Why is it permissible (or is it permissible) to live in communities in the West Bank that are situated in very dangerous areas even if it constitutes a danger to your own life and the life of your family? Does the mitzvah (if there is a mitzvah) of settling in the these far-out settlements somehow overrides this concern?

  • Jews have lived in places with fear of violence for centuries. Why is this different? – Double AA Sep 4 '16 at 4:34
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    Some reference to support your claim that it constitutes danger to life would greatly improve this question. (Israel as a whole has a life expectancy of over 82. America's is less than 80. Even if life expectancy in the occupied territories is 2 years less, it is still higher than that of USA. Incidentally, in 1960 the life expectancy in the US was less than 70! Most people don't think of America in the 1960 as a place of mortal peril) – mevaqesh Sep 4 '16 at 4:35
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    It should be noted that 28 people were killed by terrorists in Israel in 2015. Even if all of these people were Jews living in the west bank, and even if they were all very young, that would still barely affect the average life expectancy. – mevaqesh Sep 4 '16 at 4:43
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    @MarkA. I guess this question would be stronger if you'd characterize more precisely the type of area you're talking about and the type of danger it faces. (This should also result in a change to your title, if you're not actually asking about the whole West Bank.) Rather than positing a dubious "mitzvah of settling in the Occupied Territories" in your follow-up, it would be more productive to ask something like "are there special Halachic values to living in places like this that override the danger?" – Isaac Moses Sep 4 '16 at 5:07
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    @Lee I do not have such data. I think that such data would have made the question much stronger. All I can repeat, is that based on the source I saw there were 28 deaths by terror in the whole country in 2015, so I assume that the vast majority of the west bank is relatively safe. – mevaqesh Sep 4 '16 at 16:47

Interestingly R Shlomo Aviner writes this is a very old question.

At the end of the Kuzari [written in ca. 1140], the King of the Khazars asks the scholar: “Why are you going to Eretz Yisrael? Surely the trip there, involving travel over land and by sea, is fraught with danger?” The scholar responds, “It is no different from the merchant who travels far in hope of earning a profit.”


We must to distinguish between cases of “harm being common” (Pesachim 8b), where we have to be cautious, and cases of “harm not being common,” where we need not be cautious.

There have been 88 casualties from terrorism in all of Israel (not just the West Bank) between 2012-2016 compared with 1633 from road accidents. As such terrorism falls into the harm not being common category.

See here for further halachic proof.

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