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Questions tagged [army-military-war]

Questions about armed conflict and armed services.

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Torah study vs armed defense

The Midrash tells us that only Torah study protects the Jews: Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi sent Rabbi Assi and Rabbi Ammi on a mission to organize religious education in the cities of the Land of Israel. ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
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23 views

Getting Divine guidance for monumental decisions

When faced with monumental, potentially world history altering decisions like going to war, it would seem appropriate to get Divine approval, like was done using Urim V'Tumim, as opposed to only ...
user9806's user avatar
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2 answers
136 views

War for economic reasons

In Brachot 3b David gives his ministers the advice to go to war to bring Parnassah. Then they asked the Urim and Thumim. Is waging war for economic reasons halahically justified?
Vyacheslav Yosef Dobrovych's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
55 views

Are men with dead or divorced wives before the first year still exempt

According to Deuteronomy 24:5 a man is exempt from public service for a year when he marries a wife. What does Halacha say in the case a man marries a woman and divorced her or she dies before that ...
Kirk's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
64 views

Is there a specific subset of Halacha which validates the need of Jewish soldiers to be selfless with their lives?

Judaism separates itself from the other Abrahamic faiths in that we are extremely serious about preserving life. In other faiths, martyrdom isn't something which just occurs due to circumstance but is ...
Michael's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
64 views

When can you cut down fruit trees?

The Torah enjoins us not to destroy fruit trees when you besiege a city. [Deut. 20:19-20] This grew into the Talmudic principle of בל תשחית -- Do not destroy [e.g., Shabbat 105b], based on the logic ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
205 views

Is Pilegesh B''Givah a Proof that the IDF Should Widely Disseminate (with the appropriate rating) "Bearing Witness"?

The IDF created a 47-minute film based on raw footage of the evil and brutal 2023 Hamas massacre - Bearing Witness. Reports indicate that it is one of the most graphic and gruesome films ever made. My ...
GratefulD's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

Do the laws of pidyon shvuyim apply as usual during a war or are they secondary to warfare considerations?

Rambam states that there is no Mitzva as great as Pidyon Shvuyim. (משנה תורה, הלכות מתנות עניים ח׳) He sets forth there that its greatness is based on the fact that the prisoner is in constant lack of ...
Yahu's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Why did Yonatan start up with the Plishtim?

In 1 Shmuel 13 Yonatan seemingly unprovoked, attacks the Plishtim triggering a war. The text does not indicate that Yonatan was told to do this by Shaul, Shmuel or Hashem. Further on in the chapter we ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
114 views

Legalities of launching a preemptive strike on shabbat

Should the IDF be allowed to launch an offensive on Shabbat if it seems as if there will be no threat from any opposing forces until Shabbat is over?
Sarah's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Punishments for a soldier who kills another soldier in unintentional friendly fire

An IDF Soldier is returning to base, and a sniper on guard sees the IDF soldier. He sees the IDF soldier he thinks the person is Hamas. He then shoots the IDF Soldier in defense of the base. Under ...
Ben P's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
186 views

How did the Jews have weapons before they vanquished the Plishtim?

According to 1 Shmuel ch. 13 the Jews did not have weapons with which to fight the Plishtim yet in a previous battle in chapter 11 the Jewish army defeated the Ammonites, which would seemingly have ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
39 views

Burying/saving body parts of people who are still alive [duplicate]

Unfortunately, post 7 October 2023, I have seen the scenario a number of times. If a person has a part of their body removed (e.g., during a battle) does that body part need to be immediately buried? ...
bondonk's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
305 views

Does a Jewish army require permission from Gedolim to wage war

Basically, as the title says, in the modern era without Sanhedrin, does a Jewish army require permission from the rabbonim of the times to wage war? If they do, would the current conflict in Israel be ...
WonderingJew's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

Is there any opinion suggesting Jews returning from warfare should cleanse themselves in the mikvah to purify from combat?

We are taught that because King David had spilled the blood of the Canaanites in his conquest of Haaretz Yisrael, he was forbidden from building the Beit Hamikdash. This responsibility fell unto ...
Michael's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
242 views

Does every bullet have a name on it (during war)?

R Avraham ibn Ezra writes (Devarim 20:7) that folks (can) die in wars even if it isn't yet their time to go: ולא לקחה – בנשואין. והנה זה הכתוב לאות על כי יש מי שימות בבוא יומו, רק המת במלחמה מת בלא ...
Nahum's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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War after the miracle of oil?

One popular explanation for the name Chanukah is that on 25th of Kislev (כ"ה) they had a respite of their enemies (חנו מאויביהם). (Actually I am not so sure about the first source of this either. ...
Binyomin's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
889 views

Is taking an Eshet Yefat To'ar allowed today?

The Torah provides that a Jewish soldier may, by following a specific process, take a woman captive as his wife and convert her to Judaism as an אשת יפת תואר (Devarim 21:10-14). Is this provision ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
517 views

New responsa on releasing terrorists in exchange for hostages?

The State of Israel has over the years engaged in the exchange of terrorists and criminals in exchange for the release of hostages. This topic has prior been explored in posts such as Q 10731 and Q ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
105 views

Milchemes mitzvah in Shoftim according to Rambam

According to the Rambam that you need a Melech for a milchemes mitzvah, how does the Rambam understand all the milchamos in the book of Shoftim?
Josh's user avatar
  • 273
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0 answers
52 views

Confused about the layout of this

Joshua 6:12-13 Speaks about the Kohanim, armed men, and rear guard and how they were ordered when they walked with the Aron. Is there a representation of this actually looked, I'm not sure who was in ...
Bukh's user avatar
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0 answers
38 views

Is an enemy counteroffensive in an optional war a milchemet mitzva?

After consulting the Urim vThumin, Shlomo decides to conquer Egypt. He captures the Nile Delta. An Egyptian force from the south moves upward to liberate it. Since the Jews are now on the defensive, ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
284 views

Is the war to protect the State of Israel from attacks from terrrorists a Milchemes Mitzvah

The Rambam in Melachim 5:1 says that one of the cases of Milchemes Mitzvah is coming to the aid of Jews being attacked by an enemy. Does that mean that the war in Gaza (declared on 07/10/2023) is a ...
Yehuda's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
227 views

Rabbi Grossman's tzedakkah segula for soldiers

In Israeli Dati social media circles there's been a little bit of a buzz recently1 over a segula apparently first introduced by Rabbi Grossman during the Second Lebanon War (see here from 0:52). The ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
1 vote
0 answers
128 views

Would the dispensation of Yefat Toar apply to homosexual men?

My understanding is that one of the reasons for the permissibility of a man to sleep with a woman who is part of an enemy nation during war is because the Torah is "speaking against the man's ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

Ethics of working in defense

The following is not halacha l'maaseh. Say I am currently looking for a new role. In my search, I come across a fair number of (US-based) defense contractors that seem to have openings for what I am ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
0 answers
148 views

Meaning of a Talmud statement about acceptable casualties of war

The Talmud says: Shmuel... said: A government that allows one-sixth to die [by going to war] is not punished. [Shevuot 35b] I don't understand what this means. That a ruler is allowed to risk the ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
366 views

Prevention of Lashon Hara as a protection for military wars

In light of the current situation in Israel, one of the calls that has been made is specifically to try and cut down on Lashon Hara. I have seen two similar sources concerning the generation of Achav: ...
Dov's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
285 views

What does Halacha say about human shields

What is the Torah approach to when terrorists are using civilians as human shields? Are you allowed to bomb the building?
Josh's user avatar
  • 273
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

What should one do to help Israel during war?

Regarding this terrible attack and subsequent war on October 2023, how would our Sages say we can help Israel during a war like this? I’m not just looking for answers like “pray”, but rather maybe ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
331 views

Why was Avshalom riding a donkey into battle?

In the battle between Avshalom's army and David's forces Avshalom is riding a donkey which runs away when Avshalom is caught by his hair in a tree. וַיִּקָּרֵא אַבְשָׁלוֹם לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

Is Chushai to blame for the deaths in Avshalom's rebellion?

In 2 Shmuel 17 Ahitophel counsels Avshalom to immediately pursue David with 12,000 soldiers and predicts that they will be able to kill David without having to kill David's men. At David's behest, ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
95 views

Do non-Israelite soldiers in the army of an Israelite king observe Shabbat?

Does וְגֵרְךָ, אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ apply to non-Israelite soldiers serving in the army of an Israelite king?
הראל's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
157 views

Yefas Toar - rape allowed by the Torah before the marriage?

Ki Saitzai deals with the Eishes Yefas Toar “woman of beautiful form” taken in battle. Ramban and Rabbeinu Tam say that the Torah permits the soldier to have relations with the maiden immediately. ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

what is the difference between שלל, ביזה, and חרם?

We know that there are no true synonyms in the Torah. What does each of these connote? (to pass the test here - i googled and did not find anything)
eliyahu's user avatar
  • 373
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

Did all the midyanim die? [duplicate]

In the war with Midyon, the Torah infers all of their men were killed, and girls not of mature age were spared Now if they were all killed, how do they appear in Shoftim as being the oppressors of ...
KapinKrunch's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Is profiting off of a war allowed in Judaism? Like for example, is it allowed in Judaism to sell equipment to both sides?

Historically, Jews often lived in regions where it wasn't uncommon for a war to occur. I imagine some shrewd businessmen took advantage of this to profit by doing things like selling equipment or ...
setszu's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
60 views

Malbim on the irrationality/illegitimacy of Amalek

Malbim on Shmuel 1:15:2 writes about the irrationality, or perhaps the illegitimacy of Amalek's war with Bnei Yisrael: "כה אמר ה' צבאות, הנה התורה בארה בטעם מצות מיחוי זכר עמלק כמה טעמים כמ&...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

What’s the Jewish equivalent to The Art of War?

I know from Parashas Vayishlach, there is a reference to how a Jew should prepare for war. Yaakov prays and sends Esau a large gift to appease him. Where can I find more sources on how a Jew fights a ...
user3485864's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

What changed in the later First Temple period that increased interaction with further kingdoms?

If you read the Book of Kings, the nations with which Israel (or later, Judah and Israel) was always either warring or allying themselves are basically its neighbors: Egypt, Lebanon ("Tyre"),...
Shalom's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
1k views

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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
227 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 ...
Amos74's user avatar
  • 2,616
2 votes
0 answers
22 views

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 ...
Zarka's user avatar
  • 2,448
3 votes
2 answers
415 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 ...
Tom W's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
53 views

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. ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
7 votes
7 answers
752 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 ...
code613's user avatar
  • 1,204
2 votes
1 answer
157 views

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 ...
Bochur613's user avatar
  • 4,667
3 votes
3 answers
163 views

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 ...
Harel13's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
153 views

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 ...
MichoelR's user avatar
  • 3,556
5 votes
1 answer
157 views

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 ...
Harel13's user avatar
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