My Jewish Learning

War & Peace Quiz

Peace is one of Judaism's most revered concepts. And yet Jewish tradition assumes that war is inevitable. How much do you know about the Jewish ethics and laws of combat?

Question 1. According to Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel, what three things preserve the world?
 War, peace, and the wisdom to know when to pursue each
 Peace, love, and harmony
 War, restraint, and patience
 Truth, justice, and peace


Question 2. Which of the following people was an Israeli prisoner of war in Gaza?
 Gilad Shalit
 Yonatan Netanyahu
 Natan Sharansky
 David Broza


Question 3. How did the rabbis in the Mishnah categorize King David's wars of territorial expansion?
 As milhemet mitzvah--obligatory wars
 As milhement reshut--permitted wars
 As milhemet averah--forbidden wars
 As milhemet Hashem--wars of God


Question 4. Which of these wars started with Israeli pre-emptive attacks?
 The War of Independence
 The Six-Day War
 The Yom Kippur War
 All of these
 None of these


Question 5. What were the Freedom Seders?
 Seders dedicated to the plight of Soviet Jewry
 Seders dedicated to fight racism and to protest the Vietnam War
 Seders dedicated to remembering the Holocaust
 Seders dedicated to the plight of Palestinians


Question 6. When did the Israeli Supreme Court outlaw torture?
 Never; torture is not illegal in Israel


Question 7. In the Mishnah, the rabbis describe a category of "commanded wars" that are to be fought against whom?
 The seven nations of Canaan
 Idol-worshipping nations
 A & B only
 All of these


Question 8. True or false: A great deal of Jewish law focuses on the issue of attacking non-combatants.


Question 9. According to Deuteronomy, what are the Israelites supposed to do if the seven nations of Canaan do not accept the terms of peace offered to them?
 Wipe out all men, women, and children
 Kill all the men, and take women and children as captives
 Exile all men, women, and children out of Canaan
 Teach them about Judaism and try to have them join the Israelites' side


Question 10. How many times has Israel been in a war with Iran?
 Three times