The Murder of the Kidnapped Teens HY"D: Shut SMS - Text Message Q&A #259

Where did all the Prayers Go

Q: Where did all the prayers, Tehillim, Mishnayot and acts of kindness, which were said and performed for the kidnapped teenagers who were murdered, go?

A: To the same place as all of the prayers from the time of the Holocaust, from 2000 years of the Exile, and from all of the sick and suffering.  We are not idol worshippers who believe that prayer is magic which forced something on some god.  Prayers are not wasted, but service of Hashem is not doing business.  


The Three Kidnapped Teens

Q: What should we tell young children about the murder of the kidnapped teens?

A: It is impossible with such deep and sensitive matters to relay the "facts", which someone else told you to say.  Rather, you should relay what you understand and feel.  Things that come from the heart enter the heart.


A Person's End

Q: Is it true that when a person's end, which Hashem has decreed, arrives, he will definitely die, and Hashem has many agents to do his work?


Collective Punishment

Q: Following the murder of the kidnapped teens, is it permissible to collectively punish the Arabs?

A: According to the basic Halachah, it is forbidden to punish one Arab for the crime of another Arab.  However, when we are engaged in a war, we must wage war.  This idea is also accepted among the non-Jews.  During the Second World War, the Allied Forces bombed Berlin and destroyed neighborhood after neighborhood, until they reached the bunker of Hitler, may his name be blotted out, who then committed suicide. The Allied Forces killed two million people during the conquest of Berlin and no one said a word because they understood that there was no choice. This is what Carl von Clausewitz, a military theorist, refers to as "Absolute War," i.e. we prefer not to wage war but if we are forced to go to battle, we are obligated to do so in the most cost-effective way in which we save the most lives and equipment.  King Shaul already said to the "Keni" (Shmuel 1 15:6): "Go, depart, go down from among Amalek, lest I destroy you with them."  This means, even though you are my friend, if you are there, you could get hurt or killed.  And this is all the more so when terrorists hide among civilian populations.  If innocent people are thereby wounded or killed, it is they who are guilty, not us.  We are all for "Purity of Arms" and for saving civilian lives.  But which civilians?  Our civilians, who are being attacked (This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Shaul Yisraeli in the book "Amud Ha-Yemini" at the end of chap. 16).


Work with Arabs

Q: There are Arabs in the place that I work.  After the kidnapping and murder of the teens, I am unable to work with them or even look at them…

A: Do to the best of your ability and remember that not all Arabs are murderers.


Death Penalty for Terrorists

Q: Is it proper to impose the death penalty on terrorists?

A: Yes. In order that they not murder again, and so that others see and fear, and do not murder (Shut Igrot Moshe, Choshen Mishpat 2:68).


Murder of the Kidnapped Teens

Q: What is Ha-Rav's reaction to the murder of the kidnapped teens?

A: For hundreds of years, the Arabs have been cowardly, weak, debased and unsuccessful in the military, cultural, economic, familial and ethical realms.  350 million Arabs around us, supported by a billion Christians and another billion Muslims, have feared the State of Israel for over 40 years and do not dare wage war against us.  They are jealous of our successful and ethical young State, and they therefore murder teens.


"Death to Arabs"

Q: Why is it forbidden to say "Death to Arabs"?

A: Because it is not true. Only murderers and those who aid them are deserving of death.

Q: What is the source?

A: Do not murder.