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. Complete this quote from the Talmud: "If someone comes to kill you_________"
 Welcome him with open arms
 Get up early in the morning to kill him first
 Reason with him as best you can
 Save yourself by hiding from him


Question 2. The Talmud explicitly prohibits the waging of war in a situation where the casualty rate exceeds what percent of the population?


Question 3. What kind of war does the Talmud prohibit?
 Nuclear war
 War with any nation other than Amalek
 War where the casualty rate will be more than one sixth of the population
 War where the casualty rate will be more than one tenth of the population


Question 4. True or false: A great deal of Jewish law focuses on the issue of attacking non-combatants.


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. True or False: Some German Jews fought for the Germans in World War I.


Question 7. True or False: According to Jewish law, communal self-defense and personal self-defense are the same thing, with the same rules.


Question 8. 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 9. The Hebrew word shalom means "hello" and "goodbye" and what else?


Question 10. According to Rabbi Joshua ben Korha, the concept of peace is in direct opposition to what?