Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guard your ethical life in a time of war


Deuteronomy 23:10-15 says:
"When you go to war against your enemy, guard yourself against every bad thing. When a man among you is impure… he shall leave the camp, he shall not enter the midst of the camp. Before evening he shall bathe in water, and at sunset he shall enter the midst of the camp. And you shall have a place outside the camp; go there, outside.

"And you shall have a peg among your weapons; when you sit outside, you will dig with it, sit, and cover your waste. For HaShem your G-d travels in the midst of your camp, to save you and to put your enemy before you, and your camp shall be holy. Nothing which should be covered will be seen, lest He leave you."

On this, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch comments:
"When you leave the normal boundaries of family and civil life, and you are in a military camp arranged against your enemies, then even though you are in a military camp, where the ethical reins are easily loosened and the actual goal of war is an unrestrained coarseness – then, too, 'guard yourself against every bad thing.' Do not cease examining yourself, with self-control, and be on guard against 'every bad thing.'"

Have a great day,

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