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Holy War in JudaismThe Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea$
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Reuven Firestone

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860302

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860302.001.0001

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From Holocaust to Holy War

From Holocaust to Holy War

Israel's War of Independence

(p.201) Chapter 12 From Holocaust to Holy War
Holy War in Judaism

Reuven Firestone

Oxford University Press

The overwhelming tragedy of the Holocaust changed the rules of engagement according to many Jews, convincing most that a Jewish safe-haven is more necessary than ever and only acceptable under Jewish self-government. Many Orthodox Jews who were a-Zionist or anti-Zionist changed their position on the establishment of a Jewish homeland or state. But mass immigration to the Land of Israel and creating a military force to protect the community there were considered by many to be an act of defiance against God’s dictate that Jews vow to refrain from mass immigration to Palestine. The problem was resolved for many by the Holocaust, which represented to them Gentile rebellion against their own divinely dictated vow not to persecute the Jews living among them too harshly. Historical crisis and the meaning applied to it thus began the process of breaking down the traditional rabbinic barriers to engaging in war.

Keywords:   Yisakhar Shlomo Taikhtel, World War Two, Refugees, Isaac Halevi Herzog, Pikuach Nefesh, Military draft, War of Independence, 1948 War, dina demalkhuta

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