We know that throughout recent history, Jews were conscripted into non-Jewish armies. Are Jews allowed to join those armies or at the very least are they allowed to fight in those armies battles - given the chance that the opposing army also has Jews in it?

Ex: In WWI Russia and Germany both had Jews in their armies. Should the Jews on both sides refuse to fight lest they kill the Jews on the other side?

What if the punishment for not fighting is (1) jail time (2) getting brutally beat up (3) personal death (4) community will be pogrummed?

Do you know any מראה מקומות on this topic?

  • I suppose your example is not the best. However, I have a vague memory that in the 15th century Jews fought in Spain on both sides. – Kazi bácsi May 13 '18 at 15:18
  • According to Josephus, at Masada, Jewish prisoners of war/slaves were used to build the ramp and do otherwise dangerous work because the Romans thought they'd hesitate to kill other Jews. Just another example of the psychological tactics the Romans loved to take advantage of....sure wish we had a good time machine, where we could just send the defenders(or Bar Kosiba, for that matter) some machine guns and other modern technology and see how history turned out. If, if, if! A WWII bomber or two wiping out the Roman camps there or at Jerusalem would've made quite a difference! – Gary May 13 '18 at 15:55
  • Opps, sorry! Those were Jewish wars. – Gary May 13 '18 at 16:01
  • Why does it matter that the opposite army may have Jews in it? – Double AA May 13 '18 at 17:36
  • @Gary I also seem to recall that while the Jews were fine with attacking the Romans they refused to attack the attacking Jews. – DonielF May 13 '18 at 17:48

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