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

 

Question 2. According to Deuteronomy, what must an Israelite army do prior to attacking an enemy?
 Pray
 Offer peace
 Offer sacrifices
 All of these

 

Question 3. According to the Torah, what did Amalek do to deserve the scorn of the Israelites?
 They tried to assassinate Moses
 They attacked the weakest members of the Israelites
 They stole all of the Israelites' food
 They burnt down the First Temple

 

Question 4. 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 5. Which of the following people was an Israeli prisoner of war in Gaza?
 Gilad Shalit
 Yonatan Netanyahu
 Natan Sharansky
 David Broza

 

Question 6. When did the Israeli Supreme Court outlaw torture?
 1948
 1966
 1999
 Never; torture is not illegal in Israel

 

Question 7. 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 8. True or False: According to Jewish law, communal self-defense and personal self-defense are the same thing, with the same rules.
 True
 False

 

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?
 Once
 Twice
 Three times
 Never