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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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21
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
15
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2answers
301 views

Esav was coming with 400 men: why then

Why was Esav going toward Yaakov (Gen. 33:1, 32:7) if he had (27:41) planned to wait to kill him until Yitzchak was dead? (Please cite your source, if any.)
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3answers
1k views

Homosexuality is “worse than murder”?

A sign at a recent rally protesting New York's 2011 Marriage Equality Act reads Judaism considers male homosexuality a worse sin than murder I imagine that this is a minority opinion, but does it ...
4
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2answers
209 views

kosher murder switch?

It is generally accepted that grama (indirect causation) is not permitted in performing a forbidden melacha in non-emergency situations. Similarly, while there may be cases of grama in other halachic ...
12
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2answers
687 views

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, ...
8
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1answer
618 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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
11
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2answers
449 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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3answers
513 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
289 views

Is someone killed by force called Kiddush Hashem?

Is someone who was killed for being Jewish without having been given a choice to save himself by transgressing the Torah, called a kodosh?
5
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3answers
175 views

Who killed Shaul?

Ⅰ Sh'muel 31:3–5: וַתִּכְבַּד הַמִּלְחָמָה אֶל שָׁאוּל…. וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לְנֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו שְׁלֹף חַרְבְּךָ וְדָקְרֵנִי בָהּ… וְלֹא אָבָה נֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו כִּי יָרֵא מְאֹד וַיִּקַּח שָׁאוּל אֶת ...
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4answers
615 views

How was Saul a Tzadik if he wiped out Nov?

I've read many commentaries that argue that despite losing the kingdom, Saul is a righteous guy. But how, after he mass murdered priests (Samuel 1 21-22)? To be more exact, he ordered priests to be ...
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0answers
42 views

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 ...
15
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1answer
247 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
165 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
509 views

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 ...
15
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1answer
369 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 ...
13
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3answers
786 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
12
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2answers
584 views

Would halacha permit bombing Auschwitz?

I know there's a lot of talk about whether Allied forces during World War II could have / should have taken military action directly against the Holocaust. I'm not opening that can of worms here. ...
12
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3answers
901 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
616 views

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 ?
9
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
147 views

If a king kills accidentally does he go into exile?

The mishna in makkos teaches that even someone who the entire Jewish people have a need for such as Yoav ben Tzrurya would have to go into exile (to a city of refuge) if he killed accidentally. I ...
6
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3answers
342 views

Why did Pharaoh try to kill Moshe?

Moshe Rabbeinu was raised in Pharaoh's house. Yet when Dasan and Aviram claimed that Moshe killed an Egyptian taskmaster, Pharaoh tried to kill him (Shemot 2:13-15). Why would an all powerful tyrant ...
6
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4answers
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 ...
4
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2answers
193 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 ...
4
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3answers
154 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
169 views

When is revenge permitted

I understand that it is forbidden for a Jew to take revenge. Rambam Deyot 7.7 A person who takes revenge against a colleague transgresses a Torah prohibition, as Leviticus 19:18 states: "Do not ...
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1answer
101 views

Mi La'Hashem Eilai - Was this an appropriate response?

This question weaves together a couple different sources. The first nekudah comes from 32:32 where we have the phrase: וְאִם-אַיִן--מְחֵנִי נָא, מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ - If you will not [...
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1answer
137 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 ...
7
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6answers
280 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
710 views

Does one sit shiva for someone he killed?

I understand sitting shiva to be an expression of bereavement. If I (hypothetically) was the victim of constant abuse which lasted for years and I ultimately, in an act of self defense, had to kill my ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Getting in the way of a zealot

When Pinchas slew Cozbi and Zimri, he was acting in accordance to a lesser known law, the law of the zealot, that says that if one sees certain sins being performed (I don't know what qualifies) he is ...
6
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2answers
290 views

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.
5
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1answer
145 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 ...
5
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1answer
302 views

“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 ...
5
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2answers
102 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. ...
5
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3answers
213 views

Moshe and the Egyptian - Justifiable Homicide?

Shemot Chapter 2 has the incident of Moshe slaying the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew slave. He "looks this way and that", kills him, and buries him in the sand. After he realizes "the matter ...
5
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2answers
267 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? ...
4
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0answers
100 views

Deadly force in self defense vs defense of others

In this answer Ephraim quoted the עץ חיים as quoting the רא"ם as saying that a נרדף - someone who is being pursued and could be killed - doesn't have to worry about using non-deadly force if it would ...
4
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1answer
208 views

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, ...
4
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1answer
105 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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2answers
185 views

What one must give up their life for

It is commonly known that there are 3 things that a Jew must give up their life for and not to be ovar (transgress) on these things: Giliah Ariyos (sexual relations that are not permitted), Shivchus ...
2
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1answer
163 views

How can the prohibition against murder be reconciled with capital punishment in the Torah (mitath beth din)?

How can the prohibition on murder be reconciled with capital punishment in the Torah, i.e., mitath beth din? I understand that the death penalty was effectively abolished by the Sanhedrin in 30 CE. ...
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0answers
52 views

Does a killer with permission lose his צלם אלקים?

Haamek Davar (ad loc.) explains that צלם אלקים (in Genesis 1:26–27) refers to an angel, also called a person's מזל, which envelops each of us and protects him from harm. He (to 4:14) explains further ...
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2answers
358 views

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 ...