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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 4, Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 5, Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 6

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Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 4

1

The king is granted license to levy taxes upon the nation for his needs or for the purpose of war. He may also fix a duty on merchandise. It is forbidden to avoid paying this duty. The king has the right to decree that if someone does not pay these duties, his property will be seized or he will be killed.

These laws are derived as follows: I Samuel 8:17 states: 'You will be servants to him, the king.' Previously, Deuteronomy 20:11 states: 'They shall be subject to your levy and they shall serve you.' From this association, it is derived that the king may levy taxes and fix duties.

The statutes that he establishes in these and related matters are accepted as law for all the matters mentioned in the Biblical passage concerning the king are rights to which the king is entitled.

א

רְשׁוּת יֵשׁ לַמֶּלֶךְ לִתֵּן מַס עַל הָעָם לִצְרָכָיו אוֹ לְצֹרֶךְ הַמִּלְחָמוֹת. וְקוֹצֵב לוֹ מֶכֶס וְאָסוּר לְהַבְרִיחַ מִן הַמֶּכֶס. שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לִגְזֹר שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁיִּגְנֹב הַמֶּכֶס יִלָּקַח מָמוֹנוֹ אוֹ יֵהָרֵג שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח יז) "וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לוֹ לַעֲבָדִים". וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (דברים כ יא) "יִהְיוּ לְךָ לָמַס וַעֲבָדוּךָ". מִכָּאן שֶׁנּוֹתֵן מַס וְקוֹצֵב מֶכֶס וְדִינָיו בְּכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן דִּין. שֶׁכָּל הָאָמוּר בְּפָרָשַׁת מֶלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ זוֹכֶה בּוֹ:

2

He may also send throughout the territory of Eretz Yisrael and take from the nation valiant men and men of war and employ them as soldiers for his chariot and cavalry. Similarly, he may appoint them as his body guard and as footmen to run before him as I Samuel 8:11 states: 'He shall place them among his charioteers and his horsemen and they shall run before his chariot.' He may also take the choicest of them to be his servants and attendants as ibid.:16 states: 'He shall take... your finest young men... to do his work.'

ב

וְשׁוֹלֵחַ בְּכָל גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלוֹקֵחַ מִן הָעָם הַגִּבּוֹרִים וְאַנְשֵׁי חַיִל וְעוֹשֶׂה מֵהֶן חַיִל לְמֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ וּבְפָרָשָׁיו וּמַעֲמִיד מֵהֶן עוֹמְדִים לְפָנָיו. וּמַעֲמִיד מֵהֶן אֲנָשִׁים לָרוּץ לְפָנָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח יא) "וְשָׂם לוֹ בְּמֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ וּפָרָשָׁיו וְרָצוּ לִפְנֵי מֶרְכַּבְתּו"ֹ. וְלוֹקֵחַ מִן הַיָּפִים שֶׁבָּהֶם לִהְיוֹת שַׁמָּשִׁים וְעוֹמְדִים לְפָנָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח טז) "וְאֶת בַּחוּרֵיכֶם הַטּוֹבִים" (שמואל א ח טז) "יִקָּח וְעָשָׂה לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ":

3

Similarly, he may take all those that are necessary for him from the nation's craftsmen and employ them to do his work. He must pay their wages. He may also take all the beasts, servants, and maids that are necessary for his tasks. He must pay their hire or their value as ibid.:12-16 states: 'He will set them to plough his ground and to reap his harvest, to make instruments of war, and gear for his chariots.... He will take your servants, your maids, your finest young men, and your donkeys to do his work.'

ג

וְכֵן לוֹקֵחַ מִן בַּעֲלֵי הָאֻמָּנֻיּוֹת כָּל מַה שֶּׁהוּא צָרִיךְ וְעוֹשִׂין לוֹ מְלַאכְתּוֹ וְנוֹתֵן שְׂכָרָן. וְלוֹקֵחַ כָּל הַבְּהֵמוֹת וְהָעֲבָדִים וְהַשְּׁפָחוֹת לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ וְנוֹתֵן שְׂכָרָן אוֹ דְּמֵיהֶן. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח יב) "וְלַחֲרשׁ חֲרִישׁוֹ וְלִקְצֹר קְצִירוֹ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת כְּלֵי מִלְחַמְתּוֹ וּכְלֵי רִכְבּוֹ". (שמואל א ח טז) "וְאֶת עַבְדֵיכֶם וְאֶת שִׁפְחוֹתֵיכֶם וְאֶת בַּחוּרֵיכֶם הַטּוֹבִים וְאֶת חֲמוֹרֵיכֶם יִקָּח וְעָשָׂה לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ":

4

Similarly, he may take wives and concubines from the entire territory of Eretz Yisrael. The term 'wives' implies women who were married with A ketubah and kiddushin; concubines, women who were not given A ketubah and kiddushin. With the act of yichud alone, the king acquires her and relations with her are permitted him.

A commoner is forbidden to have a concubine. The only similar relationship is the union with a Hebrew maid servant after she has been designated by her master.

The king may make the concubines which he takes to his palace cooks, bakers, and perfumers as ibid.:13 states: 'He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.

ד

וְכֵן לוֹקֵחַ מִכָּל גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל נָשִׁים וּפִילַגְשִׁים. נָשִׁים בִּכְתֻבָּה וְקִדּוּשִׁין. וּפִילַגְשִׁים בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה וּבְלֹא קִדּוּשִׁין. אֶלָּא בְּיִחוּד בִּלְבַד קוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ וּמֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ. אֲבָל הַהֶדְיוֹט אָסוּר בְּפִילֶגֶשׁ אֶלָּא בְּאָמָה הָעִבְרִיָּה בִּלְבַד אַחַר יִעוּד. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ [רְשׁוּת] לַעֲשׂוֹת הַפִּילַגְשִׁים שֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ לְאַרְמוֹנוֹ טַבָּחוֹת וְאוֹפוֹת וְרַקָּחוֹת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח יג) "וְאֶת בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם יִקָּח לְרַקָּחוֹת וּלְטַבָּחוֹת וּלְאֹפוֹת":

5

He may force those who are fit to serve as officers, appointing them as leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties as ibid.:12 states: 'He shall appoint them as leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties for himself.'

ה

וְכֵן כּוֹפֶה אֶת הָרְאוּיִין לִהְיוֹת שָׂרִים וּמְמַנֶּה אוֹתָם שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים וְשָׂרֵי חֲמִשִּׁים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח יב) "וְלָשׂוּם לוֹ שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים וְשָׂרֵי חֲמִשִּׁים":

6

He may take fields, olive groves, and vineyards for his servants when they go to war and allow them to commandeer these places if they have no source of nurture other than them. He must pay for what is taken. This is stated in ibid.:14: 'He shall take your good fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his servants.

ו

וְלוֹקֵחַ הַשָּׂדוֹת וְהַזֵּיתִים וְהַכְּרָמִים לַעֲבָדָיו כְּשֶׁיֵּלְכוּ לַמִּלְחָמָה וְיִפְשְׁטוּ עַל מְקוֹמוֹת אֵלּוּ אִם אֵין לָהֶם מַה יֹּאכְלוּ אֶלָּא מִשָּׁם. וְנוֹתֵן דְּמֵיהֶן. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח יד) "וְאֶת שְׂדוֹתֵיכֶם וְאֶת כַּרְמֵיכֶם וְזֵיתֵיכֶם הַטּוֹבִים יִקָּח וְנָתַן לַעֲבָדָיו":

7

He is entitled to a tenth of the produce of the seed and the orchards and the newborn beasts as ibid.:16-17 states: 'He will take a tenth of your seed and your vineyards...He shall take a tenth of your sheep.'

ז

וְיֵשׁ לוֹ מַעֲשֵׂר מִן הַזְּרָעִים וּמִן הָאִילָנוֹת וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח טו) "וְזַרְעֵיכֶם וְכַרְמֵיכֶם יַעְשֹׂר" וְגוֹ'. (שמואל א ח יז) "צֹאנְכֶם יַעְשֹׂר":

8

The Messianic king may take a thirteenth portion of all the lands conquered by Israel as his own. This will be an allotment for him and his descendants forever.

ח

הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ נוֹטֵל מִכָּל הָאֲרָצוֹת שֶׁכּוֹבְשִׁין יִשְׂרָאֵל חֵלֶק אֶחָד מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר. וְדָבָר זֶה חֹק לוֹ וּלְבָנָיו עַד עוֹלָם:

9

The property of all those executed by the king, belongs to the king. Similarly, all the treasures belonging to the kings of the kingdoms which he conquers become the property of the king.

In regard to the other spoil which is taken. The soldiers may take spoil. Afterwards, they must bring it to the king. He is entitled to one half of the spoil. He takes this portion first.

The second half of the spoil is divided between the combat soldiers and the people who remained in camp to guard the baggage. An equal division is made between them as I Samuel 30:24 relates: 'The portion of those who go down to the battle will be as the portion of those who stay with the baggage. They shall divide equally.'

ט

כָּל הֲרוּגֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מָמוֹנָן לַמֶּלֶךְ. וְכָל הַמַּמְלָכוֹת שֶׁכּוֹבֵשׁ הֲרֵי אוֹצְרוֹת הַמְּלָכִים לַמֶּלֶךְ. וּשְׁאָר הַבִּזָּה שֶׁבּוֹזְזִין בּוֹזְזִין וְנוֹתְנִין לְפָנָיו וְהוּא נוֹטֵל מֶחֱצָה בָּרֹאשׁ. וּמַחֲצִית הַבִּזָּה חוֹלְקִין אוֹתָהּ כָּל אַנְשֵׁי הַצָּבָא בְּיַחַד עִם הָעָם הַיּוֹשְׁבִין עַל הַכֵּלִים בַּמַּחֲנֶה לְשָׁמְרָם חוֹלְקִין בְּשָׁוֶה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ל כד) "כִּי כְּחֵלֶק הַיֹּרֵד בַּמִּלְחָמָה וּכְחֵלֶק הַיּשֵׁב עַל הַכֵּלִים יַחְדָּו יַחֲלֹקוּ":

10

All the lands that he conquers belong to him. He may apportion them to his servants and soldiers as he desires and keep the remainder for himself. In all these matters, the judgement he makes is binding.

In all matters, his deeds shall be for the sake of heaven. His purpose and intent shall be to elevate the true faith and fill the world with justice, destroying the power of the wicked and waging the wars of God. For the entire purpose of appointing a king is to execute justice and wage wars as I Samuel 8:20 states: 'Our king shall judge us, go out before us, and wage our wars.'

י

כָּל הָאָרֶץ שֶׁכּוֹבֵשׁ הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלּוֹ וְנוֹתֵן לַעֲבָדָיו וּלְאַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה. וּמַנִּיחַ לְעַצְמוֹ כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה. וּבְכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים דִּינוֹ דִּין. וּבְכָל יִהְיוּ מַעֲשָׂיו לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם. וְתִהְיֶה מְגַמָּתוֹ וּמַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ לְהָרִים דַּת הָאֱמֶת. וּלְמַלְּאוֹת הָעוֹלָם צֶדֶק. וְלִשְׁבֹּר זְרוֹעַ הָרְשָׁעִים וּלְהִלָּחֵם מִלְחֲמוֹת ה'. שֶׁאֵין מַמְלִיכִין מֶלֶךְ תְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וּמִלְחָמוֹת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ח כ) "וּשְׁפָטָנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ וְיָצָא לְפָנֵינוּ וְנִלְחַם אֶת מִלְחֲמֹתֵנוּ":

Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 5

1

A king should not wage other wars before a milchemet mitzvah. What is considered as milchemet mitzvah? The war against the seven nations who occupied Eretz Yisrael, the war against Amalek, and a war fought to assist Israel from an enemy which attacks them.

Afterwards, he may wage a milchemet hareshut, i.e. a war fought with other nations in order to expand the borders of Israel or magnify its greatness and reputation.

א

אֵין הַמֶּלֶךְ נִלְחָם תְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה. וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה זוֹ מִלְחֶמֶת שִׁבְעָה עֲמָמִים. וּמִלְחֶמֶת עֲמָלֵק. וְעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד צָר שֶׁבָּא עֲלֵיהֶם. וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִלְחָם בְּמִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת וְהִיא הַמִּלְחָמָה שֶׁנִּלְחָם עִם שְׁאָר הָעַמִּים כְּדֵי לְהַרְחִיב גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְהַרְבּוֹת בִּגְדֻלָּתוֹ וְשִׁמְעוֹ:

2

There is no need to seek the permission of the court to wage a milchemet mitzvah. Rather, he may go out on his own volition and force the nation to go out with him. In contrast, he may not lead the nation out to wage a milchemat hareshut unless the court of seventy one judges approves.

ב

מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִטּל בָּהּ רְשׁוּת בֵּית דִּין. אֶלָּא יוֹצֵא מֵעַצְמוֹ בְּכָל עֵת. וְכוֹפֶה הָעָם לָצֵאת. אֲבָל מִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת אֵינוֹ מוֹצִיא הָעָם בָּהּ אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד:

3

The king may burst through the fences surrounding fields or vineyards to make a road and no one can take issue with him.

There is no limit to the road the king may make. Rather, it may be as wide as necessary. He need not make his road crooked because of an individual's vineyard or field. Rather, he may proceed on a straight path and carry out his war.

ג

וּפוֹרֵץ לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ דֶּרֶךְ וְאֵין מְמַחִין בְּיָדוֹ. וְדֶרֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵין לָהּ שִׁעוּר. אֶלָּא כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁהוּא צָרִיךְ. אֵינוֹ מְעַקֵּם הַדְּרָכִים מִפְּנֵי כַּרְמוֹ שֶׁל זֶה אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שָׂדֵהוּ שֶׁל זֶה. אֶלָּא הוֹלֵךְ בְּשָׁוֶה וְעוֹשֶׂה מִלְחַמְתּוֹ:

4

It is a positive commandment to annihilate the seven nations who dwelled in Eretz Yisrael as Deuteronomy 20:17 states: 'You shall utterly destroy them.'

Anyone who chances upon one of them and does not kill him violates a negative commandment as ibid.:16 states: 'Do not allow a soul to live.' The memory of them has already been obliterated.

ד

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְהַחֲרִים שִׁבְעָה עֲמָמִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ יז) "הַחֲרֵם תַּחֲרִימֵם". וְכָל שֶׁבָּא לְיָדוֹ אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְלֹא הֲרָגוֹ עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ טז) "לֹא תְחַיֶּה כָּל נְשָׁמָה". וּכְבָר אָבַד זִכְרָם:

5

Similarly, it is a positive commandment to destroy the memory of Amalek, as Deuteronomy 25:19 states: 'Obliterate the memory of Amalek.

It is also a positive commandment to constantly remember their evil deeds and their ambush of Israel to arouse our hatred of them, as ibid.:17 states: 'Remember what Amalek did to you.' The Oral Tradition teaches: ...Remember' - with your mouths; ...Do not forget' - in your hearts.' For it is forbidden to forget our hatred and enmity for them.

ה

וְכֵן מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְאַבֵּד זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה יט) "תִּמְחֶה אֶת זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק". וּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִזְכֹּר תָּמִיד מַעֲשָׂיו הָרָעִים וַאֲרִיבָתוֹ. כְּדֵי לְעוֹרֵר אֵיבָתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה יז) "זָכוֹר אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק". מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ זָכוֹר בַּפֶּה לֹא תִּשְׁכָּח בַּלֵּב. שֶׁאָסוּר לִשְׁכֹּחַ אֵיבָתוֹ וְשִׂנְאָתוֹ:

6

All the lands which Israel conquers in wars led by a king and approved by the court are considered as conquered by the people at large. Thus, they have the same status as Eretz Yisrael which was conquered by Joshua in every regard. This only applies if they were conquered after the conquest of Eretz Yisrael as described in the Torah.

ו

כָּל הָאֲרָצוֹת שֶׁכּוֹבְשִׁין יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמֶלֶךְ עַל פִּי בֵּית דִּין. הֲרֵי זֶה כִּבּוּשׁ רַבִּים וַהֲרֵי הִיא כְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁכָּבַשׁ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לְכָל דָּבָר. וְהוּא שֶׁכָּבְשׁוּ אַחַר כִּבּוּשׁ כָּל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה:

7

It is permitted to dwell anywhere in the entire world with the exception of the land of Egypt. Its territory includes a square of 400 parsah by 400 parsah from the Mediterranean Sea proceeding westward, bordering on the land of Kush and the desert. It is forbidden to dwell in this entire territory.

In three places, the Torah warned against returning to Egypt:

a) 'God has told you, you must never again return on that path' (Deuteronomy 17:16);

b) 'You shall not see it again' (Deuteronomy 28:68);

c) 'You shall never see them again forever' (Exodus 14:13).

Alexandria is included in this prohibition.

ז

וּמֻתָּר לִשְׁכֹּן בְּכָל הָעוֹלָם חוּץ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם. מִן הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל וְעַד הַמַּעֲרָב אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת פַּרְסָה עַל אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת פַּרְסָה כְּנֶגֶד אֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ וּכְנֶגֶד הַמִּדְבָּר. הַכּל אָסוּר לְהִתְיַשֵּׁב בָּהּ. בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה מְקוֹמוֹת הִזְהִירָה תּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא לָשׁוּב לְמִצְרַיִם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז טז) "לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד". (דברים כח סח) "לֹא תֹסִיף עוֹד לִרְאֹתָהּ". (שמות יד יג) "לֹא תֹסִפוּ לִרְאֹתָם עוֹד עַד עוֹלָם". וַאֲלֶכְּסַנְדְּרִיאָה בִּכְלַל הָאִסּוּר:

8

It is permitted to return to Egypt for the purpose of trade and commerce and to pass through while conquering other nations. The prohibition consists of settling there.

Lashes are not given as punishment for the violation of this prohibition because at the time one enters, there is no prohibition. Should he decide to settle there, there is no deed involved.

It appears to me that if a king of Israel would conquer the land of Egypt with the approval of the court, it would be permissible to settle there. The prohibition against returning was only given to individuals or to dwell there while it is under the rule of the gentiles for their behavior is more depraved than that of the peoples of other lands as can be inferred from Leviticus 18:3: 'Do not follow the ways of Egypt....'

ח

מֻתָּר לַחְזֹר לְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לִסְחוֹרָה וְלִפְרַקְמַטְיָא. וְלִכְבֹּשׁ אֲרָצוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת. וְאֵין אָסוּר אֶלָּא לְהִשְׁתַּקֵעַ שָׁם. וְאֵין לוֹקִין עַל לָאו זֶה. שֶׁבְּעֵת הַכְּנִיסָה מֻתָּר הוּא. וְאִם יַחֲשֹׁב לֵישֵׁב וּלְהִשְׁתַּקֵעַ שָׁם אֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאִם כָּבַשׁ אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל פִּי בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת. וְלֹא הִזְהִירָה אֶלָּא לָשׁוּב לָהּ יְחִידִים אוֹ לִשְׁכֹּן בָּהּ וְהִיא בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּעֲשֶׂיהָ מְקֻלְקָלִין יוֹתֵר מִכָּל הָאֲרָצוֹת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח ג) "כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם":

9

It is forbidden to leave Eretz Yisrael for the Diaspora at all times except:

to study Torah;

to marry; or

to save one's property from the gentiles.

After accomplishing these objectives, one must return to Eretz Yisrael.

Similarly, one may leave Eretz Yisrael to conduct commercial enterprises. However, it is forbidden to leave with the intent of settling permanently in the Diaspora unless the famine in Eretz Yisrael is so severe that a dinar's worth of wheat is sold at two dinarim.

When do these conditions apply? When one possesses financial resources and food is expensive. However, if food is inexpensive, but a person cannot find financial resources or employment and has no money available, he may leave and go to any place where he can find relief.

Though it is permitted to leave Eretz Yisrael under these circumstances, it is not pious behavior. Behold, Machlon and Kilyon were two of the great men of the generation and they left Eretz Yisrael only out of great distress. Nevertheless, they were found worthy of death by God.

ט

אָסוּר לָצֵאת מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לְעוֹלָם. אֶלָּא לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה אוֹ לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה אוֹ לְהַצִּיל מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם. וְיַחְזֹר לָאָרֶץ. וְכֵן יוֹצֵא הוּא לִסְחוֹרָה. אֲבָל לִשְׁכֹּן בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ אָסוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן חָזַק שָׁם הָרָעָב עַד שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה שְׁוֵה דִּינָר חִטִּין בִּשְׁנֵי דִּינָרִין. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיוּ הַמָּעוֹת מְצוּיוֹת וְהַפֵּרוֹת בְּיֹקֶר. אֲבָל אִם הַפֵּרוֹת בְּזוֹל וְלֹא יִמְצָא מָעוֹת וְלֹא בְּמָה יִשְׂתַּכֵּר וְאָבְדָה פְּרוּטָה מִן הַכִּיס. יֵצֵא לְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּמְצָא בּוֹ רֶוַח. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לָצֵאת אֵינָהּ מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת שֶׁהֲרֵי מַחְלוֹן וְכִלְיוֹן שְׁנֵי גְּדוֹלֵי הַדּוֹר הָיוּ וּמִפְּנֵי צָרָה גְּדוֹלָה יָצְאוּ וְנִתְחַיְּבוּ כְּלָיָה לַמָּקוֹם:

10

Great sages would kiss the borders of Eretz Yisrael, kiss its stones, and roll in its dust. Similarly, Psalms 102:15 declares: 'Behold, your servants hold her stones dear and cherish her dust.'

י

גְּדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים הָיוּ מְנַשְּׁקִין עַל תְּחוּמֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמְנַשְּׁקִין אֲבָנֶיהָ וּמִתְגַּלְגְּלִין עַל עֲפָרָהּ. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (תהילים קב טו) "כִּי רָצוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ אֶת אֲבָנֶיהָ וְאֶת עֲפָרָהּ יְחֹנֵנוּ":

11

The Sages commented: 'Whoever dwells in Eretz Yisrael will have his sins forgiven as Isaiah 33:24 states: 'The inhabitant shall not say 'I am sick.' The people who dwell there shall be forgiven their sins.'

Even one who walks four cubits there will merit the world to come and one who is buried there receives atonement as if the place in which he is buried is an altar of atonement as Deuteronomy 32:43 states: 'His land will atone for His people.' In contrast, the prophet, Amos [7:17, used the expression] 'You shall die in an impure land' as a prophecy of retribution.

There is no comparison between the merit of a person who lives in Eretz Yisrael and ultimately, is buried there and one whose body is brought there after his death. Nevertheless, great Sages would bring their dead there. Take an example, from our Patriarch, Jacob, and Joseph, the righteous.

יא

אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים כָּל הַשּׁוֹכֵן בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲוֹנוֹתָיו מְחוּלִין. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה לג כד) "וּבַל יֹאמַר שָׁכֵן חָלִיתִי הָעָם הַיּשֵׁב בָּהּ נְשֻׂא עָוֹן". אֲפִלּוּ הָלַךְ בָּהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת זוֹכֶה לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. וְכֵן הַקָּבוּר בָּהּ נִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ. וּכְאִלּוּ הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהוּא בּוֹ מִזְבַּח כַּפָּרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים לב מג) "וְכִפֶּר אַדְמָתוֹ עַמּוֹ". וּבַפֻּרְעָנוּת הוּא אוֹמֵר (עמוס ז יז) "עַל אֲדָמָה טְמֵאָה תָּמוּת". וְאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה קוֹלַטְתּוֹ מֵחַיִּים לְקוֹלַטְתּוֹ אַחַר מוֹתוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן גְּדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים הָיוּ מוֹלִיכִים מֵתֵיהֶם לְשָׁם. צֵא וּלְמַד מִיַּעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ וְיוֹסֵף הַצַּדִּיק:

12

At all times, a person should dwell in Eretz Yisrael even in a city whose population is primarily gentile, rather than dwell in the Diaspora, even in a city whose population is primarily Jewish.

This applies because whoever leaves Eretz Yisrael for the Diaspora is considered as if he worships idols as I Samuel 26:19 states 'They have driven me out today from dwelling in the heritage of God, saying 'Go, serve other gods.' Similarly, Ezekiel's (13:9) prophecies of retribution state: 'They shall not come to the land of Israel.'

Just as it is forbidden to leave the chosen land for the Diaspora, it is also forbidden to leave Babylon for other lands as Jeremiah 27:22 states: 'They shall be brought to Babylon and there they shall be until I take heed of them... and restore them to this place.'

יב

לְעוֹלָם יָדוּר אָדָם בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲפִלּוּ בְּעִיר שֶׁרֻבָּהּ עַכּוּ''ם וְאַל יָדוּר בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּעִיר שֶׁרֻבָּהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁכָּל הַיּוֹצֵא לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ כְּאִלּוּ עוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א כו יט) "כִּי גֵרְשׁוּנִי הַיּוֹם מֵהִסְתַּפֵּחַ בְּנַחֲלַת ה' לֵאמֹר לֵךְ עֲבֹד אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים". וּבַפֻּרְעָנֻיּוֹת הוּא אוֹמֵר (יחזקאל יג ט) "וְאֶל אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יָבֹאוּ". כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לָצֵאת מֵהָאָרֶץ לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ כָּךְ אָסוּר לָצֵאת מִבָּבֶל לִשְׁאָר הָאֲרָצוֹת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה כז כב) "בָּבֶלָה יוּבָאוּ וְשָׁמָּה יִהְיוּ":

Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 6

1

War, neither a milchemet hareshut or a milchemet mitzvah, should not be waged against anyone until they are offered the opportunity of peace as Deuteronomy 20:10 states: 'When you approach a city to wage war against it, you should propose a peaceful settlement.'

If the enemy accepts the offer of peace and commits itself to the fulfillment of the seven mitzvot that were commanded to Noah's descendents, none of them should be killed. Rather, they should be subjugated as ibid.:11 states: 'They shall be your subjects and serve you.'

If they agree to tribute, but do not accept subjugation or if they accept subjugation, but do not agree to tribute, their offer should not be heeded. They must accept both.

The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble. They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever.

The tribute they must accept consists of being prepared to support the king's service with their money and with their persons; for example, the building of walls, strengthening the fortresses, building the king's palace, and the like as I Kings 9:15-22) relates: "This is the tribute which Solomon raised to build the House of God, his own palace, the Milo, the wall of Jerusalem,... and all the store-cities which Solomon had... All the people that remained from the Amorites... upon them did Solomon lay a tribute of bondservice until this day."

In contrast, Solomon did not make bondsmen out of the children of Israel. They were men of war, his personal servants, his princes, his captains, the officers of his chariots, and his horsemen.

א

אֵין עוֹשִׂין מִלְחָמָה עִם אָדָם בָּעוֹלָם עַד שֶׁקּוֹרְאִין לוֹ שָׁלוֹם. אֶחָד מִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת וְאֶחָד מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, י) "כִּי תִקְרַב אֶל עִיר לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ וְקָרָאתָ אֵלֶיהָ לְשָׁלוֹם". אִם הִשְׁלִימוּ וְקִבְּלוּ שֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת שֶׁנִּצְטַוּוּ בְּנֵי נֹחַ עֲלֵיהֶן אֵין הוֹרְגִין מֵהֶן נְשָׁמָה וַהֲרֵי הֵן לְמַס. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, יא) "יִהְיוּ לְךָ לָמַס וַעֲבָדוּךָ". קִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶן הַמַּס וְלֹא קִבְּלוּ הָעַבְדוּת אוֹ שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ הָעַבְדוּת וְלֹא קִבְּלוּ הַמַּס. אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהֶם עַד שֶׁיְּקַבְּלוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם. וְהָעַבְדוּת שֶׁיְּקַבְּלוּ הוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ נִבְזִים וּשְׁפָלִים לְמַטָּה וְלֹא יָרִימוּ רֹאשׁ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא יִהְיוּ כְּבוּשִׁים תַּחַת יָדָם. וְלֹא יִתְמַנּוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְשׁוּם דָּבָר שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם. וְהַמַּס שֶׁיְּקַבְּלוּ שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מוּכָנִים לַעֲבוֹדַת הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּגוּפָם וּמָמוֹנָם. כְּגוֹן בִּנְיַן הַחוֹמוֹת. וְחֹזֶק הַמְּצוּדוֹת. וּבִנְיַן אַרְמוֹן הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א ט, טו) "וְזֶה דְבַר הַמַּס אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָה הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה לִבְנוֹת אֶת בֵּית ה' וְאֶת בֵּיתוֹ וְאֶת הַמִּלּוֹא וְאֵת חוֹמַת יְרוּשָׁלָםִ" (מלכים א ט, יט) "וְאֵת כָּל עָרֵי הַמִּסְכְּנוֹת אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ לִשְׁלֹמֹה" (מלכים א ט, כ) "כָּל הָעָם הַנּוֹתָר מִן הָאֱמֹרִי" (מלכים א ט, כא) "וַיַּעֲלֵם שְׁלֹמֹה לְמַס עֹבֵד עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה" (מלכים א ט, כב) "וּמִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא נָתַן שְׁלֹמֹה עָבֶד כִּי הֵם אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה וַעֲבָדָיו וְשָׂרָיו וְשָׁלִישָׁיו וְשָׂרֵי רִכְבּוֹ וּפָרָשָׁיו":

2

In the settlement he offers, the king may propose that he is entitled to take half their financial resources. Or he may propose to take all their landed property and leave them their movable property; or to take all their movable property and leave their land.

ב

וְיֵשׁ לַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַתְנוֹת עִמָּהֶם שֶׁיִּקַּח חֲצִי מָמוֹנָם אוֹ הַקַּרְקָעוֹת וְיַנִּיחַ כָּל הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אוֹ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִים וְיַנִּיחַ הַקַּרְקָעוֹת כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיַּתְנֶה:

3

It is forbidden to lie when making such a covenant or to be untruthful to them after they have made peace and accepted the seven mitzvot.

ג

וְאָסוּר לְשַׁקֵּר בִּבְרִיתָם וּלְכַזֵּב לָהֶם אַחַר שֶׁהִשְׁלִימוּ וְקִבְּלוּ שֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת:

4

If they do not agree to a peaceful settlement, or if they agree to a peaceful settlement, but refuse to accept the seven mitzvot, war should be waged against them.

All males past majority should be killed. Their money and their children should be taken as spoil, but neither women or children should be killed, as Deuteronomy 20:14 states: 'But the women and the children... take as spoil." 'The children' refer to males below the age of majority.

The above applies to a milchemet hareshut fought with other nations. However, if either the seven nations or Amalek refuse to accept a peaceful settlement, not one soul of them may be left alive as ibid. 20:15-16 states: 'Do this to all the cities that ... are not the cities of these nations. However, from the cities of these nations,... do not leave a soul alive.' Similarly, in regard to Amalek, Deuteronomy 25:19 states: 'Obliterate the memory of Amalek.'

How do we know that these commands are only referring to those who did not accept a peaceful settlement? Joshua 11:19-20 states: 'There was no city which accepted a peaceful settlement with the children of Israel except the Chivites who lived in Gibeon. All the rest, they conquered in battle. This was inspired by God, Who strengthened their hearts to engage in battle against Israel so that they would be destroyed.' From these statements, we can infer that a peaceful settlement was offered, but they did not accept it.

ד

וְאִם לֹא הִשְׁלִימוּ אוֹ שֶׁהִשְׁלִימוּ וְלֹא קִבְּלוּ שֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת. עוֹשִׂין עִמָּהֶם מִלְחָמָה וְהוֹרְגִין כָּל הַזְּכָרִים הַגְּדוֹלִים. וּבוֹזְזִין כָּל מָמוֹנָם וְטַפָּם. וְאֵין הוֹרְגִין אִשָּׁה וְלֹא קָטָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, יד) "וְהַנָּשִׁים וְהַטָּף" זֶה טַף שֶׁל זְכָרִים. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת שֶׁהוּא עִם שְׁאָר הָאֻמּוֹת. אֲבָל שִׁבְעָה עֲמָמִין וַעֲמָלֵק שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׁלִימוּ אֵין מַנִּיחִין מֵהֶם נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, טו) "כֵּן תַּעֲשֶׂה לְכָל" וְגוֹ' (דברים כ, טז) "רַק מֵעָרֵי הָעַמִּים" (דברים כ, טז) "לֹא תְחַיֶּה כָּל נְשָׁמָה". וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר בַּעֲמָלֵק (דברים כה, יט) "תִּמְחֶה אֶת זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק". וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּאֵלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׁלִימוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יהושע יא, יט) "לֹא הָיְתָה עִיר אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁלִימָה אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּלְתִּי הַחִוִּי ישְׁבֵי גִבְעוֹן אֶת הַכּל לָקְחוּ בַמִּלְחָמָה" (יהושע יא, כ) "כִּי מֵאֵת ה' הָיְתָה לְחַזֵּק אֶת לִבָּם לִקְרַאת הַמִּלְחָמָה אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַעַן הַחֲרִימָם". מִכְלַל שֶׁשָּׁלְחוּ לָהֶם לְשָׁלוֹם וְלֹא קִבְּלוּ:

5

Joshua sent three letters to the Canaanites before entering the promised land: At first, he sent them: 'Whoever desires to flee, should flee.'

Afterwards, he sent a second message: 'Whoever desires to accept a peaceful settlement, should make peace.'

Then, he sent again: 'Whoever desires war, should do battle.'

If so, why did the inhabitants of Gibeon employ a ruse? Because originally, when he sent the message to them as part of all the Canaanite nations, they did not accept. They were not aware of the laws of Israel and thought that they would never be offered a peaceful settlement again.

Why was the matter difficult for the princes of Israel to accept to the point that they desired to slay the Gibeonites by the sword were it not for the oath they had taken? Because they made a covenant with them and Deuteronomy 7:2 states 'Do not make a covenant with them.' Rather, the laws governing their status would have prescribed that they be subjugated as servants.

Since the oath was given to them under false pretenses, it would have been just to slay them for misleading them, were it not for the dishonor to God's name which would have been caused.

ה

שְׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָבִים שָׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִכְנַס לָאָרֶץ. הָרִאשׁוֹן שָׁלַח לָהֶם מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה לִבְרֹחַ יִבְרַח. וְחָזַר וְשָׁלַח מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה לְהַשְׁלִים יַשְׁלִים. וְחָזַר וְשָׁלַח מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִלְחָמָה יַעֲשֶׂה. אִם כֵּן מִפְּנֵי מָה הֶעֱרִימוּ יוֹשְׁבֵי גִּבְעוֹן. לְפִי שֶׁשָּׁלַח לָהֶם בַּכְּלָל וְלֹא קִבְּלוּ. וְלֹא יָדְעוּ מִשְׁפַּט יִשְׂרָאֵל וְדִמּוּ שֶׁשּׁוּב אֵין פּוֹתְחִין לָהֶם לְשָׁלוֹם. וְלָמָּה קָשָׁה הַדָּבָר לַנְּשִׂיאִים וְרָאוּ שֶׁרָאוּי לְהַכּוֹתָם לְפִי חֶרֶב לוּלֵי הַשְּׁבוּעָה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּרְתוּ לָהֶם בְּרִית וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (דברים ז, ב) "לֹא תִכְרֹת לָהֶם בְּרִית" אֶלָּא הָיָה דִּינָם שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לְמַס עֲבָדִים. וְהוֹאִיל וּבְטָעוּת נִשְׁבְּעוּ לָהֶן בְּדִין הָיָה שֶׁיֵּהָרְגוּ עַל שֶׁהִטְעוּם לוּלֵי חִלּוּל הַשֵּׁם:

6

No offer of a peaceful settlement should be made to Ammon and Moav, as Deuteronomy 23:7 states: 'Do not seek their peace and welfare for all your days.' Our Sages declared: Although it is written: 'Offer a peaceful settlement,' does this apply to Ammon and Moab? The Torah states: 'Do not seek their peace and welfare.'

Although it is written Deuteronomy 23:17: 'He must be allowed to live alongside you in you midst,' does this apply to Ammon and Moav? No, the Torah also forbids 'their welfare.'

Even though we should not offer them a peaceful settlement, if they sue for peace themselves, we may accept their offer.

ו

עַמּוֹן וּמוֹאָב אֵין שׁוֹלְחִין לָהֶם לְשָׁלוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג, ז) "לֹא תִדְרשׁ שְׁלֹמָם וְטֹבָתָם כָּל יָמֶיךָ". אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, י) "וְקָרָאתָ אֵלֶיהָ לְשָׁלוֹם" יָכוֹל עַמּוֹן וּמוֹאָב כֵּן. תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר לֹא תִדְרשׁ שְׁלֹמָם וְטֹבָתָם. לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג, יז) "עִמְּךָ יֵשֵׁב בְּקִרְבְּךָ" (דברים כג, יז) "בַּטּוֹב לוֹ לֹא תּוֹנֶנּוּ". יָכוֹל עַמּוֹן וּמוֹאָב כֵּן תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר וְטֹבָתָם. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹאֲלִים בִּשְׁלוֹמָם אִם הִשְׁלִימוּ מֵעַצְמָם תְּחִלָּה מְקַבְּלִין אוֹתָן:

7

When a siege is placed around a city to conquer it, it should not be surrounded on all four sides, only on three. A place should be left for the inhabitants to flee and for all those who desire, to escape with their lives, as it is written Numbers 31:7: 'And they besieged Midian as God commanded Moses.' According to tradition, He commanded them to array the siege as described.

ז

כְּשֶׁצָּרִין עַל עִיר לְתָפְשָׂהּ. אֵין מַקִּיפִין אוֹתָהּ מֵאַרְבַּע רוּחוֹתֶיהָ אֶלָּא מִשָּׁלֹשׁ רוּחוֹתֶיהָ. וּמַנִּיחִין מָקוֹם לַבּוֹרֵחַ וּלְכָל מִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה לְהִמָּלֵט עַל נַפְשׁוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר לא, ז) "וַיִּצְבְּאוּ עַל מִדְיָן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' אֶת משֶׁה". מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁבְּכָךְ צִוָּהוּ:

8

We should not cut down fruit trees outside a city nor prevent an irrigation ditch from bringing water to them so that they dry up, as Deuteronomy 20:19 states: 'Do not destroy its trees.' Anyone who cuts down such a tree should be lashed.

This does not apply only in a siege, but in all situations. Anyone who cuts down a fruit tree with a destructive intent, should be lashed.

Nevertheless, a fruit tree may be cut down if it causes damage to other trees or to fields belonging to others, or if a high price could be received for its wood. The Torah only prohibited cutting down a tree with a destructive intent.

ח

אֵין קוֹצְצִין אִילָנֵי מַאֲכָל שֶׁחוּץ לַמְּדִינָה וְאֵין מוֹנְעִין מֵהֶם אַמַּת הַמַּיִם כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּיבְשׁוּ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, יט) "לֹא תַשְׁחִית אֶת עֵצָהּ". וְכָל הַקּוֹצֵץ לוֹקֶה. וְלֹא בְּמָצוֹר בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא בְּכָל מָקוֹם כָּל הַקּוֹצֵץ אִילַן מַאֲכָל דֶּרֶךְ הַשְׁחָתָה לוֹקֶה. אֲבָל קוֹצְצִין אוֹתוֹ אִם הָיָה מַזִּיק אִילָנוֹת אֲחֵרִים. אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּזִּיק בִּשְׂדֵה אֲחֵרִים. אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדָּמָיו יְקָרִים. לֹא אָסְרָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא דֶּרֶךְ הַשְׁחָתָה:

9

It is permissible to cut down any non-fruit bearing tree, even if one has no need for it. Similarly, one may cut down a fruit bearing tree that has become old and produces only a slight yield which does not warrant the effort required to care for it.

What is the yield that an olive tree must produce to warrant that it should not be cut down? A quarter of a kav of olives. Similarly, a date palm which yields a kav of dates should not be cut down.

ט

כָּל אִילַן סְרָק מֻתָּר לָקֹץ אוֹתוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לוֹ. וְכֵן אִילַן מַאֲכָל שֶׁהִזְקִין וְאֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה אֶלָּא דָּבָר מוּעָט שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִטְרֹחַ בּוֹ מֻתָּר לָקֹץ אוֹתוֹ. וְכַמָּה יְהֵא הַזַּיִת עוֹשֶׂה וְלֹא יְקֻצֶּנּוּ. רֹבַע הַקַּב זֵיתִים. וְדֶקֶל שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה קַב תְּמָרִים לֹא יְקֻצֶּנּוּ:

10

This prohibition does not apply to trees alone. Rather, anyone who breaks utensils, tears garments, destroys buildings, stops up a spring, or ruins food with a destructive intent transgresses the command 'Do not destroy.' However, he is not lashed. Instead, he receives stripes for rebellious conductas instituted by the Sages.

י

וְלֹא הָאִילָנוֹת בִּלְבַד. אֶלָּא כָּל הַמְשַׁבֵּר כֵּלִים. וְקוֹרֵעַ בְּגָדִים. וְהוֹרֵס בִּנְיָן. וְסוֹתֵם מַעְיָן. וּמְאַבֵּד מַאֲכָלוֹת דֶּרֶךְ הַשְׁחָתָה. עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַשְׁחִית. וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם:

11

We should lay siege to the gentiles' cities at least three days before the Sabbath. We may engage in battle with them every day, even on the Sabbath, as Deuteronomy 20:20 states: 'against the city waging war with you until you subjugate it.' Our Sages explain: this implies 'even on the Sabbath.' This applies to both a milchemet mitzvah and a milchemet hareshut.

יא

צָרִין עַל עֲיָרוֹת שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים קֹדֶם הַשַּׁבָּת וְעוֹשִׂין עִמָּהֶם מִלְחָמָה בְּכָל יוֹם וְיוֹם וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ, כ) "עַד רִדְתָּהּ" וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת. בֵּין מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה בֵּין מִלְחֶמֶת רְשׁוּת:

12

The army may camp anywhere.

A person killed in the war should be buried where he falls. He acquires that place in the same manner as a meit mitzvah acquires his.

יב

כְּשֶׁחוֹנִין חוֹנִין בְּכָל מָקוֹם. וּמִי שֶׁנֶּהֱרַג בַּמִּלְחָמָה בַּמָּקוֹם שֶׁיִּפּל שָׁם יִקָּבֵר. קוֹנֶה מְקוֹמוֹ כְּמֵת מִצְוָה:

13

Four leniencies are permitted in an army camp:

a) Demai may be eaten.

b) There is no requirement to wash one's hands before eating bread.

c) Wood may be gathered from anywhere. Even if one finds wood that has been cut down and dried, there is no objection to taking it for an army camp.

d) There is no obligation to make an eruv chatzeirot for an army camp. Rather, one may carry from tent to tent and from booth to booth.

The latter is only permitted when the entire camp is surrounded by a barrier at least ten handbreadths high, for as explained in Hilchot Shabbat, a barrier must be at least ten handbreadths high.

Just as these leniencies apply when the army goes out to war, they apply when it returns.

יג

אַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים פָּטְרוּ בַּמַּחֲנֶה. אוֹכְלִים הַדְּמַאי. וּפְטוּרִים מֵרְחִיצַת יָדַיִם בַּתְּחִלָּה. וּמְבִיאִין עֵצִים מִכָּל מָקוֹם. וַאֲפִלּוּ מְצָאָן תְּלוּשִׁים וִיבֵשִׁים אֵין מַקְפִּידִין עַל כָּךְ בַּמַּחֲנֶה. וְכֵן פְּטוּרִין מִלְּעָרֵב עֵרוּבֵי חֲצֵרוֹת בַּמַּחֲנֶה אֶלָּא מְטַלְטְלִין מֵאֹהֶל לְאֹהֶל וּמִסֻּכָּה לְסֻכָּה וְהוּא שֶׁיַּקִּיפוּ כָּל הַמַּחֲנֶה מְחִצָּה גְּבוֹהָה עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה רְשׁוּת יָחִיד כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת שַׁבָּת. וְאֵין מְחִצָּה פְּחוּתָה מֵעֲשָׂרָה. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁפְּטוּרִין מִכָּל אֵלּוּ בַּהֲלִיכָתָן כָּךְ פְּטוּרִין בַּחֲזִירָתָן:

14

It is forbidden to defecate in an army camp or in an open field anywhere. Rather, it is a positive commandment to establish comfort facilities for the soldiers to defecate as Deuteronomy 23:13 commands: 'Designate a place outside the camp to use as a lavatory.'

יד

וְאָסוּר לְהִפָּנוֹת בְּתוֹךְ הַמַּחֲנֶה אוֹ עַל פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה בְּכָל מָקוֹם. אֶלָּא מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְתַקֵּן שָׁם דֶּרֶךְ מְיֻחֶדֶת לְהִפָּנוֹת בָּהּ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג, יג) "וְיָד תִּהְיֶה לְךָ מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה":

15

Similarly, it is a positive commandment for every single soldier to have a spike hanging together with his weapons. When he goes out and uses those comfort facilities, he should dig with it, relieve himself, and cover his excrement as ibid.:14 states 'You must keep a spike among your weapons.'

They must follow these practices at all times, whether the ark accompanies them or not, as ibid.:15 states: 'God walks among your camp,... therefore, your camp shall be holy.'

טו

וְכֵן מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִהְיוֹת יָתֵד לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד תְּלוּיָה עִם כְּלֵי מִלְחַמְתּוֹ. וְיֵצֵא בְּאוֹתָהּ הַדֶּרֶךְ וְיַחְפֹּר בָּהּ וְיִפָּנֶה וִיכַסֶּה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג, יד) "וְיָתֵד תִּהְיֶה לְךָ עַל אֲזֵנֶךָ" וְגוֹ'. וּבֵין שֶׁיֵּשׁ עִמָּהֶן אָרוֹן וּבֵין שֶׁאֵין עִמָּהֶן אָרוֹן כָּךְ הֵם עוֹשִׂים תָּמִיד. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג, טו) "וְהָיָה מַחֲנֶיךָ קָדוֹשׁ":

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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