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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Haaretz horrified: IDF Chief Rabbi quotes Torah

IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Rontzki quoted from Maimonides and Jeremiah at a Torah dedication ceremony on Thursday. Haaretz is quite upset.
The Israel Defense Forces' chief rabbi told students in a pre-army yeshiva program last week that soldiers who "show mercy" toward the enemy in wartime will be "damned."

Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki also told the yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops.

Speaking Thursday at the Hesder yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron , Rontzki referred to Maimonides' discourse on the laws of war. That text quotes a passage from the Book of Jeremiah stating: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord with a slack hand, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."

In Rontzki's words, "In times of war, whoever doesn't fight with all his heart and soul is damned - if he keeps his sword from bloodshed, if he shows mercy toward his enemy when no mercy should be shown."
Rabbi Rontzki's views are widely held by the religious community in Israel (I'm not an authority to say whether his interpretation is correct, but it certainly seems to be).

But even if you are not religious, can anyone really argue with the proposition that one has to fight a war all-out? Particularly where the enemy is as ruthless as Hamas, Hezbullah and Fatah?


At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Shocked I say Shocked," that when a nation goes to war the idea is to win that war and it takes an all out effort by soldiers to do their job. Where did the Rabbi ever ok "crimes" during war, which is the implication of the Haaretz article. Soldiers protect each other and fight to protect the citizens of their nation. I think Haaretz, and the left, has finally lost its collective mind.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - if you read the Torah, the Jewish rule of war is clear - annihilate the enemy. No wonder Haaretz is horrified. And there are no exceptions made for the enemy's women and children. Such was war in the ancient world and incidentally in dealing with the evil Canaanites, the Jews' ancestors had a higher level of spiritual understanding than Jews do today. They knew their calling - to serve G-d faithfully and to bring Him honor and victory!

A lesson for Israel to live by today.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

bet you if he had quoted The Art of War by Sun Tzu he would have been lauded as open minded and progressive


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