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Ethics of War

Jewish Military Ethics

In light of the situation in Israel, we have broadened some of Ematai’s work to include the ethical and emotional issues rising for Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. Below is a compilation of recent articles and events that are related to the ongoing situation.

Ethics of Our Fighters

Rabbi Brody’s newest book, Ethics of Our Fighters: A Jewish View of War and Morality was recently published by Koren. You can order your own copy here.

This book systemically presents, for the first time, a holistic Jewish perspective on military ethics. Jews and non-Jews alike, from the halls of Congress and West Point to batei midrash and IDF bases, can draw from Jewish wisdom on these life-and-death matters. This worldview that is at once distinctly Jewish and more broadly insightful can help all civilized nations fight wisely and act nobly.

War & Morality

Rabbi Brody was a guest on the Z3 podcast with Rabbi Amitai Fraiman to discuss “Exploring Jewish Ethics in War.”

Rabbi Brody was part of a panel discussion on the ethics of war hosted by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

Rabbi Brody spoke with Professor Michael Walzer on “War and Morality.” Professor Walzer is one of the leading ethicists in the world and the acclaimed author of Just and Unjust Wars and Arguing About War. The event was hosted by the Edmund and Lily Safra Center for Ethics and Harvard Hillel.

Fighting an Ethical War with an Unethical Enemy

Rabbi Brody spoke with Maj. Elliot Chodoff about “Fighting an Ethical War with an Unethical Enemy.” Maj. Elliot Chodoff is 35-year military veteran and political and military analyst specializing in the Middle East and the global war on terror. The event was hosted by the Genesis 123 Foundation.

On the Ethics of War

Rabbi Brody was a guest on The Jewish Link podcast, The Pitch Meeting, to discuss the emotional and ethical issues facing Israel during this war.

Dr. Selma Botman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Yeshiva University, moderated a discussion with Rabbi Brody on “The Ethics of War.”

Podcast Interviews

Rabbi Brody was a guest on The Tikvah Podcast to discuss “Jewish Ethics of War.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis to discuss “What’s Worth Fighting For, or Against? Young Israelis and those in the West Could Not Disagree More.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on the School of War podcast to discuss “Ethics of War.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on Yeshivat Orayta’s Tzarich Iyun podcast to discuss “Is Hamas Amalek? A Special Episode for Parshat Zachor.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on WLQV 1500 AM The Jewish Hour with Rabbi Herschel Finman to discuss “Ethics of Our Fighters.” You can listen to the radio show here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on Madison’s Notes, the official podcast of Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, to discuss “Jewish War Ethics, Ancient to Contemporary: A Conversation with Rabbi Shlomo Brody.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on the Times of Israel podcast, What Matters Now, to discuss “Jewish Ethics and the Israel-Hamas War.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis to discuss “Ethics of our Fathers meets Ethics of our Fighters.” You can listen to the conversation here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on the Orthodox Conundrum to discuss “On the Ethics of War, Torah Values, and the IDF: Is the Israeli Army Actually the Most Moral Army in the World?” You can listen to the podcast here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on the Tzarich Iyun podcast from Yeshivat Orayta to discuss “The Ethics of War.” You can listen to the discussion here.

Rabbi Brody was a guest on the Halacha Headlines podcast to discuss “Halacha Perspective on Warfare.” You can listen to the discussion here.

Articles on Military Ethics and Captives

Rabbi Brody’s article “The West Has Forgotten Why Collateral Damage Is Morally Justified” was published in Public Discourse on March 14, 2024.

Rabbi Brody’s article “A Proportionate Response” was published in City Journal on February 7, 2024.

Rabbi Brody’s article “Israel and the CNN Effect” was published in Mosaic on January 4, 2024.

Rabbi Brody’s article “Should Israel Attack First? Lessons from the Distinction between Commanded and Discretionary Wars in Jewish Law” was published in Sources special November 2023 edition.

Rabbi Brody’s article “Halachic Perspectives on Civilian Casualties” was published in the Channukah edition of HaMizrachi.

Rabbi Brody’s article “How Israel Missed Its Chance to Eliminate the Leadership of Hamas” was published in Tablet Magazine on December 5, 2023.

Rabbi Brody’s article “Should Terrorists Receive Treatment in Israeli Hospitals” was published in The Jerusalem Post on November 24, 2023.

Rabbi Brody’s essay “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” was published in Law & Liberty on November 16, 2023.

Rabbi Brody’s article “How Israel Can Respond Ethically to Hamas” was published in Sapir‘s October 2023 special edition.

Rabbi Brody’s article “Concerning Captives” was published in The Jerusalem Post on October 20, 2023.

Rabbi Brody’s article “All Options Grim” was published in The City Journal on October 17, 2023

Rabbi Brody’s article “Do Not Hold Israel Hostage” was published in The City Journal on October 27, 2023.

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