War & Peace
While Jewish law does not directly address the treatment of POWs, we can extrapolate a great deal about battlefield ethics and appropriate punishments for opponents judged to be criminals. Many of the specific restrictions on military behavior and on punishment recognize the potential for these actions to lead to the degradation of another.Read More
Practices and TraditionsShalom
Along with truth and justice, peace is a hallowed Jewish value.Ethics of Jewish War
Is there such a thing as "purity of arms"?Pacifism
Minimizing violence has always been a Jewish priority.Limitations on War
Deuteronomy permits wars of aggression, but the talmudic rabbis made it difficult to declare one.War and Peace 101
Jews hope for peace, pursue peace, and expect universal peace at the end of history.
Modern InsightsNuclear War
Judaism prohibits military action that will result in a colossal number of casualties.Holy War
War in the name of God must be examined in our own tradition as well.Preemptive Attacks
Have Israeli and U.S. attacks been ethically justifiable?Israeli Soldiers
And refusal to serve.Assertive Nonviolence
Establishing a new program of Jewish resistance.
ControversiesIsraeli Supreme Court Decision
"A democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back."Genocide
The existential threat of Amalek.Worshipping Peace
When a revered value becomes all-important, it can become like an idol.Conscientious Objection
According to this scholar, Jewish tradition does not recognize the right of conscientious objection.The Nuts and Bolts of Peace with Iran
The importance of hoping for, and believing in, peace.
BooksThe Challenge of Shalom: The Jewish Tradition of Peace
Edited by Murray Polner and Naomi GoodmanTheologies of War and Peace Among Jews, Christians, and Muslims
By Albert B. RandallThe Ethics of War and Peace
Edited by Terry NardinConfronting Omnicide: Jewish Reflections on Mass Destruction
Edited by Daniel LandesQuiz Yourself
How much do you know about the Jewish ethics and laws of combat?