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A Torah View of Self-Defense

By halacha, we are obligated to protect ourselves and others. Just how far does this obligation go?
7 Av 5769 listen War on Shabbos in Modern-Day Israel (16:30)
Halacha l'ma'aseh based on the Tzitz Eliezer.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
6 Av 5769 listen Defending a Jewish Area in Galus (15:00)
Outside of Eretz Yisrael, all Jewish communities are like border cities.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
3 Av 5769 listen Is Fighting a Defensive War on Shabbos a Mitzvah? (16:07)
Permission is given to fight defensively on Shabbos, but is it also a mitzvah? Who should fight?
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
2 Av 5769 listen National Castle Doctrine: Strong or Weak? (12:21)
Just as the Castle Doctrine can be strong or weak on an individual basis, so too on a national basis.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
1 Av 5769 listen War on Shabbos: Summary of Talmud Eruvin 45a (14:13)
The Tzitz Eliezer's summary of the Talmud's view on war on Shabbos.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
29 Tamuz 5769 listen War on Shabbos: Defense of Person and Property (8:51)
If a Jewish city is beseiged, there are distinctions between border towns and inner towns and between personal defense and defenst of property.
Sources: Eruvin 45a
28 Tamuz 5769 listen War on Shabbos (16:07)
Introduction: can a Jewish army wage war on Shabbos? A question from 1948.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a; Eruvin 45a
25 Tamuz 5769 listen Loneliness During the Three Weeks (15:04)
During the Three Weeks, we don't simply mourn; rather, we long for Hashem and experience our deep loneliness
24 Tamuz 5769 listen Prepare, but Trust Only in Hashem (17:06)
While the halacha requires us to prepare for the worst, we must always remember that Hashem fights our battles for us.
23 Tamuz 5769 listen Biblical History of Jewish Arms, Gun Control, and Self-Defense (16:19)
A look back at Biblical examples of Jews who took up arms; a look at Biblical examples of what we would today call "Gun Control."
22 Tamuz 5769 listen Self-Defense, Gun Control, and Our Synagogues (18:43)
The sad reality of our times is that our synagogues are potential terrorist targets; we have an obligation to prepare to defend ourselves.
21 Tamuz 5769 listen Today's Poskim on Self-Defense (15:32)
Piskei Halacha from Rav Moshe and Chacham Ovadia.
Sources: Igros Moshe CM 2:54; Yechave Da'at 5:55
18 Tamuz 5769 listen The Strength of the Castle Doctrine (17:54)
The halacha goes out of its way to strengthen the Castle Doctrine and encourage an orderly society.
17 Tamuz 5769 listen Jewish Resistance and Nazi Gun Laws (12:55)
The 17th of Tamuz, Self-Defense, and "Never Again."
16 Tamuz 5769 listen Criminal Tresspass and the Castle Doctrine (17:44)
Does the Castle Doctrine apply to a tresspasser anywhere on your property? Or just in your house itself?
15 Tamuz 5769 listen The "Castle Doctrine" in Halacha (15:02)
Not only does halacha allow you to protect yourself and your home, it commands you to protect your neighbor and your neighbor's home as well.
10 Tamuz 5769 listen Halacha in a Time of Terrorism (46:15)
The unfortunate reality is that we live at a time when we need to prepare for the worst. Rav Dovid discusses the Torah view of firearms and more in this "lunch and learn" discussion.
10 Tamuz 5769 listen Presumed Innocent or Presumed Guilty? (15:00)
When a robber enters a home, can the homeowner assume that the robber is a threat and immediately shoot? Or does the homeowner need to first be threatened in some way?
Sources: San. 72a
9 Tamuz 5769 listen The Right to Defend Your Property (16:10)
Halacha provides an unqualified right to defend your property.
Sources: San. 72a
8 Tamuz 5769 listen Summary of Halachic Principles of Self-Defense (17:04)
A summary and review of the halachot involved in self-defense; a brief comparison of secular laws; and an introduction to protection of property.
Sources: Ex. 22:1
7 Tamuz 5769 listen The Mitzvah of Defending Ourselves and Others (16:06)
A look at the mitzvah of self-defense and a summary of related FBI statistics on firearms in self-defense.
Sources: MT Rotzeach 1:8,10,13; CM 425:4; Tzitz Eliezer 4:4
4 Tamuz 5769 listen Cruelty and Kindness (16:15)
When the Torah commands us to "Show no mercy!" it does not mean that we should be cruel.
Sources: Kohelet Rabba 7:16; Rav Tzadok M'Lublin Divrei Sofrim 28
3 Tamuz 5769 listen We Are Obligated to Protect Others from Harm (15:26)
From where does the Rambam derive the obligation to protect another from harm?
Sources: Deu. 25:11-12; Rashi, ad.loc.
1 Tamuz 5769 listen When is Deadly Force Justified? (14:10)
How do you know when to escalate a self-defense effort to the use of deadly force?
Sources: CM 421:1; MT Rotzeach 1:5,7; Deu. 25:11-12; Rashi, ad.loc.
30 Sivan 5769 listen Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense (14:43)
What is a "warning?" At what point can a defender escalate to deadly force?"
27 Sivan 5769 listen The Basic Halacha of Self-Defense (16:52)
Self-defense as presented by the Rambam.
26 Sivan 5769 listen The Right to Self-Defense (16:07)
In halacha, self-defense is a fundamental right.
25 Sivan 5769 listen Introduction to Self-Defense in Torah (15:12)
The right to defend yourself and others against attack.
Sources: Lev. 19:17; Rashi, ad.loc.; San. 73a

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Enjoy each of Rav Dovid's Daily Halacha Series:
Wake Up! | Kavanah | Zmanim | Tzitzit | Tefillin | Brachot
Pesukei d'Zimra | Kriat Shema | Amidah | Geshem and Tal | Mincha
Kaddish | Amen! | Shabbos | Kiddush | Shofar | Teshuva
Rosh HaShana | Ten Days | Yom Kippur | Sukkos | Pesach | Sefirat HaOmer
Shavuot | Chanukah | Purim | Rosh Chodesh | Tu B'Shvat
Fast Days | The Three Weeks | Tisha B'Av | The Four Parshiyot | Parshat HaShavua
The Kosher Kitchen | Issur v'Heter | Speaking to G-d | Spiritual Reality, Spiritual Freedom
The Jewish Calendar | A Practical Guide to Shabbos | Chinuch: Education | Rav Dovid's Shiurim
True or False? | Respect for Parents, Elders, and Torah Scholars | Ben Adam l'Chaveiro
Rav Dovid's daily halacha is given at the Wall Street Synagogue before shacharit.

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