09 September 2022

"...Against Your Enemies...."

13 Elul 5782
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Ki Teitzei 

Excerpted from a longer shiur by Daniel Pinner - here.
...On the phrase “when you go out to war against your enemies…”, the Midrash picks up on the seemingly irrelevant words “...against your enemies…”, and asks: “What do the words ‘...against your enemies…’ mean? [i.e., would one then go to war against his friends? ‘When you go out to war’ is by definition ‘against your enemies’.]  God said: Go out against them as enemies!  Just as they have no mercy on you, so too you shall have no mercy on them!  See what they say: ‘Come, let us cut them off as a nation, so that the name of Israel will never again be remembered’ (Psalms 83:5) – the name of Israel, of whom it is said ‘Blessed be Hashem, the God of Israel’ (Psalms 106:48).  Therefore go out against them as enemies!  Israel said: Sovereign of the Universe!  How long will they continue to stand against us? – as it says, ‘God, wanton sinners have risen against me, and a gang of tyrants seek my life’ (Psalms 86:14).  [God] said to them: And not against you alone have they risen but also against Me, as it says ‘the kings of the earth and the princes stand firm, conspiring against Hashem and against His anointed’ (Psalms 2:2).  And therefore it is written, ‘When you go out to war against your enemies’” (Tanhuma, Shoftim 15).


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