-5

Please provide one Halachic or other source from the Torah that prohibits Jews killing gentiles. The Rambam doesn't say it. Sanhedrin 57a even says a Jew who kills a gentile is exempt. The posuk that prohibits murder, Genesis 9:6, even uses the verbiage of Adam, which suggests the prohibition is to murder limits to Jews. It looks like the only prohibition for killing non-Jews is the government and the laws of the land. Otherwise it would be to keep the peace so that Jews aren't harmed. But a primary prohibition of killing gentiles? Non-existent. Please show me otherwise.

EDIT: Mishna Sanehdrin 4:5 refers to HaAdam as Jews - "Therefore, Adam the first man was created alone, to teach you that with regard to anyone who destroys one soul from the Jewish people, i.e., kills one Jew, the verse ascribes him blame as if he destroyed an entire world, as Adam was one person, from whom the population of an entire world came forth. And conversely, anyone who sustains one soul from the Jewish people, the verse ascribes him credit as if he sustained an entire world."

“You are called Adam, but the nations of the world are not called Adam” [Yevamos 61a; Bava Metzia 114b; Kerisus 6b].

15

3 Answers 3

3

Please provide one Halachic or other source from the Torah that prohibits Jews killing gentiles. The Rambam doesn't say it.

This false. The Rambam Rotzeach 1:1 says כָּל הוֹרֵג נֶפֶשׁ בֶּן אָדָם עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה Whoever a person kills a human being, transgresses a negative commandment Ben Odom means all people.

Sanhedrin 57a even says a Jew who kills a gentile is exempt.

There is no requirement for the death penalty for a Jew who kills a non-Jew. Similarly, a non-Jewish court is not obligated to give the death penalty to a non-Jew who kills a Jew. Murder is still 100% prohibited in both cases. In general the question seem to be confusing lack of the death penally with permissiblity

The posuk that prohibits murder, Genesis 9:6, even uses the verbiage of Adam, which suggests the prohibition is to murder limits to Jews.

Pretty off base assumption considering that this posuk is actually (also) addressed to non-Jews (as per the very Gemora quoted above) . There were no Jews at the time. The posuk in the Torah that prohibits murder for Jews is לֹא תִרְצָח

It looks like the only prohibition for killing non-Jews is the government and the laws of the land.

All of the classic halakhic authorities agree that it is forbidden for a Jew to murder a non-Jew, there is some debate as to where it is learned from.

8
  • כל הורג נפש אדם מישראל--עובר בלא תעשה mechon-mamre.org/i/b501.htm#1 You're probably being fooled by a censored version
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 25 at 1:25
  • "Murder is still 100% prohibited in both cases." You've elided the distinction between derabanan and deorayta prohibitions. It seems to me the OP was specifically seeking deorayta issues.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 25 at 1:32
  • 1
    Regarding Sanhedrin 4:5: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/74049/…
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jun 25 at 2:36
  • 1
    Interesting that the first halacha of Rambam clearly can only be referring to a yid/eved since 2:10 states: "At first, a person who killed a resident alien should not be executed by the court, as implied by Exodus 21:14, which introduces the laws regarding the punishment for murder, by stating: "When a man acts intentionally against his colleague, killing him...." Needless to say, this ruling applies with regard to a gentile...." So the first law, giving capital punishment, can't mean that. What's the actual source that it's prohibited? Commented Jun 25 at 5:43
  • 1
    The source in the Rambam is 4:11 @Awtsmoos--עצמות
    – b a
    Commented Jun 25 at 17:35
3

I don't know how but you are really going out of your way to misread Genesis 9:5-6

ה וְאַךְ אֶת-דִּמְכֶם לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם אֶדְרֹשׁ, מִיַּד כָּל-חַיָּה אֶדְרְשֶׁנּוּ; וּמִיַּד הָאָדָם, מִיַּד אִישׁ אָחִיו--אֶדְרֹשׁ, אֶת-נֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם. ו שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם, בָּאָדָם דָּמוֹ יִשָּׁפֵךְ: כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים, עָשָׂה אֶת-הָאָדָם.

5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man.

Adam has nothing to do with Jews or Judaism. According to the Hebrew Bible, Adam is a placeholder for "first man" or "mankind." This law is a Noahide law which means they are binding on ALL of mankind. We have no evidence from the Torah that God ever intended to replace the Noahide law with another law-system. So if the Torah had not been given, all of the tribes would follow Noahide laws. But since you asked about the Talmud,the Talmud itself even brings down that God made everyone descend from Adam for various moral reasons:

"It was for this reason that man was first created as one person [Adam], to teach you that anyone who destroys a life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed an entire world; and anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world." And also, to promote peace among the creations, that no man would say to his friend, "My ancestors are greater than yours." And also, so that heretics will not say, "there are many rulers up in Heaven." And also, to express the grandeur of The Holy One [blessed be He]: For a man strikes many coins from the same die, and all the coins are alike. But the King, the King of Kings, The Holy One [blessed be He] strikes every man from the die of the First Man, and yet no man is quite like his friend. Therefore, every person must say, “For my sake ‎the world was created.”‎

Source: Sanhedrin 5:4 "Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world": Jewish life or any life?

Please note that the above source is Sanhedrin 5:4. Some manuscripts quote the Mishnah as having "saved one Israelite soul," but if you follow the link you will see this is unlikely to be the original version. The Talmud and Bible doesn't shy away from presenting a universal message, but they spend most of their time dealing with specific Israelite matters. Also the moral message of our tradition can sometimes diverge from our legal tradition.

Sometimes a section Talmud may consider Adam to be specific to Jews (Yevamot 61), but other times it's obvious Adam is being used universally like in Sanhedrin 4:5. Both are true depending on the lens you are currently looking through. Another example is in the 10 commandments, the vast majority of the commentators explain that all the laws there mean for Jews only, and that "your neighbor" means your fellow Israelites. But if you ask if it's okay for a Jew to covet his gentile neighbors wife any religious Jew with any convictions will say no and reference the 10 commandments.

The Bible's moral message is clear. Anyone who murders another human will have their blood shed, whether by man's court, animal's court, or God's court. We Jews learn not to murder any human from this verse. Whether or not a later Talmudic court feels they have the authority to give the death penalty over different types of murder is a separate issue.

13
  • 1
    That reference in Sanhedrin has another girsa of "anyone who saves a life of Yisroel..." Commented Jun 25 at 1:26
  • @Awtsmoos--עצמות Yes that is why I mentioned manuscripts
    – Aaron
    Commented Jun 25 at 1:35
  • But manuscripts aren't always authoritative. Also I don't see any reference to manuscripts currently in the answer Commented Jun 25 at 2:21
  • If you can provide a proof from Ethiopian Jews you are free to do so. But this is Judaism Stackexchange. The Samaritans and Karaites are not part of Judaism and in fact are considered apikorsus, heretical, for their rejection of the Oral Tradition. Commented Jun 25 at 2:22
  • 1
    Regarding Sanhedrin 4:5: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/74049/…
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jun 25 at 2:36
-1

The answer thanks to Rosend is in a Mechilta:

The Torah prohibits a Jew from murdering non-Jews. It is derived from a commentary on Exodus (20:14), ‘when one party schemes against another and kills through treachery, you shall take that person from My very altar to be put to death.’ The Mechilta, Nezikin (4:18) says that “אִישׁ”, ish, man, refers to gentiles. Therefore, premeditated murder of gentiles is directly prohibited by the Torah. Such sins warrant death which cannot be overridden by the pursuit of a positive commandment, if one even exists in such a case.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .