Halachic Ramifications of Killing Whilst in the Military

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Halachic Ramifications of Killing Whilst in the Military

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #1915023

    Is a Jew halachicly guilty if he killed someone as part of his military service for a secular state?


    There are a bunch of teshuvos about this from after WW1 where yidden r’l killed each other in opposing armies, but I don’t remember details.


    If he murders a civilian as part of a military sponsored program of ethnic cleansing (genocide), I would say yes.

    If he kills an enemy soldier who is trying to kill him, and whose army is engaged in aggression, almost certainly not.

    What about killing civilians as part of a program to destroy the enemy’s ability to fight (e.g. bombing enemy cities as was done in World War II)? What about killing an enemy soldier when the enemy country can rightly claim to be defending itself from a rodef (i.e. our soldier’s country)? What about a soldier ordered to destroy property as retaliation or engage in sexual attacks on enemy civilians?


    Which army, Israeli or otherwise?

    In any event, Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon’s Hilchot Tzavah likely addresses the question, although it may be limited to the Israeli army as opposed to any other army.

    Reb Eliezer

    In the US it might be a problem because you are enlisting voluntarily in the army.


    The Chafetz Chaim wrote a kuntres called Machane Yehuda that deals with this issue as well as other issues confronting an observant Jewish soldier in a secular national army.


    And what does he psaken?


    enlisting voluntarily in the army.

    If you enlist in the U.S. military, you have to abandon a lot of halachah, including Shabbos observance.


    DovidBT you have to abandon a lot of halachah,

    So does becoming a doctor or a policeman (Shabbat). Also, a lawyer and an accountant and a businessman (midvar sheker). Also a Rabbi (mahloket) and Kollel (asking for tzedokah when does not have to).


    AAQ: Murder is a whole ‘nother level than lying (is that even against halacha?) or even stealing (assuming it is stealing, which is unlikely.) Violating Shabbos when working for a police department in a non-pekuach nefesh situation is indeed forbidden.

    But whatever you think of any of the above, comparing it to murder is out of line.


    ujm, @Murder is
    the question shifted slightly from a generic army to enlisting in American or Israeli armies.
    If we go to old poskim (such as Machane Israel by Chafetz Chaim), we would probably hear more about Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies.

    @lying (is that even against halacha?).
    I guess I am not ollowing the joke. Just incase, here is 1st footnotte from halachipedia “prohibition to lie”
    Parshas Shemos 23:7, see Rambam Hilchos De’os 5:7, Shulchan Aruch C.M. 262:21, Mishna Brurah O.C. 25:14, Mesilas Yesharim 11. Refer to Rambam Sefer Hamitzvot Lo Sasei 281 who includes the issur of lying in the issur of saying Hashem’s name in vain regarding bais din. Lying is disgusted in the eyes of all, and there is nothing more disgusting than lying. Hashem is truth, and beracha only goes on someone who wants to go in the ways of Hashem. Therefore, the Torah tells us to further ourselves from lying. Pela Yoetz Sheker page 558, Sefas Tamim 6:page 24 write that no other aveirah does the Torah use the words “to further” except for lying therefore one must be careful with this even when it would only appear to be a lie. The issur is not only not to say a lie but to further oneself from a lie (Niv Sefasayim page 10).


    AAQ: In the first volume of Michtav Me’Eliyahu Rav Dessler says the concept is that “emes” is not “truth,” but whatever furthers the will of Hashem. Thus, in a situation where it is proper to say an untruth, one isstill saying the “emes” (but not, of course, the “truth”). [Torah I blatantly lifted from elsewhere.]

    Can an Austro-Hungarian Jewish soldier c’v engage in an action that will possibly, likely or certainly result in the killing of a Russian Jewish soldier? Or of a Russian Jewish civilian.


    if you need to violate shabbat to sve a lief, do you say “is shabbat a mitzva”?

    Hashem’s seal is emes (Yavamos)… Exploring your idea, when planning your actions (esp long term, like selecting a job) to not put oneself in a position where you have to split hairs between emes and truth all the time.

    Same thing may apply to heated posts before elections


    lying (is that even against halacha?)

    I think there might be a somewhat well-known passuk about that somewhere….

    The Wolf

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.