Rabbi Sheila says:

And the Torah said: If one comes to kill you, kill him first. He struck him with the staff and killed him.

Yet, Rabbi Sheila does not provide any verse from the Torah. Could someone translate the commentary of Rashi, below, regarding this?

התורה אמרה אם בא להרגך השכם להרגו – אם במחתרת וגו' (שמות כב) לפי שבא על עסקי נפשות שיודע הוא שאם ימצא ותמצאנו חותר לא תעמיד עצמך מלהציל ממונך והוא בא לדעת כן שיקום עליך ויהרגך אמרה תורה השכם אתה והרגהו

  • 3
    While @MauriceMizrahi gave a good answer, note that (1) what you copied and pasted is not the Hebrew of his answer. You copied the Rashi commentaries on the next translation in Sefaria, which have nothing to do with the topic of killing in self defense. also (2) this site is not a general translation service, with a purpose of pasting text and asking to get a translation. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 1:07
  • Try Google Translate to get a zeroth order idea of the content. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


It's derived from Exodus 22:1:

If the thief is seized while tunneling, and he is beaten to death, there is no bloodguilt in his case.

Rashi comments on this verse:

אין לו דמים THERE SHALL NO GUILT OF BLOOD BE INCURRED FOR HIM — This is not regarded as a murder; it is as though he (the thief) has been dead from the beginning of his criminal act (אין לו דמים is taken to mean: he, the thief, had no blood — no vitality). Here the Torah teaches you the rule: “If one comes with the intention of killing you, be quick and kill him”. — And this burglar actually came with the intention of killing you, for he knew full well that no one can hold himself in check, looking on whilst people are stealing his property before his eyes and doing nothing. He (the thief) therefore obviously came with this purpose in view — that in case the owner of the property would resist him, he would kill him (Sanhedrin 72a).


התורה אמרה אם בא להרגך השכם להרגו – אם במחתרת וגו' The torah said: "If he comes to kill you wake up early to kill him [first]... If [the thief is found] in a tunnel [that he was digging in order to burgle the house]...you are not liable for killing him". (שמות כב) לפי שבא על עסקי נפשות As he (the thief) came for a matter involving lives (Exodus chapter:22) שיודע הוא שאם ימצא ותמצאנו חותר לא תעמיד עצמך מלהציל ממונך As he (the thief) knows that if he is found digging, you (the house owner) won't hold youself back from saving your money והוא בא לדעת כן שיקום עליך ויהרגך אמרה תורה השכם אתה והרגהו: And he (the thief) is coming with this intention: That he will arise against you and kill you. [Therefore] the Torah said:"You should wake up early and kill him [before he kills you]."



I'm no scholar so I don't know where the Rashid are from, but I can do my best to provide a free translation {you get what you pay for} let me know if there's a specific word that still needs to be known after

הממלכה זו מלחמת עמלק – דכתיב בה כסא מלכות כי יד על כס יה (שמות י״ז:ט״ז) כלומר על ידי מלחמה ליי' בעמלק יתעלה כסאו:

The "consulting" {I think? Don't know the context, could also be potentially "ruling"}, this is the war of Awmilayk (Amalek) -- like it's written in {regarding} it, a throne of royalty "for a hand is on the thrown of Kaw {name of Hashem}", (shemos 17:16), as if to say, through the war to {of} Hashem, with Awmilayk, His throne is exalted

המתנשא – מדכתיב לשון נשיאות משמע על נשיא ראש משך ותובל:

"He who is ascended", from that which it is written, a language of "raising up", that implies, on {regarding?} The lifting up of {nawsee, could also mean "prince" or ruler, don't know the context} the head, of Meshech and Toovawl {apparently names, Meshech means to pull, don't exactly know what Toovawl means, but I think they are names}

לכל לראש – לכל הקם להיות לראש הוא מתנשא כלומר שהוא גוזר ומעמידו:

"To every head" -- to all who rise up, to be a "head", he is elevated, as of to say, that he is {able to?} decree, and stand him up {don't know who the him is referring to}

ריש גרגיתא – בור הממונה על החופרין חפירות למלאותן מים כדי להשקות בהן

"The head of gargeesuh {don't know that word I'm guessing it's a name}", a pit {boor, it also might mean a person who doesn't know that much Torah}, that is appointed {seemingly referring to the person explanation} over those who dig holes, to fill them with water, in order to water {other things like plants or animals seminary} in them

  • Now that the question has been edited to include the correct Rashi text, this does not answer the question asked
    – Joel K
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 12:19

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