Questions tagged [murder]

The prohibition against murder is the 6th of the Ten Commandments. Murder does not include court executions, defensive wars, or wars commanded by G-d.

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1answer
162 views

How to determine a trespasser's intent from a Halachic Perspective?

How do we determine a trespasser's intent from a Halachic Perspective? The Rambam writes: If it is clear to the house-owner that the thief who breaks in will not kill him and instead is only ...
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The Trolley Problem: Is it better to kill 1 person or let 5 die?

I was recently reading about the Trolley Problem A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you ...
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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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Can the accidental killer of a relative kill himself?

If a person kills his relative unintentionally, can he also be considered a goel hadam (blood avenger) for the victim (since the victim is his relative)? In which case, he should have permission to ...
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2answers
118 views

“Kanai”: What criteria must be met by a defendant charged with murder who claims “kanai” status (halachik answers only please, not hashkafik/musar)

Much has been written about kanaut, and see for example the famous brother and sister Leibowitz, writing separately, but mine is a purely-halachik question: If someone replicates Pinchas's action, ...
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Pinchas-style act nowadays

Is there any situation whereby a Pinchas-style execution would be justified nowadays? I am particularly interested in whether a 'zealous act' against a public sexually problematic sin is possible in ...
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What Happened To King Davids Parents?

I read somewhere (I believe it was a midrash) that King David's parents were murdered? Is this this factual or is it an allegory for some other interpretation e.g losing their money/status?
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Understanding the reasoning for “be killed rather than kill”

Sanhedrin 74a teaches us the source for how we know a person should be killed rather than kill: סברא הוא [...] מי יימר דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דהוא גברא סומק טפי It's based on logical ...
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1answer
371 views

Can an unintentional murderer leave Ir Miklat for Shalosh Regalim?

We learn in Parshas Masei about a person who unintentionally murders another. The halacha is that the unintentional murderer is to flee to one of the Arei Miklat (Cities of Refuge), and stay there ...
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719 views

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

There is a principle 'svara lamah li krah i.e. if a certain idea is logical and self evident to the average healthy mind, the Torah does not need to teach that idea. Additionally, what seems to be ...
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If a kohen participates in a stoning is he still allowed to bless the people?

The shulchan aruch codifies that a Kohen who kills someone may not bless the people. If, in the times when the Sanhedrin administered capital punishment, a Kohen saw a situation that warranted the ...
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Yehu punished for Yizre'el?

Hoshea 1:3-5: "So he went and married Gomer the daughter of Divlayim, and she conceived and bore him a son. HASHEM said to him," Call him Yizre'el; because in only a short time I will punish the ...
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Is a doctor obligated to force vaccination?

As per the injunction of "לא תעמוד על דם רעך" - "Stand not [idly] over the blood of thine fellow"(Leviticus 19:16), is a Torah-observant doctor obligated to vaccinate an unvaccinated patient for a ...
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How could we learn behavior from animals?

The gemarah in Eruvin 100b says that had the Torah not been give we would have learned various behaviors from certain animals, such as modesty from the cat. To me this presupposes that had the Torah ...
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Is murder allowed for someone who is stealing?

Under how I have interpreted United States laws I believe murder is allowed if someone is stealing in certain circumstances. It is used as an act of protection and self-defense. Is this allowed ...
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Is abortion of a gentile child of a Jewish father permissible?

If a Jewish man were to father a child with a gentile would they be allowed to consider an abortion or would that be disallowed in the Halachic literature ?
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Is it permitted to have an abortion if divorce if imminent?

I know that abortion is permissible if physical health of the mother could be compromised, but what about the emotional health of the mother (or the father for that matter) - if a couple sees divorce ...
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6answers
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Correct translation of “לא תרצח” - Thou shalt not kill or murder?

There are, basically, two English translations of the Sixth Commandment - "לא תרצח" (Ex 20:13 and Deut 5:17): some read "kill", some read "murder". Murder seems more accurate since there is ...
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If a blood avenger somehow gets into a city of refuge and kills the killer, is he subject to the death penalty?

We know that a Goel haDam (blood avenger) has a special allowance to kill the rotzeach who accidentally killed his family member. The accidental rotzeach can avoid this fate by fleeing to an ir miklat,...
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194 views

Can two siamese twins be separated by killing one if that one would die anyway and the other would live

In two Simaese twins where the first will definitely die soon, whereas the second has a chance of life if the first stops being a 'drain' him. Like if there is only one heart. Can one kill the first ...
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Murderous Yibum

What is the Halacha in the following case: Reuven and Shimon are brothers. Reuven marries Rachel and has no children (Rachel is not pregnant). Shimon decides that he wants to be married to Rachel, ...
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Do non-Jews have the same value as Jews? [duplicate]

In Gemara of Sanhedrin on daf 74a it discusses a famous Jewish thought that one can not value himself over another. As it says: רוצח גופיה מנא לן סברא הוא דההוא דאתא לקמיה דרבה ואמר ליה אמר לי מרי ...
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Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/suicide?

Was the mass coordinated mutual killing at Masada (for lack of a better term) an act of heroic martyrdom or immoral murder and suicide? While it is unknown for certain what exactly transpired, ...
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“Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock”?

I do not understand the last lines of psalm 137 ("By the rivers of Babylon"/"Al naharos bovel," the psalm recited before Birkat Ha-Mazon on weekdays. [It includes the famous lines "Im eshkachech ...
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Asara Haruge Malchut (Ten Martyrs), why were 10 Rabbis killed?

In Vayigash, Rabenu Bahya (also the Zohar) comments and says that the reason we had Asara Haruge Malchut because the brothers sold Yosef. However, Reuven didn't sell Yosef, so why should the ...
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Do Gentiles need to excute a convicted murderer?

B'nai Noach are forbidden to murder innocents. They are also required to establish courts. If the Gentile court convicts the murderer, do they need to execute the murderer, or does performing the ...
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Origin of “May God Avenge His Blood” (הי"ד)

What is the origin (i.e earliest usages) of appending הי"ד ("May God Avenge His Blood") after the name of a murder victim.
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What is an overview of Judaism's arguments against the “unconscious violinist” analogy used to support abortion in the case of rape?

I am looking for the response of any denomination that is against abortion in the case of rape that has also responded to the scenario below or something similar to it. "A Defense of Abortion" (...
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1answer
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Is an accidental murderer allowed to stand and fight the Goel HaDam?

As we know, during times when the Sanhedrin is fully operating, an accidental murderer must flee to an Ir Miklat (City of Refuge). If he leaves such a city or does not enter, he is subject to revenge ...
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1answer
139 views

Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

So it's really difficult to think of a practical example of this, but imagine there were some scenario in which, G-d forbid, you needed to kill a non-guilty party in self-defense. If one were in this ...
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Going out on Shabbat for Avenging your father's murder?

In the Mishna Berurah on the end of Siman 306 (page 200 of Vol. 3 in the classic editions) he writes: כתב כנה"ג דללכת חוץ לתחום בשבת לנקום נקמת אביו מרוצחים מותר ותמה עליו המג"א וש"א דהא לא עדיף ...
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Does a person who kills someone by accident have to go live in Chevron nowadays?

Someone who kills by accident has to go live in one of the Arei Miklat. The Rambam paskens this halacha and does not specify that it only applies at a particular time, only when there's a Sanhedrin, ...
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Does “attempted murder” carry punishment by Jewish law?

[Question recently posed to me by a friend] קידושין דף מ עמוד א---------Kidushin 40a מחשבה רעה אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מצרפה למעשה שנאמר (תהלים סו, יח) און אם ראיתי בלבי לא ישמע ה' ואלא מה אני ...
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269 views

Accidental Murder

A person who kills another person by accident must run to a city of refuge. While he's running, relatives of the person he killed may kill him. Why are the relatives allowed to kill in such a case? ...
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Which is a more severe aveira, murder or chilul (desecrating) Shabbos?

Which is a more severe aveira, murder or chilul (desecrating) Shabbos? On the one hand we know that murder is Yeheraig V'al yaavor (one of the 3 capital crimes for which one must give up his life). ...
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Murder in Eretz Yisrael

The Gemara in Yoma (85a) argues that murder is more chamur than chilul Shabbos because it "contaminates the land and drives away the Shechina" ושפיכות דמים מטמא את הארץ וגורם לשכינה שתסתלק מישראל ...
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Earliest moment for interrupted wedding to be considered binding?

A Jewish marriage takes place but the ceremony is, Hashem forbid, interrupted by a terrorist's bullet. One of the couple dies. How far must the ceremony have gone for the bereaved to be considered a ...
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is a animal more responsible then a child? if yes why?

if an animal kills a Jew it deserves the death penalty source if a child (under 13/12) kills a Jew he is completely free (no consequences)? if yes why?
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Is Mossad Assasination allowed in Torah?

The Torah seems to allow many instances of killing. Genocide is sometimes okay if you give fair warning. So is the execution of a convicted murderer, or even those who break the Sabbath. It does ...
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1answer
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Does Yehareg v’al Yaavor apply to lo sa’amod?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a) derives that one must give up his life rather than murder someone else because “who says that your blood is redder than his?” That is, who said you have more of a right to ...
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450 views

Killing gentile under threat of death

If someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and tells him, "Kill this Jew or I'll kill you," the halachah is that Reuvein must let himself be killed. What if someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and ...
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Why did Pharaoh only order the murder of boys?

In parashat shemote, Pharaoh explicitly commands the midwives to allow the females to live (וְאִם-בַּת הִוא וָחָיָה). What are the traditional commentaries explaining the order to allow the girls to ...
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Why did Bigtan and Teresh want to kill the king?

I am very puzzled by the whole episode with Bigtan and Teresh (Esther 2:21-23). What exactly made them so mad that they wanted to kill the king? The gemarah (megillah 13b) says they were complaining ...
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How was Matisyahu's murder justified

According to sforim chitsoynim, Matisyahu murdered an unarmed villager in Modin. I believe this tale is repeated in Rabbinic sources, perhaps the Medrash, because I was taught it in Yeshiva. My ...
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884 views

Why do accidental killers sent to arei miklat go free after the Kohen Gadol dies?

When someone kills accidentaly he is sent to live in an ir miklat ("city of refuge") until the Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") dies. This seems like an arbitrary time. What does the Kohen Gadol's death ...
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Releasing terrorists in exchange for remains of past victims

What would be a halachik justification for mediating a deal involving releasing terrorists, who may well murder more victims, in exchange for remains of past victims? Related: Why is the head of the ...
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1answer
626 views

Is the Goel HaDam (Blood Avenger) obligated to pursue blood vengeance?

During times when the Torah is the law of the land, if a Jew commits accidental murder against another Jew, he must flee to a Ir Miklat (City of Refuge) or else be subject to revenge killing by the ...
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2answers
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Does killing a gentile unintentionally absolve you from the crime? (Makkot 7b)

Does killing a gentile unintentionally absolve you from the crime? (Makkot 7b) "(דברים יט, ד) בבלי דעת פרט למתכוין מתכוין פשיטא בר קטלא הוא אמר רבה פרט למתכוין להרוג את הבהמה והרג את האדם לכותי והרג ...
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106 views

Trespassers from a Halachic Perspective

Where is there a discussion where one can or can not injure or kill anybody who trespasses one's property?
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103 views

Was Yoav considered a murderer regarding Uriah the Hittite?

In Samuel I chapter 11, David commands Yo'av to place Uriah the Hittite in the middle of a battle so that, inevitably, the enemy would kill him while he is unprotected. Yo'av carries out the command. ...