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Melachim uMilchamot

Melachim uMilchamot

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HILCHOT MELACHIM U'MILCHAMOTEIHEM

THE LAWS OF KINGS AND THEIR WARS

This text includes 23 mitzvot; ten positive commandments and thirteen negative commandments. They are:

1) The obligation to appoint a king in Israel;

2) The prohibition against appointing a convert as king;

3) The prohibition against the king marrying many wives;

4) The prohibition against the king accumulating many horses;

5) The prohibition against the king amassing too much silver and gold;

6) The obligation to destroy the seven nations living in the Land of Canaan;

7) The prohibition against allowing any one of them to remain alive;

8) The obligation to destroy the descendents of Amalek;

9) The obligation to remember what Amalek did;

10) The prohibition against forgetting Amalek's evil deeds, including his ambush against the Israelites during their journey from Egypt to Israel;

l l) The prohibition against dwelling in Egypt;

12) The obligation to offer peace to the inhabitants of a city when besieging it; to carry out the laws governing the siege as prescribed in the Torah, in particular, the laws applying if the enemy agrees to surrender and those applying if it refuses;

13) The prohibition against offering peace to Ammon and Moab, in contrast to other nations, when besieging them;

14) The prohibition against destroying fruit-bearing trees during a siege;

15) The obligation to set up a latrine outside an army camp;

16) The obligation to carry a spike to dig with;

17) The obligation to anoint a priest to speak to the troops in the event of war;

18) The obligation to allow those who have consecrated wives, built houses, or planted vineyards to rejoice in their new status for a complete year, while releasing them from military conscription;

19) The prohibition against asking those mentioned in the previous category to perform any duties, including handling the needs of one's city or providing supplies to the troops during that year;

20) The obligation not to become frightened, nor to flee in the midst of battle;

21) The prohibitions and obligations regarding a yefat toar, a Gentile woman with whom the Torah allows relations in wartime;

22) The prohibition against selling a yefat toar;

23) The prohibition against subjugating her to perform menial duties after having relations with her.

These mitzvot are explained in the coming chapters.

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