that a son cannot claim self defence if he kills his father who is about to rob him. What about his mother

The g'moro in psochim 2b says that a father who goes to rob his son, will not kill him and therefore if the son kills his father he cannot claim self defence. What about if a mother goes to rob her ...
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2answers
130 views

Is it permitted to have an abortion if divorce if imminent?

I know that abortion is permissible if physical health of the mother could be compromised, but what about the emotional health of the mother (or the father for that matter) - if a couple sees divorce ...
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1answer
38 views

Pekuach nefesh by causing mortal injury in a non-rodef

A beam is going to fall on top of two people. When it does so, its weight will be distributed evenly over their two heads, injuring both but not killing either. Had that weight been distributed over ...