MembersThou Shall Give Thy Life for Israel

In our day, the rabbis’ rulings regarding going to war over the Land of Israel are not mere theory.

By David Lazarus | | Topics: Jewish Wisdom for the Everyday Man
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Part 10 in Jewish Wisdom for the Everyday Man: a “guide for the perplexed” through the modern maze of morality from ancient Jewish Sages.

As the nations of the world continue to debate over how Israel should be divided up between Arab and Jew, we should all take a moment to be reminded of what the Jewish sages of old thought about Eretz Yisrael, the entire Land of Israel.

Foundational to their understanding is the concept of chooseness. The Jewish people are unique among the nations of the world and therefore any decision or debate concerning the Land should not be based solely on international law, danger or fear.

The rabbis identified four areas to be considered before the Jewish people released or occupied Eretz Yisrael: Bible, morals, military strength, and risk.

The Rambam, one of Judaism’s most prolific and influential Torah scholars, summarizes the mitzvoth (commandments) concerning Eretz Yisrael. Every Jewish person must live in Eretz Yisrael. This is called Yeshivat Haaretz,...

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