Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

12

When Yaakov was threatened with Esav and his 400 men (Genesis 32), he responded in three ways (as noted by Rashi to verse 9): He sent gifts. He prayed. He prepared for war. So yes, preparing for war certainly has a prominent place in Jewish ideology, right alongside diplomatic efforts and prayers to God. All three are important components of a proper ...


12

The relevant verse is I Chron. 22:8, where David quotes G-d as having told him: "You have spilled much blood, and waged great wars." Radak there explains that "much blood" refers to people whose deaths David caused indirectly but who didn't deserve this - such as Uriah, the kohanim of Nov, and non-Jewish civilians caught in the crossfire during his raids ...


10

There is a talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe o.b.m. (in Likkutei Sichos, vol. 25, pp. 235ff, and adapted into English here) about this. The gist of his answer is that there was a more "physical" miracle (the military victory) and a more "spiritual" one (the Menorah's lights burning for eight days), and the latter in a sense overshadows the former, since the war ...


9

About the events described in Maccabees, R. Yitzchak Isaac Halevi offers the following explanation (Doros Harishonim 1:340ff): These Jews hiding in the caves originally had no intention of waging war against the Greeks and their Jewish Hellenist allies, and no reason to think they'd be successful in doing so. But they figured that, while the Hellenists ...


9

The Chidushei HaGriz (§ 161) comments that the narrative between Shmuel and Shaul is a basis for the Rambam's opinion in 6:4. In verse 18, Sh'mu'el says that Sha'ul was told to destroy אֶת-הַחַטָּאִים אֶת-עֲמָלֵק: And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said: Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be ...


9

The English term for this tool is an entrenching tool. Here it is described as standard issue gear for a paratrooper in the IDF. As far as I know, it is pretty standard, when required, for soldiers in most any modern army. I suppose we could speculate if the Torah requires a soldier to carry one even if it isn't technically needed (just in case ...) or if ...


8

There are a number of books and websites (including shailot ve'tshuvot of recognized halachic authorities) on the topic of Halachot for Soldiers. I would strongly recommend anyone in this situation consult with your local Rabbi or posek. Below is a list of a few of the sources I know of: http://www.aka.idf.il/Main/rabanut/General.aspx?catId=60233 ...


8

A complicated subject. See this post from bein din l'din blog. In some cases it's wisest not to mix in; Rosh is famous for saying that if you insert yourself into a fight between A & B, eventually A & B will forget whatever was going on between them, and together fight you.


7

Rabbi David Zvi Hoffmann, in Melamed le-Ho'il 42, was asked: At this time, in all places where Jews reside, [at the command] of the king and state every able bodied man has to enter the military and serve for one, two, or three years, and he will be compelled there to violate Shabbatot and Yamim Tovim. Is a Jew who fears God's word and observes all the ...


7

There's a translation of Machane Yisrael into English published as English-only (the original Hebrew is not included). It's Machaneh Yisrael (I mean, that's how they spell the title) and the copyright page reads: Authored by Rav Yisrael Meir HaKohen Zt"l The Chofetz Chaim Translated by Machon MEMEY 413 Ashley Ave. • Lakewood, NJ 08701 ...


7

Your suggestion is correct. "Took" refers to the animals, "captured" refers to the women and children, and "plundered" refers to the wealth and objects from their houses. See Malbim. Technically, everything was "in the city". I would suggest that the phrase "וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר בָּעִיר וְאֶת אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה" refers to the animals mentioned immediately before. ...


7

In Chapter 25 we see that the Moabite women seduced some Israelites into temple prostitution. Therefore when God commanded Israel to raze the people of Midian he wanted the armies to kill the woman also and not take them as spoils of war. They did not do it at first but kept all the woman as booty. God was angry with them for that and then he makes it ...


7

The division of the land included, among other steps: sending out commissioners to survey it (Josh. 18:4ff) ...and to evaluate the worth of the individual regions and plots of land, to make sure that the division would be equitable (Rashi to Num. 26:54) designating which roads would be private vs. public, depending on their grade (Eruvin 22b) assigning a ...


6

Pants: Rabbi Adin Shteinzaltz (Even-Yisrael) has written that there may be situations where pants are more modest than skirts, observing that Jewish Yemenite women traditionally wore skirts on top of pants. What I've heard is the general recommendation against pants are because they tend to be more form-fitting than skirts. I know religious women who have ...


6

The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l states (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 15, p. 269), based on his analysis of the relevant verses, that the one camp contained Yaakov's livestock and the people responsible for taking care of them, while the other contained his family. The point of this, the Rebbe explains, was that Yaakov was preparing for his prayer, in which he would, so ...


6

This law applies only when we dwell in Eretz Yisrael (end of Chinuch 532). Since at that time they didn't live in Israel, the law of yefas toar was not in effect. Postscript: I found this answer in Sifsei Chachamim to Rashi, Bemidbar 31:50, as well as another answer: That a yefas toar is only permissible in a milchemes reshus, but this was a milchemes ...


6

Jews are obligated to attempt to make peace with any peoples they come against. We must offer the nation the option of accepting the Seven Noahide laws and being subject to a tax and subservience to us. Violent action is only taken if this treaty is not accepted. In most cases, all adult males are killed, while women and children are spared. Exceptions to ...


5

I think Isaac's nailed it, in a comment on the question: The average person's chances of chas veshalom getting killed in a terror attack today are, thank God, nowhere near the same league as those of someone who goes out to war. Two more points to consider: In the decade 2000-2010, there were b"H fewer than 1000 deaths by terrorism in Israel, a ...


5

The general rule of thumb for shabbat is that any action required for security related reasons (operation of jeeps, radio check ins, patrols, etc) during the week should be performed on shabbat as well. I.E. you shouldn't be lowering the level of security because it's shabbat. There are standing orders at all levels in the IDF which prevent the giving of ...


5

What's right or wrong is dependent on the will of God, which may differ in differing situations. King Saul had clearly been (by Samuel) told to kill all the animals, and he disobeyed. King David was given no such order; in fact, the Urim V'Tumim told him "go save!" (hatzel); the same language used in v.18, he "saved" that which had been taken. As to ...


5

From vv. 18-19, it seems that David only took back what the Amalekites had previously plundered (and per verse 16, that was from the Jews and, lehavdil, from the Philistines): יח וַיַּצֵּל דָּוִד, אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר לָקְחוּ עֲמָלֵק; וְאֶת-שְׁתֵּי נָשָׁיו, הִצִּיל דָּוִד. יט וְלֹא נֶעְדַּר-לָהֶם מִן-הַקָּטֹן וְעַד-הַגָּדוֹל וְעַד-בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת, ...


5

See Rabbi Michael Broyde's excellent essay (entitled, in various versions, either "Only the Good Die Young" or "Judaism is Not a Suicide Pact!") here. An excerpt: It is clear to me that the vast majority of contemporary poseqim agree with R. Shaul Yisraeli, and for that reason, even as there are numerous sefarim that deal with religious life in ...


5

Rambam addresses this (Melachim 6:4): "And do not kill women or children". This is talking about a case where the women and children are not part of the war - as opposed to cases where children and women are part of the war effort, for instance, by being soldiers themselves, or the nations which we are commanded to annihilate. Sifri (page קפז) says ...


5

One keeps the sabbath — abstains from certain activities and tries to engage in holy pursuits — from sundown Friday to nighttime Saturday, irrespective of his ability to perform the sabbath ceremonies. Such abstentions and pursuits may be subject to your commanding officers' restrictions on you; consult a rabbi for specific questions as they ...


5

"Shifting one's personal clock" and the like -- the example you gave was someone who finds himself in the wilderness and has no sense of what day it is -- the Talmud says he should start some sort of calendar and work with it. That's not applicable to the situation at hand, in which everyone agrees that it's now Friday January 31st 2014 and that sunset is at ...


5

The impetus for the drasha in the medrash is specifically because the first nation the spies mentioned was amalek, and as the ikar sifsei chachamim explains why not mention the amori and chiti who live in the mountains first, must be they were trying to scare klal yisrael with the bad memory as the medrash continues with the mashal of the child who got hit ...


5

While I am not aware that there is any authoritative list, It seems that among several that are coomonly said is Tehillim 121. I believe this was chosen as a general Tehillim to be said for people who are ill as well as people in danger, such as soldiers. The reason is because it starts with the phrase "I lift my eyes to the mountains, from where will ...


4

The Gemara in Sanhedrin (פ''ב ע''א) learns out from Parshas Balak that you may not bring a weapon into a Beis Hamedrash.But what is the law for a shul, is it the same? The proof against it being permitted is from Shulchan Aruch (אור"ח סי' קנ"א סעיף ו') where he brings that you may not bring a long knife. I am guessing that means sword. This is because ...


4

The question has been raised in contemporary times vis-a-vis Israeli soldiers. (And if I recall correctly from a lecture by Rabbi J D Bleich, Jewish soldiers in the British Army during WWII as well.) As Rabbi Bleich pointed out, in today's information era there are exceedingly few cases of people who outright disappear at war. (To prove his point, he asked ...


4

Just came across an older translation - http://www.hebrewbooks.org/22154



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible