Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The authority of a military commander


"There is no greater rodef [murderous pursuer] than one who causes the Jewish people to fall in battle… And this is what Reuven and Gad meant when they said to Yehoshua, “If anyone will rebel against your say and not listen to your word for all you command, he will die; only be strong and courageous.” Why would this person be liable for death? Yehoshua was not a king, but a shofet [justice]! Further, why would matters of the throne be of concern for Reuven and Gad? Those are for the entire nation!

"Rather, this was relevant for wartime, since Yehoshua was gathering the nation for war. The commander for war, at that moment, fills the role that a king fills at all times… And if anyone would rebel against Yehoshua’s say, for any mission, that would weaken the heart of Yehoshua, and there could be no greater act of undermining the Jewish nation in their war with the Canaanites. This person would be a rodef and would be liable for death."

(Netziv, Haamek She’eilah Vaetchanan 142:9)

Have a great day,

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