“Giving Deadly Intel To Terrorists”
A Moral Dilemma for the Shabbos Table
By Rabbi Yitzi Weiner
By Rabbi Yitzi WeinerThis week’s Torah portion discusses the plague of the frogs. The Gemara (Pesachim 53b) teaches us that our Sages have learned a lesson about Mesiras Nefesh, about being willing to make a personal sacrifice for HaShem, from the frogs of Mitzrayim. The Gemara teaches us that Chananya, Mishael and Azaria were forced to worship an idol under the threat of death. They said, “If the frogs of Mitzrayim were willing to give up their lives not to violate HaShem’s will, then we should do the same and not reject our relationship with HaShem. They were thrown into a fire and they were miraculously saved. This is an illustration of the mitzva of Mesiras Nefesh. (Click HERE for inspirational stories about this mitzva)
Normally one should violate a mitzva in order to save his or her life. But in regard to three mitzvos, one should rather die than violate them, They are Murder, Incest/Adultery, and Idol Worship.
This brings us to the following true dilemma.
A group of Palestinian terrorists once kidnapped an IDF soldier named Gad. The terrorists threatened to kill him unless he would agree to reveal to them where an IDF weapons cache was hidden. This cache had a large stash of hand grenades. It was clear to Gad that the terrorists were planning to use the grenades to try to kill other Jews. It is likely that if he saved his life by revealing the location of the cache, then other innocent Israelis may be killed as a result.
One is normally not allowed to save his life by murdering another. For example, if a terrorist would tell a Jew, “murder this other Jew, or I will kill you”, one should rather die than murder another.
But Gad wondered if in this case he would be allowed to reveal the information to save his life. He would be putting others in mortal danger, but it was not as direct as actual murder.
On one hand he can’t save his life by helping to kill others, but on the other hand, he would not be killing the innocents, the terrorists would.
What do you think?
See Chashukei Chemed Pesachim page 199
Answer to last week’s moral dilemma:
(click here to review the question)
This story is discussed in Chashukei Chemed Bava Basra Page 384.
Rabbi Zilberstein said that most people would spend a little extra money to avoid having that amount of pain. If that is something that people would pay extra for, the doctor would have to offer the less painful needles, without charging extra.
Have a beautiful Shabbos!
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