Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Risking the lives of soldiers to spare civilians on the other side


Thoughts on war:

Rabbi Avraham Shapira, War and Ethics, Techumin 4, pg. 182:
When there is no substantive risk to our soldiers, there is no permission to strike lives or property. However, when there is a discernible risk, one must remember that it is not only a matter of weighing one unit opposite a civilian population on the scale. The loss of one unit, or part of it, can affect the entire battle…

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, Ethics and War, Techumin 4, pg. 185:
The price [of war] is also paid by the enemy, who is also graced with the Divine image, and one should grieve whenever Gd's creations drown in the sea. On this point, the issue of quantity is meaningful, and one certainly must weigh the justifications for harming many in order to save an individual.

Hoping for better news,


  1. I don't know if either ethic is what drives the IDF. I think it's simpler: Today's orphan is more likely to be tomorrow's terrorist. Doing what we can to minimize bad will is necessary for minimizing future violence.

    Whether that's true, or whether the typical Palestinian narrative is so divorced from reality that the facts on the ground have little impact is a question I really can't answer.

  2. Good morning, Is this source available in English? Thank you. Michael F.