One is permitted to kill a rodef - someone who is planning to kill you.

What are the parameters of identifying someone as a rodef when he is a member of a terrorist or any other group?


  1. If you know someone is a member of Hamas, Hezbolla, etc. You see this person on the street coming towards you. The person doesn't appear threatening and you don't know if he is carrying a weapon or plans to harm you. Can you kill him / her based on the assumption that the group is trying to kill all Jews and being a group member, s/he may be likely to do that?

  2. Same member identification, but, as the Israeli army frequently does, you bomb the person's home while he is home.

  3. You're a soldier and your country is at war with Extrania. You see an Extranian citizen walking on the street, clearly unarmed and unthreatening. Can you kill him based on your country being at war?

Can the definition of rodef be, generally extended to a member of a group, or does it have to be someone specific who is specifically trying to kill you but not if he's trying to kill others?

  • The mitzva to kill a rodef is not only for his intended victim, but for anyone who can stop him.
    – Loewian
    Nov 22, 2019 at 15:44
  • Also, not that the laws of war are different from the laws of peacetime. The army that treats every casualty in war as murder, has already lost the war.
    – Loewian
    Nov 22, 2019 at 15:45
  • What if the person is a part time night janitor for the Hamas storage facility?
    – Double AA
    Nov 22, 2019 at 15:49
  • @DoubleAA Feel free to add that to the list ;-)
    – DanF
    Nov 22, 2019 at 17:15
  • This shiur should make things clearer for you
    – robev
    Nov 22, 2019 at 18:20


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