6

I guess this is a two-part question. Are there any sources that support this common maxim? And if so, are there any sources that provide guidance on which enemy we now befriend?

If one enemy regularly tries to kill or otherwise harm me, but for the moment is engaged in an existential or very serious struggle with another enemy that has historically tried to kill or harm me, how do I decide whom to support (or do I stay out of it)? Consider both national relationships as well as personal.

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.

1

This may not be 100% analogous, but we do see a case of 2 natural enemies uniting against a common foe.

Ice and Fire united in order to bring the plague of hail upon the Egyptians. From Rashi (Shemot 9:24) quoting the Tanchumah:

flaming within the hail: [This was] a miracle within a miracle. The fire and hail intermingled. Although hail is water, to perform the will of their Maker they made peace between themselves [that the hail did not extinguish the fire nor did the fire melt the hail]. — [from Tanchuma, Va’era 14]

The emphasis there however, is that the peace was made because of G-d, as opposed to being because of the Egyptians.

The Tanchuma (Va'era 14) does emphasize the enemies a little more:

משל למה הדבר דומה, לשני לגיונות קשין ששונאין זה את זה. לימים הגיע זמן מלחמתו של מלך. מה עשה המלך. עשה שלום ביניהם והלכו ועשו שליחות המלך. כך אש וברד צהובין זה לזה. כיון שהגיע זמן מלחמה של מצרים, עשה הקדוש ברוך הוא שלום ביניהם והכו במצרים. הוי, ויהי ברד ואש מתלקחת בתוך הברד

A Parable is given: There were two tough legions that hated one another. One day the time to fight the war of the king arrived. What did the king do? He made peace between them and they went and did the will of the king.

Likewise, fire and ice are hostile to one another. When it came time to fight the war of Egypt, G-d made peace between them and the struck Egypt. "And there was hail, and fire flaming within the hail" (Shemot 9:24)

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