Questions tagged [army-military-war]

Questions about armed conflict and armed services.

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Why didn't Moses fight Amalek himself?

"וַיָּבֹא עֲמָלֵק וַיִּלָּחֶם עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּרְפִידִם׃, וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּחַר־לָנוּ אֲנָשִׁים וְצֵא הִלָּחֵם בַּעֲמָלֵק מָחָר אָנֹכִי נִצָּב עַל־רֹאשׁ הַגִּבְעָה וּמַטֵּה ...
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Are there any notable rabbis that ruled regarding Russian war in Ukraine?

Besides the political aspects of the Russian war in Ukraine, there is also a Halachic aspect. In particular, if the assault is unjustified, then a Jewish soldier serving in the Russian army in Ukraine ...
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4 votes
1 answer
185 views

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's trip to Moscow on Shabbat to meet Putin

I am an Italian ben Noach. We have all seen that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett went to Moscow on Shabbat to meet Putin. I believe that, since this trip has been functional to find a solution ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Devarim 20: division of roles

Devarim 20:1-9 is a list of instructions that must be given orally to soldiers before setting out to battle. Rashi (on verse 8) explains that a priest says the words in verses 3-4, and that they also ...
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3 votes
2 answers
245 views

How should one understand the reference to ‘horsemen’, ‘bows’ and ‘arrows’ in the Gog / Magog prophecies?

Shalom. I am a bit confused by the reference of ‘horses’ and ‘horsemen’, ‘bows’ and ‘arrows’ in Yechezkel 38 and 39. It certainly would be a greater miracle than the one described if mankind were ...
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Death on the battlefield

Last Shabbat, I was reading a book called היהודים בערב (The Jews in Arabia) by Dr. Yisrael Ben Ze'ev. In the book, a section was dedicated to a pre-Islamic Arabian Jewish poet named Shmuel ben Adiyah. ...
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7 votes
7 answers
627 views

Is a gentile nation allowed to go to war with another gentile nation?

With recent talks about Russia and Ukraine ongoing invasion of Russia to Ukraine, or China and Taiwan was wondering is there a source in the Torah that would allow or disallow a gentile nation to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Responsa/Rabbinic Thought on Israeli Reprisal Operations

During the 1950s and 60s, the IDF carried out what have become known as "reprisal operations" against Arab villages. Some of the operations, especially Operation Kibya, were condemned on the ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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The fall of Yehudah the Maccabee

Yehudah the Maccabee died in the Battle of Elasa, a mere four years after the victory at Beit Tzur and the subsequent purification and rededication of the Temple. Are there any rabbinic sources that ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Why does the Torah give so much detail in the War on Midyan?

Moshe Rabbeinu and Israel fought a number of wars. Maybe starting with Egypt at the Yam Suf, but certainly against Amalek, Melech Arad, Sichon, and Og. Only by Midyan, apparently the last war ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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IDF ceremony on the Temple Mount

Last year someone sent me this video. It shows an IDF "misdar", a kind of military formation/inspection/ceremony (not really sure how to translate it) on the Temple Mount after it was freed ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What was the Rabbinic position toward the armed revolts against the Romans?

"...Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina said: Why are these three oaths needed? One, so that the Jews should not ascend to Eretz Yisrael as a wall. And another one, that the Holy One, Blessed be He, ...
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11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there a Jewish way of war?

Christian scholars have been writing about war for centuries. The "just war theory" is perhaps the greatest contribution that Christians have made to the moral study of war. This got me ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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The woman who killed King Avimelekh

The Book of Judges relates how Avimelekh, the son of Gideon rose to power and made himself a king by killing his seventy brothers. His eventual fate came, when he sieged Teiveitz and wanted to take a ...
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Was it David's custom to go into battle without an armour?

Shmuel I 17:38-39: וַיַּלְבֵּ֨שׁ שָׁא֚וּל אֶת־דָּוִד֙ מַדָּ֔יו וְנָתַ֛ן ק֥וֹבַע נְח֖שֶׁת עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ וַיַּלְבֵּ֥שׁ אֹת֖וֹ שִׁרְיֽוֹן. וַיַּחְגֹּ֣ר דָּוִ֣ד אֶת־חַ֠רְבּוֹ מֵעַ֨ל לְמַדָּ֜יו וַיֹּ֣אֶל ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the definition of a city עיר regarding sieges?

Sifrei Devarim 203. כי תצור אל עיר. במלחמת הרשות הכתוב מדבר. (Devarim 20:19) "If you besiege a city many days": Scripture here speaks of an optional war. I אל עיר. ולא לכרך. "a city&...
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1 vote
2 answers
605 views

Why is the "beautiful captive" called "beautiful" if she doesn't have to be?

The Torah says: When you take ... your enemies ... captive, and you see among them a woman of beautiful form (אֵ֖שֶׁת יְפַת-תֹּאַר), and you desire her, you may take her to yourself as a wife. [...
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4 votes
1 answer
115 views

Malachim of Nations constantly fighting?

I think recall learning about how the Malachim of different nations fight each other very often, like raging Bulls, and this causes wars in the Earthly realm between nations. What is the source for ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Teffilin in the army [closed]

One who is in the army and going to be on duty all day from before olot (dawn) until after shekiya (dusk), according to some poskim he can put on tefillin then without a bracha, while others rule that ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Is fighting in a non-Jewish army against another army with Jews as well permissible?

Let me explain. This is something that actually happened, in World War One; Jews volunteered to fight with the Entente and many Jews volunteered on the Central Powers. Some could have served on the ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why Me'arat Hamachpela was bought by Avraham and not conquered?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an aggressor, but conquest and war are always in our set of tools (see Yaakov's preparations to meeting his brother). IIRC Hittim people were idolaters and doomed to be ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Can the definition of a "rodef" be applied to any member of a terrorist group?

One is permitted to kill a rodef - someone who is planning to kill you. What are the parameters of identifying someone as a rodef when he is a member of a terrorist or any other group? Examples If ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What is the halacha if a Jew injures another Jew during battle training?

I am not aware of any information in the written or oral Torah which discusses what was involved in preparing Jewish army troops for battle, but I assume that soldiers would spar with each other and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
157 views

Status of children born from a yefat toar who was converted to judaism after the 30 day period

In parshat Ki Teietze it talks about the yefat torah. If after the 30 days if he still wants to marry her, she is converted to judaism, then he can marry her. Question: Is this conversion a regular ...
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3 votes
0 answers
68 views

What age should be a Goy to be spared and how it is determined?

אִם־לֹא תַשְׁלִים עִמָּךְ וְעָשְׂתָה עִמְּךָ מִלְחָמָה וְצַרְתָּ עָלֶיהָּ׃ וּנְתָנָהּ ה"א בְּיָדֶךָ וְהִכִּיתָ אֶת־כָּל־זְכוּרָהּ לְפִי־חָרֶב׃ רַק הַנָּשִׁים וְהַטַּף וְהַבְּהֵמָה וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Why fight the Midianites with such a huge army?

G-d promises the Israeli Nation that (Lev 26,6): וְרָדְפוּ מִכֶּם חֲמִשָּׁה מֵאָה, וּמֵאָה מִכֶּם רְבָבָה יִרְדֹּפוּ וְנָפְלוּ אֹיְבֵיכֶם לִפְנֵיכֶם לֶחָרֶב׃ Five of you shall give chase to ...
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-6 votes
5 answers
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Why G-d didn't reveal the Israelis a recipe for gunpowder?

I think that would change the balance of power dramatically and ensure fast and effortless conquer of the Promised Land. For those (interpreters and those of you) who hold that the conquest had to be ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Halachic ground for opening an voluntary war against other nations

Jews are Halachicly allowed to start a voluntary war to conquer and enslave other nations and to expand the Jewish kingdom (Rambam Melachim 5). As the Halachah forbids both killing and robbing non-...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Does Milchemet Mitzvah (obligatory war) require a King?

אֵין הַמֶּלֶךְ נִלְחָם תְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה.‏ וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה?‏ זוֹ מִלְחֶמֶת שִׁבְעָה עֲמָמִים. וּמִלְחֶמֶת עֲמָלֵק.‏ וְעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד צָר ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Rabbinic responsa on Remembering the fallen IDF soldiers

I know it is a heavy and very "politically" loaded question, but I'd try my best to formulate it in a most neutral way: 24 thousands of R' Akivah students allegedly died of their own sins some 2000 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Historically, were women trained for obligatory wars? Or did they serve some other military function?

Sotah 8:7 says that for obligatory wars all go out to fight, "even a bridegroom from his chamber and a bride from her canopy". Historically, was this in fact our practice? Did women participate in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Does any ongoing transgression exempt one from going to war?

We know from Devarim 20:8 that someone who is "fearful and faint-hearted" is sent home from battle (in optional wars) lest he demoralize others. In Sotah 8:5 Rabbi Yose the Galilean says this refers ...
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4 votes
1 answer
613 views

Were Kohanim forbidden from serving in King David's army?

The gemara in a couple places (Shabbos 56a, Kesuvos 9b) tells us that before leaving to battle, the soldiers in King David's army would give a conditional get to their wives in order to prevent a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
142 views

Who did the Jews fight on Purim if nobody could oppose them?

נִקְהֲלוּ הַיְּהוּדִים בְּעָרֵיהֶם בְּכָל־מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֳחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בִּמְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתָם וְאִישׁ לֹא־עָמַד לִפְנֵיהֶם כִּי־נָפַל פַּחְדָּם עַל־כָּל־הָעַמִּים׃ (Ester 9.5 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Mordechay's decree: "kill women and children, AND/OR plunder their possessions"?

I'm a bit confused here, so maybe the title is not worded well. Achashverosh let Mordechay write the letters to his own wording: "ואתם כתבו על־היהודים כטוב בעיניכם בשם המלך" And you may ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does the mitzvah of eradicating Amalek supersede Shabbos?

The Sefer Chinuch 604 tells us we have a mitzvah to wipe out Amalek. למחות זרעו מן העולם - שנצטוינו למחות זרעו של עמלק ולאבד זכרו מן העולם, זכר ונקבה, גדול וקטן, ועל זה נאמר (דברים כה יט) ''תמחה את ...
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0 votes
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Gedoley Israel's views on the army service in Israel

There are many Haredim who refuse to join the Army. What are the opinions of Contemporary Gedolei Israel on Bachurei Yeshivot to join the Israeli army?
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6 votes
0 answers
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When did a Jew last marry a woman captured in war?

What is the last recorded case of a Jew marrying a woman captured in war, as allowed by the Torah [Deut. 21:10-14]? Anybody more recent than King David, as mentioned in Sanhedrin 21a and Kiddushin ...
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4 votes
2 answers
179 views

What is the Halacha on collateral damage in a time of war?

Hypothetically, if the IDF was a “halachically run” military force; what would be the Halacha against killing innocents? For example, there is a famous case of the ל"ה troops during the Israeli war ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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Did any rabbis address the theological possibility/implications of nuclear extinction?

During the Cold War, plenty of people were aware (I think?) that detonating enough nuclear bombs could lead to human extinction. Did any rabbis address whether the belief that Moshiach will come mean ...
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1 answer
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Pretty woman - is it a test or a Mitzvah

The sources talk a lot about the procedure of "אשת יפת תואר" (like Rambam Melachim 8,2 and on). So for the soldiers, is the Pretty Woman allowed but "bad" (like "Patur but Ossur", see Rashi's ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Roles of the Cohen and Judges involved in speaking to the people prior to war

In Devarim 20:2-4, the Cohen speaks to the people and gives an general comment not to fear the enemy. Then, in verse 5, the judges speak to the people and exempt 4 groups of people from the army, and ...
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4 votes
3 answers
63 views

Apparent wrong arrangement of war instructions in Devarim 20:1-9

While reviewing the instructions that the Cohen tells people prior to going to war, as shown in Devarim 20:1-9, there seems to be an incorrect order of statements. In particular: Verse 3 - The Cohen ...
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6 votes
5 answers
170 views

What is the connection between "sword and ... bow" (Genesis 48:22) with "prayer and ... supplication" (as rendered by Onkelos)?

What is the connection between "sword and ... bow" (Genesis 48:22) with "prayer and ... supplication" (as rendered by Onkelos)? Verse: וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל אַחֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר ...
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  • 535
3 votes
0 answers
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Jew Vs Jew in non-Jewish war

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 - ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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How did the Shofar announcements work?

In this week's Parsha - יִתְרוֹ - we have the first occurrence (AFAIK) of the Shofar blast announcing something. בִּמְשֹׁךְ הַיֹּבֵל הֵמָּה יַעֲלוּ בָהָר. When you hear the long shofar sound, you may ...
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4 votes
1 answer
78 views

Why were the Jews commanded to destroy fruit trees when attacking Moav?

In 2 Melachim 3:24-25 it says They entered the Israelite camp, and the Israelites arose and attacked the Moabites, who fled before them. They advanced, constantly attacking the Moabites, and they ...
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3 votes
0 answers
98 views

What was so miraculous of the Chanukah war?

In the Chanukah "Al Hanisim", it says: "You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into ...
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1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Explanation of Gemara on why the Jews were only commanded to attack Midian and not Moav

In Bamidbar 25:16-18, Hashem commands Moshe to take revenge on Midian for having caused the Jews to sin at Shittim, discussed at the beginning of the chapter. Yet v. 1 seems to indicate that the Jews ...
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0 votes
1 answer
63 views

Explanation of Kli Yakar on why the Jews were only commanded to attack Midian and not Moav

In Bamidbar 25:16-18, Hashem commands Moshe to take revenge on Midian for having caused the Jews to sin at Shittim, discussed at the beginning of the chapter. Yet v. 1 seems to indicate that the Jews ...
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