web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Judaism And Warfare

            Dear Dr. H:

 

You write about how Judaism is devoted to the pursuit of peace. You bring assorted citations from the Bible and Psalms about how nice peace can be. You emphasize that Judaism grants peace priority over competing goals. You find biblical quote after biblical quote about how good peace is.
 
You then conclude that Israel is behaving in a manner that contradicts Jewish tradition when it wars against Hamas barbarism and Gaza terror. Israel must pursue “negotiations” with Hamas, you insist, citing the biblical desire for peace as the over-riding consideration.
 
That is all very nice. But you will no doubt be shocked to learn that Judaism cannot be reduced to the pursuit of peace. It certainly does not demand the pursuit of peace when that pursuit produces war.
 
You of course overlook the fact that one of the most common causes of war is the foolish pursuit of peace in circumstances that do not allow peace to prevail.
 
Anyone truly impressed by biblical calls for peace should be the first to reject the pursuit of peace through appeasement and capitulation – which actually produces war.
 
You prefer the posturing for peace that produces war to the actual pursuit of true peace.
 
Your little group of selected citations from the Bible about how nice peace is reminds me of the missionaries in my old childhood neighborhood who learned a dozen or so citations from the Tanach that they thought would prove persuasive to Jews, but were largely unaware of anything else in what they called the Old Testament.
 
Most important, you ignore altogether what Jewish sources really say about fighting anti-Semitism, terrorism, and aggression.
 
You ignore Abraham’s military response to the kidnapping of Lot. Abraham did not enter negotiations with the kidnappers.
 
You ignore the rejection of peace education as a way to reform Sodom and Gomorrah.
 
You ignore the anti-terror policy of Simon and Levi when Dina was kidnapped.
 
You ignore the refusal of the Torah to sanction negotiations and coexistence with Amalek.
 
You ignore the anti-terror policy of Pinchas.
 
You ignore the instructions to Joshua about how to handle those opposing Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.
 
You ignore the anti-terror policy of the Prophet Samuel and the condemnation of compassion toward prisoners of King Saul.
 
You ignore the anti-terror policies of Yael and Deborah.
 
You ignore the fact that Elijah and the Bible even praise the evil King Ahab for warring against aggressors.
 
You ignore the refusal of Gideon, Ehud, and others to seek peaceful accommodation with aggressors and terrorists.
 
You ignore the fact that the Torah prohibits the granting of sovereignty to any non-Jewish power in the Land of Israel.
 
You ignore the anti-terror campaigns of Saul and David.
 
You ignore Samson’s indifference to collateral damage.
 
You ignore the call by the Prophet Joel (4:9-10): “… Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. ”
 
You ignore the comments in Ecclesiastes about a time of war.
 
You ignore the way Mordechai dealt with anti-Semites at the end of the Book of Esther.
 
You ignore the way the Maccabees dealt with Jewish anti-Semites and collaborators with the enemy.
 
You ignore the fact that all real Jewish sources unambiguously favor capital punishment.
 
You ignore the admonition of what to do to those we know are about to attack us.
 
 
You ignore the fact that in Judaism annihilating evil is an integral part of creating peace and justice.
 
You ignore the fact that according to most rabbinic authorities, non-combatants who knowingly remain in a place where a battle is about to take place lose their right of protection.
 
You ignore the fact that pursuit of peace in the Bible has nothing to do with pacifism.
 
You ignore what Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg had to say about deals with the enemy to get hostages released.
 
You ignore that Torah proclamations about the value of human life are accompanied by demands that murderers be executed as a way to sanctify human life.
 
You ignore the fact that Jews not only pray for Jerusalem three times a day, they also pray for the destruction of Jewish anti-Semites three times a day.
 

You ignore the fact that most of the preaching about how nice peace is in the Bible actually refers to peace among Jews. As for Jews who pursue peace by collaborating with anti-Semites, study the policies of Pinchas and the Maccabees alluded to above.

 

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Judaism And Warfare”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
False Alarm 2
Rocket Fire Returns to Southern Israel – Again!
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Steven Plaut
Bibi Fired Livni and Lapid Because

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

cycle1

The Mid-East conflict is a unidirectional campaign of Arabs murdering Jews, not the inverse.

Judah concedes he was wrong&feels regret; THAT is precisely what qualifies his house for leadership

What is the appropriate Israeli response when European countries recognize the “State of Palestine”?

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

The bill is the initiative of Knesset Member Eitan Cabel from what is left of the Israeli Labor Party.

The ostensible basis for the banning of Israel Hayom is that it is distributed for free.

Israel’s weenie gov’t refuses to pass law requiring instant execution of ALL terrorists at the scene

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/judaism-and-warfare/2009/01/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: