December 16, 2013 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #611575
a serial killer? If you were in the same room, and you had a gun, and the killer is unarmed and can not harm you in any way, would you shoot?December 16, 2013 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #995237aishes choverParticipant
depends if I like him or herDecember 16, 2013 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #995238
The question should be are you allowed to.December 16, 2013 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #995239
The question should be are you allowed to.
But that’s not my question. Would you kill someone?December 16, 2013 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #995240miritchkaMember
I would avoid being in the same room as a serial killer. Armed or not, a killer is a killer and can use his/her body to kill too.December 16, 2013 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #995241
If Halacha required it and to save others lives I think I would (Id probably be petrified but I think Id do it) although obviously I would strongly prefer a gun over a knife or something messy.December 16, 2013 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #995242bein_hasdorimParticipant
You wouldn’t have to actually kill this serial killer. You could stop them from continuing to harm others, by other means.
There are halachos regarding a Rodeif, and one is supposed to stop them, first trying to maim them, if unable, then one may take the Rodeif’s life in order to stop them from killing someone. The question is does a serial killer have the Din of a Rodeif.December 16, 2013 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #995243tzaddiqMember
i think i’d give him a powerful mussar shmooze about retzicha, tzelem elokim, tachlis ha’odom, etc. etc. and hope to be mekarev him to do teshuvaDecember 16, 2013 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #995244notasheepMember
If it’s not in self-defense, it’s not for me to decide. If he was trying to kill me, even without a weapon, then maybe. It’s impossible to know until you are in this kind of situation. I hope I never am.December 16, 2013 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #995245ZushyParticipant
Come one, this is ne of the first things that they teach you in seminary.
?? ????? ?? ??????….. ????
It is always the prime example of where rotzoin hashem is to the opposite of your natural feeling of what may be rightDecember 16, 2013 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #995246
I would take a picture of him and hang it up at the post office.December 16, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm #995247theObviousMember
@LAB, if you knew he was a serial killer, then so would the rest of the world… so what do you need a picture for?December 16, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #995248
The question is does a serial killer have the Din of a Rodeif.”
Of COURSE he is a rodeif. He already killed several people. Why would you think twice about killing to defend yourself? BUT – he would have to be coming toward me even after I would have warned him to back off, first. Even without a convenional weapon, many serial killers, murder with their bare hands. In that scenario, and assuming I knew how to shoot the gun and not accidentally kill MYSELF, I wouldn’t hesitate even one second to shoot. Hashem should spare us all from ever being tested in such a gruesome manner.December 16, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm #995249
Oomis: Thanks for your personal opinion on the complex halachic matter of what constitutes a rodef. I’ll write an angry letter to the Rambam (Rotzech U’shmiras Hanefesh 1:5-6) that he’s wrong.December 17, 2013 1:10 am at 1:10 am #995251Little FroggieMember
a cereal killer is one who burns the porridgeDecember 17, 2013 1:33 am at 1:33 am #995252TheGoqParticipant
Thank you froggie for sparing me from making the cereal killer joke.December 17, 2013 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #995253
Forget the ifs buts whens and whys (and putting halacha aside for now) my question is: if you were in the position to kill someone, and the killing would be unarguably justifiable, would your conscience let you do it?
LF and Goq – lol! I was waiting for someone to say something along those lines 🙂December 17, 2013 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #995254
Provided I was not ch”v directly involved, I fear that I would have trouble doing it. If it was only because of how it would change me, that would not bother me, but I think that even when I know something is fact, I lack confidence in my ability to trust myself and that seed of doubt will stop me. I know for a fact that I suffer from over empathizing with people when they are ripped down to their basic human level, but I also believe that this trait is what has given me the ability to love unconditionally, and support children I work with who have done terrible, hurtful things.
On the other hand, if he had hurt children, or if I was a witness, I think it would be no problem at all.December 17, 2013 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #995255
Our conscience is shaped by the Torah and halacha. For a Jew there is no such thing as conscience outside of what halacha dictates. The truth is even goyim have 7 mitzvos and I don’t think even a goy would be allowed to kill him if he wasn’t currently endangering someone’s life.ADecember 17, 2013 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #995256
WIY – Torah dictates what we could and should do. If I believe I can’t, but Torah dictates that I should, I would like to think I will. If I have anger issues and rip apart people reflexively when I believe they deserve it, that doesn’t make it halachically permissible, but I would still have to say “yes” to this question. Many times the Torah asks us to go outside of ourselves to either do, or not do, but that does not negate what our insides veer towards.December 17, 2013 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #995257
WIY – I disagree. Our conscience should be based on Torah and Halacha, however there are many other outside deciding factors that shape our conscience. Personally, I would definitely kill him in a heartbeat because my conscience says that that is the right thing to do. Could be my mind is telling me that because it is so desensitized to violence, who knows? The fact is my conscience is in no way shaped by Torah and Halacha. Does that mean my conscience isn’t a conscience?!December 17, 2013 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #995258mobicoParticipant
Is he or she Jewish?December 17, 2013 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #995259
If it was only because of how it would change me,that would not bother me
Syag – Interesting idea. I never thought of it that way. Murdering someone, no matter how right you may be, would definitely change who you are. But why wouldn’t that bother you?December 17, 2013 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #995260
The Torah is supposed to shape our conscience to the point that we instinctively only want what is truly good and the will of Hashem. Either way your conscience is not the judge because if you go by your conscience well everyone has a different conscience. The serial killers conscience tells him to kill you your conscience will say go ahead kill him and a third persons conscience will tell them not to kill him. There are people who’s conscience tells them live and let live and accept everyone or whatever free country. Who says whose conscience is right? The Torah is meant to properly build your conscience so that with time your conscience will be reshaped into a a Torahdig conscience and you will instinctively sense what is good and what is evil and you will know what to do in all situations. Obviously this will be difficult for someone who hasn’t and doesn’t immerse themselves in Torah thought and allows the world to shape their conscience.
barely editedDecember 17, 2013 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #995261
I’m telling you that your conscience can be formed by outside sources and experiences and therefore not a reliable judge in what to do. As a mashal if you have a predisposition to violence and read a lot of violent books watch violent movies maybe live in a violent environment then your judgment of when to use violence will be flawed. The Torah and learning mussar and working on yourself is supposed to give you the balance to know what is truly the right way to behave in all situations. The more it becomes a part of you the Healthier your conscience will be. Otherwise it’s just whatever you have been fed by Hollywood or the liberal media….December 17, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #995262
I meant it the other way. I wouldn’t mind if that was my reason for not doing it.December 17, 2013 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #995263
WIY – that is exactly right. But the question is, where are you holding? I may have posted this elsewhere but I was once reading a novel where the brother and sister wanted to get married but decided to live lonely lives apart instead. When I found myself wishing they would get married I realized the degree that my value system had been messed up and stopped reading secular novels. They absolutely shaped me and while I strive to immerse myself in Torah environments to shape me differently, the question still stands. As the person I am today, would I or wouldn’t I kill a killer.December 17, 2013 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #995264
That edit was pointless I don’t know why you felt the need to edit that when we have threads on that issue and it has been discussed plenty of times on your site. Additionally on the main site Charlie hall posted a comment today that has all kinds of stuff in it and you let that fly so I really don’t know how the modding works here. Or is it totally random?
Not random, subjective. It wasn’t me who let the others through – 29December 17, 2013 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #995265☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
WIY, what did they edit?
Also, are they the same mods on the main site as here? (Even if they are, there’s going to be some inconsistency between different mods.)
I didn’t see Charlie’s comment.December 17, 2013 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #995266
Syag – Aha, thanks for clarifying! I was wondering, was so not your type to say something like that.
WIY – I hear what you’re saying. The fact is, my conscience is my conscience regardless of where and how it was formed, and I believe it what could lead me to kill someone with barely any qualms if there was a good reason. Just out of curiosity, would you know if halachically I would be held accountable for my actions because I based it on my ill-conceived conscience that was not formed around Torah?December 17, 2013 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #995267
“Just out of curiosity, would you know if halachically I would be held accountable for my actions because I based it on my ill-conceived conscience that was not formed around Torah?”
I think you know the answer to this question.December 17, 2013 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #995268Torah613TorahParticipant
I would leave it to the Sanhedrin.December 17, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm #995269
streekgeek The fact is my conscience is in no way shaped by Torah and Halacha.
I really don’t want to dig up this old thread, butDecember 18, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am #995270
Oomis: Thanks for your personal opinion on the complex halachic matter of what constitutes a rodef. I’ll write an angry letter to the Rambam ‘
No need, LAB – – a rodeif is someone who is out to murder you (or someone else). If a serial killer were in a closed room with me, and I knew for a fact that the person WAS the killer, and he or she was coming towards me, I know it would not be to discuss the Rambam. In the moment, one tends not to take out a Sefer to consult what to do. An innocent baby in a its laboring mother, can under certain circumstances be considered a rodeif – I think a serial murderer surely must be one.December 18, 2013 8:01 am at 8:01 am #995271
You’re backtracking a bit, but not enough. You originally said, “Of COURSE he is a rodeif. He already killed several people.“
This is simply not true. Having committed murder in the past does not give one the status of a rodef, and no one is allowed to kill a murderer.
The reason a baby may be considered a rodef is because it is currently, definitely endangering the mother’s life. Assuming that someone wants to kill you just because they’ve killed in the past is also incorrect.December 18, 2013 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #995272Torah613TorahParticipant
The fact is my conscience is in no way shaped by Torah and Halacha.
Um, streekgeek, that doesn’t exactly reflect well on you. I doubt that’s what you meant.December 18, 2013 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #995273
WIY – I know the answer when it comes to straight out halacha. But if it is not a simple yes or no situation and there are many factors that have to be taken in to account, if I would base my decision on my conscience would I be held accountable if I judged wrongly? It’s not that I want to do the wrong thing, I just don’t know better. I can’t imagine that it would be considered as if I did it bimeizid.
LAB – I’m not sure what point you’re trying to bring across. That women can’t rely on their conscience and intuition to do the right thing?
Torah613 – You’re telling me? Trust me, I know. I’m working on it.December 18, 2013 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #995274
Intuition to take the place of Torah? Not even Ruach Hakodesh can do that. Hashem directly told Yehoshua that He can’t tell him the Halachos that were forgotten during the Aveilus of Moshe Rabbeinu.
This is definitely an interesting question. We know he will kill but we don’t know when (and we don’t know whom), but he is not doing anything now. In Hashkafic terms we can learn from Ben Sorer Umore that he gets killed, but then again, that’s for Beis Din. On the contrary, maybe that is proof that he is not considered an active Rodef right now. Veyesh Lechaleq.
As to the OQ, I recall reading in Dare To Survive how even when given the chance to kill a Nazi they bribed him rather than kill him. In other words, they payed him for his life. In the Youngest Partisan as well, after capturing a German, Reb Cohen couldn’t bring himself to personally kill him and he left the honor to the others.December 18, 2013 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #995275
streekgeek – No, I was pointing out that women’s decision-making abilities are more inspired by chachmah and binah than da’as. And da’as is what the Torah shapes. Therefore, it is understandable that a woman would make decisions based more on intuition and less on the Torah.December 18, 2013 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #995276☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
HaLeiVi, if I’m not mistaken, the reason why the din of a moser is moridin v’lo ma’alin is because he’s a rodef, and the halacha doesn’t require us to wait until he’s actively being moser.December 18, 2013 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #995277
When in doubt don’t do it! If you think something may be wrong then don’t do it. Better safe than sorry. Either way it’s important to know that the negative commandments are much stricter than the positive commandments in that if you transgress a lo sasei there are punishments like malkus and misah or kareis for certain aveiros but not acting not doing a mitzvas asei does not come with a punishment although you still transgressed by not doing what you were obligated to do. So when in doubt if doing a certain thing is mutar just don’t do it and stay on the safe side.December 18, 2013 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #995278
This is simply not true. Having committed murder in the past does not give one the status of a rodef, and no one is allowed to kill a murderer. The reason a baby may be considered a rodef is because it is currently, definitely endangering the mother’s life. Assuming that someone wants to kill you just because they’ve killed in the past is also incorrect. “
LAB, I could only hope that you and I are not in the room with this guy together. You’d get us both killed. He IS a rodeif, in the manner in which I described MY personal scenario. He has MURDERED repeatedly, and if he were coming toward me (as I specifically stated being the circumstance which would cause me to shoot), you can bet he would be looking to make me his next victim.
Stop being so politically correct, your idealism is misplaced IMO. Halacha DOES say differently. If someone is coming to kill you, you are supposed to get up EARLY to kill him first, according to what I learned in Yeshivah when I was a kid. A SERIAL killer will continue to kill until he is stopped permanently. And even with incarceration, he will find a way to kill there as well. It is a compulsion, a blood lust, and even if considered a mental illness, which is very tragic, the crucial thing is to prevent him from causing further harm to others. Killing him, seems to be a pretty safe bet on that score. And I am the person who cannot stand to step on a bug! But sometimes you have to go against your nature for the better good.
I guess you are against the death penalty also?December 18, 2013 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #995279
It is also helpful to have phone numbers and email addresses of Rabbis so that when you do have questions you have who to ask and you can even ask anonymously.December 18, 2013 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #995280
No, I am a big proponent of the death penalty, as is the Torah.
Feelings aside, you’re still halachicaly incorrect. I’m not trying to be politically correct; I’m trying to be halachically correct.
As I stated before, having killed in the past (whether serially or not) does NOT give someone the status of a rodef. You must be sure that he is in the act of killing/preparing to kill someone before he is considered a rodef.
Also, you’re saying that any time a serial killer walks towards someone, they plan on killing them. That is preposterous.
As a side note, Jeffrey Dahmer, perhaps the most infamous serial killer in the past 100 years had large gaps in his killings. He attempted a murder when he was about 16, in 1976. His first murder was in 1978, and then he didn’t kill again until 1987.December 18, 2013 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #995281
I don’t think the question here was about the guy being about to kill you. It was specifically about him being harmless at the moment. When someone is about to kill you there is adrenalin, and the will to survive overpowers your natural inhibitions. The topic here was about minus this element would you bring yourself to kill based on knowledge. It is an interesting topic, but the Halacha might change accordingly.
That’s interesting about the Mosar, although there is still a difference. The Mosar is constantly conniving and collecting information, so he is active. The serial killer, on the other hand, is someone who will difinitely kill but not everyone every day. He can wake up one day and decide that it is a good day for killing or he might do it on the third Monday of every even month. Either way, he is not, in any way, active right now. I could hear, though, that you can look at him like a wild tractor. Now that he is a Muad or Muchzak he is always heading towards his next act.December 18, 2013 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #995282
In other Chiyuvei Misah we don’t intervene (although we are Matzil Be’Evarim IIRC). The fact that we kill a Rodef of murder or Arayos is either because he is presently a Rodef or it is about prevention. This is a famous sugya. Our Shayla might depend on this, too. He will definitely kill but not necessarily is he an active Rodef. So, if Rodef is about him deserving Misah then there is the requirement of Din Rodef. But if it is about prevention a definite crime it should apply here, too.
This is not iron-clad, of course. There is room for each view to hold either way.December 18, 2013 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #995283Little FroggieMember
I think one can kill in doubt, and then undelete if needed.
All kidding aside, I think some rishonim / shitos allow for revenge if he killed r”l a karov. (?? ??? ????..????? ???)December 18, 2013 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #995284
LAB – I get you. I guess this is also a reason why men say women base everything on their emotions more than what logically makes sense. For the most of us (I will not dare to say all), our brains are seriously not wired to think that way…
WIY – Thanks for saying it as it is. I think you’re someone I could always count on for that 😉 Regarding having numbers/emails of rabbis, no need for that. I generally don’t encounter such complex situations that would require me to ask.December 18, 2013 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #995285
As a Zikui for the Rabim, the killer should carry around the numbers of Rabbonim (but not their addresses!) so that people who encounter them can know what to do.December 18, 2013 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #995286
“Thanks for saying it as it is. I think you’re someone I could always count on for that ;)”
You’re welcome. Its a lost art.
“Regarding having numbers/emails of rabbis, no need for that. I generally don’t encounter such complex situations that would require me to ask.”
You must know everything. I am seriously jealous.
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