Questions tagged [army-military-war]

Questions about armed conflict and armed services.

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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 ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
5 votes
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How is yefas to'ar fair to the woman?

At the beginning of Ki Seitzei (Devarim 21:10-14), the Torah permits a soldier at war to take a woman from the captives as a wife, but only after he shaves her head, grows out her nails, removes her ...
DonielF's user avatar
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Sources for Milchemet Mitzvah at this time

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 ...
andrewmh20's user avatar
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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
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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 ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
3 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&...
Chofetz Chaim's user avatar
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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 ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
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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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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 - ...
Moish's user avatar
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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 ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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Why is there a Sephardic belief that eating seuda shelishit would in part protect you from the goings on at Gog and Magog?

I read this in a siddur at a Sephardic Shul yesterday. The women around me agreed wholeheartedly with the statement, stating that it's Halacha. I don't see the connection, other than the idea that ...
Jenni Yael's user avatar
3 votes
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Why do we fast on Taanis Esther in particular?

I am aware that according to the Avudraham, the fast commemorates the war in the Purim story. According to this answer, why is Taanis Esther unique that we fast in memory of the war, when there are ...
DonielF's user avatar
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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
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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 ...
Zarka's user avatar
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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-...
Al Berko's user avatar
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What was the nature of the tax of 32 people?

BeMidbar 31:40 states that, after the war with the Midyanim, in which Bnei Yisrael were instructed to take captives and booty, and to pay taxes to HaShem from this plunder, they "paid" a total of ...
Seth J's user avatar
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What does it mean that there was "great wrath upon Yisrael" in Melachim II 3:27?

Melachim II 3:27 כז. וַיִּקַּח אֶת בְּנוֹ הַבְּכוֹר אֲשֶׁר יִמְלֹךְ תַּחְתָּיו וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ עֹלָה עַל הַחֹמָה וַיְהִי קֶצֶף גָּדוֹל עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעָלָיו וַיָּשֻׁבוּ לָאָרֶץ׃ And he ...
Niobius's user avatar
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War between Ten Tribes and Yehuda

There is a reference to Bereshis Rabba 65:20 and Vayikra Rabba 33:5 to 2 Chronicles 13:17 which says that 500,000 soldiers of the northern tribes killed by the army of Yehuda. The Midrash states that ...
Duvy's user avatar
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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
120 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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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
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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
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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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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
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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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1 vote
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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. ...
Harel13's user avatar
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1 vote
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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, ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
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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 ...
DanF's user avatar
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1 vote
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182 views

Why will Moshiach fight in wars?

According to Prophet Isaiah of blessed memory when Moshiach comes there will be no more wars but according to the Rambam of blessed memory one of the ways to know if somebody is Moshiach is if he ...
arthurlerner's user avatar
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33 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
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0 answers
52 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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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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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
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Are Jews allowed to destroy the fruit trees and give bad water to cattle if they're fighting a war outside/unrelated to the Holy Land & Mesopotamia?

Deuteronomy 20:19-20 (NIV) states the following: When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can ...
setszu's user avatar
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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
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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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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56 views

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?
Rh Haokip's user avatar
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Why does Avraham's Torah protect before battle reaches him more than Yaakov's g'milas chasadim?

In the Haamek Davar on Lech L'cha 12:17, the author tells us a rule you should understand for all the subsequent sections of Genesis, the "book of the upright", Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: that it ...
msh210's user avatar
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Hand-Held Electronic Body Scanners on Shabbat

Can hand held electronic body scanners be used by synagogue volunteers on Shabbat for security purposes? This is in response to terrorist threats against American (specifically American-Jewish) ...
JJLL's user avatar
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