I heard recently a certain rabbi say that "nobody disagrees that [our "war" to conquer Israel] is a milchemet mitzvah."

What sources are there, either way, for conquering Israel today being milchemet mitzvah. Does that apply to all of modern day Israel, to all nations living there?

  • I assume you are purposefully excluding the (nowadays highly relevant) factor of defending Jewish lives in determining which wars are Milchemet Mitzva?
    – Double AA
    Nov 4, 2015 at 14:11
  • @DoubleAA no actually, I'd be happy to see sources relating to that too....as long as it discusses relevance of milchemet mitzvah to fights in Israel today.
    – andrewmh20
    Nov 4, 2015 at 14:52
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    The rabbi was wrong: I disagree.
    – Adám
    Jan 10, 2017 at 0:29
  • 2
    Who was this rabbi? This would likely improve the question Feb 8, 2017 at 15:43
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    Maybe he meant "the wars to defend Israel"? That's more likely to be undisputed
    – Double AA
    May 8, 2019 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Moshe Feinstein responded in 1979 to a question from Kfar Chabad -- "you asked me to spell out all the practical guidelines on the laws of milchemet mitzva applicable today. I only answer practical questions as asked. Nobody's asking me, and I wouldn't know what to tell them anyhow. Our job is to pray to God and have faith, and may He send Moshiach soon."

(Need to find it again in his books, bli neder.)

  • 2
    Where is that teshuva?
    – andrewmh20
    Nov 4, 2015 at 12:37
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    How does this answer the question? So RMF declined to answer bc he didn't know. Is that (surprising) lacuna just an interesting historical piece of trivia?
    – Double AA
    Nov 4, 2015 at 14:09
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    @andrewmh20 The referenced passage in the responsum in question is here: שו"ת אגרות משה חושן משפט חלק ב סימן עח: הנה כמדומני שידוע דרכי לכתר"ה אשר איני ממהר להשיב אף להשואלים אותי ולדברים שלא נשאלתי לא שייך כלל שאשיב אף שהיה זה שאלה פרטית בדיני איסור והיתר וכל תשובותי אף להשואלים אותי היו רק בענינים פרטיים שנוגע להיחיד ששאל אותי ודוקא כשלא היתה פגיעה לאיזה רב, ושאלה כללית לא השבתי מעולם לא בכתב ולא בעל פה, and it seems irrelevant. His point is that it isn't a specific applicable question; but a broad general question; nothing to do with which war is a mitsva.
    – mevaqesh
    Mar 10, 2017 at 19:07
  • The closing comments in the quotation from Igrot Moshe cited in the preceding comment are extremely significant comments from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein on how to understand any of his halachic responsa. This is one of other general rules that the author mentions which assign proper context to all of his words found there. Jun 28, 2019 at 14:57

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