Rabbi: 'If there is danger to life, it is an obligation to force-feed'

T. Belman. I question the idea that we have an obligation to prevent a man from committing suicide. Liberals are so quick to say its not his choice to end his life whereas they staunchly defend the right of a woman to end the life of her yet to be born baby. Think about it. Why the different standard? If the woman has the right to kill her baby because after all “its her body”, why does a prisoner not have the same right over his body.

Ethics aside, does it serve our interests to allow a hunger strike to wrest concessions from us or are we better off taking no responsibility and letting them all die a slow death until the hunger strike itself dies .

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of Ethics field at Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, speaks with Arutz Sheva about terrorist hunger strike.

By Shimon Cohen, INN

Yuval Cherlow

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, the head of the Ethics field in the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, related to the question.

Rabbi Cherlow first proposed to “change the terminology, because the phrase ‘force-feeding’ channels the discussion to problems and to distress.” He said that the correct formulation of the issue was whether it is allowed to order the saving of life by coercion, when the man in question has chosen not to eat and to maintain a hunger strike.

“In my opinion, on a basic level man has a wide-ranging autonomy and it is forbidden to coerce him or get involved in his decisions, excluding the very extreme case involving saving his life. At the moment that he is no longer able to make decisions and, as a result of the hunger strike his life is in danger, the obligation to save his life trumps his autonomous will not to eat. How much more so when the danger to life is much wider in scope such that his death will lead to danger to life in the greater environment, to such an extent that not only is it allowed to feed him, but it is an obligation to feed him and save his life.”

The significance is that when we’re talking about terrorists holding a hunger strike, and the death of one will lead to increased extremism that will endanger life, the system is obligated to feed him, also by force, but only when we have reached the limit, according to Rabbi Cherlow. Therefore, “today we are still forbidden to force-feed,” as the current hunger strike has only just begun.

When asked to what extent his statements are grounded in Jewish texts and halakhic treatises, Rabbi Cherlow said that “the method of hunger strike was not known, therefore halakha does not address it directly, but there are similar situations that deal with the question of an individual’s freedom versus the sanctity of life. That subject is addressed within the context of a sick person close to death, a sick person who refuses to receive medical attention, etc. The earliest source, although it is recent, deals with a sick person who fasts on Yom Kippur even though this poses a danger to his life.” Rabbi Cherlow agreed that the entire issue was one such halakhic issue not dealt with during the years of exile, and therefore new halakhic deliberations are required in light of the Nation of Israel’s return to its Land.

Rabbi Cherlow was also asked about the ability of the government to respond to this type of pressure. He said that this issue had already been more or less addressed in the time of King Rehavam, when the elders told him to give in to the demands of the people. The dilemma is that of maintaining fear of the leadership, while at the same time answering the will of the people, and this dilemma essentially exists for all governments. “There can be no halakha on this matter, it is a question of policy,” he said.

Asked whether there was a difference between the case of Rehavam, in which the question was one of addressing the will of the Nation, and the current case, which involves the will of the enemy, Rabbi Cherlow said that there was a difference, but discretion was nevertheless needed. He compared the situation to the prohibition to blockade a city on all four sides, in which case the trapped city will be forced to fight for its life, whereas a blockade on three sides allows for the inhabitants to choose to flee. “There is an analogy here – even when we’re talking about enemies, we have to use discretion relating to human rights and the human image, and also for political reasons. Closing in on all four sides could lead to fire. There is room for courageous discretion, not out of weakness or fear, but out of logical discretion about how to correctly manage this reality.”

April 19, 2017 | Comments Off on Rabbi: 'If there is danger to life, it is an obligation to force-feed' | 63 views

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  1. The second one, please. They should have been executed when they were convicted anyway. Or even when they were caught unless they had valuable information to extract first. And why are these liberal rabbis always saying the Torah gives equal weight to the lives of Jews and the enemies of the Jews? Don’t talk to me about time-sensitive authorized massacres. Just look at the 613 Mitzvot!

    http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm

    “Wars

    That those engaged in warfare shall not fear their enemies nor be panic-stricken by them during battle (Deut. 3:22, 7:21, 20:3) (negative).
    To anoint a special kohein (to speak to the soldiers) in a war (Deut. 20:2) (affirmative). See Kohein.
    In a permissive war (as distinguished from obligatory ones), to observe the procedure prescribed in the Torah (Deut. 20:10) (affirmative).
    Not to keep alive any individual of the seven Canaanite nations (Deut. 20:16) (negative).
    To exterminate the seven Canaanite nations from the land of Israel (Deut. 20:17) (affirmative).
    Not to destroy fruit trees (wantonly or in warfare) (Deut. 20:19-20) (CCN191).
    To deal with a beautiful woman taken captive in war in the manner prescribed in the Torah (Deut. 21:10-14) (affirmative).
    Not to sell a beautiful woman, (taken captive in war) (Deut. 21:14) (negative).
    Not to degrade a beautiful woman (taken captive in war) to the condition of a bondwoman (Deut. 21:14) (negative).
    Not to offer peace to the Ammonites and the Moabites before waging war on them, as should be done to other nations (Deut. 23:7) (negative).
    That anyone who is unclean shall not enter the Camp of the Levites (Deut. 23:11) (according to the Talmud, in the present day this means the Temple mount) (CCN193).
    To have a place outside the camp for sanitary purposes (Deut. 23:13) (affirmative).
    To keep that place sanitary (Deut. 23:14-15) (affirmative).
    Always to remember what Amalek did (Deut. 25:17) (CCA76).
    That the evil done to us by Amalek shall not be forgotten (Deut. 25:19) (CCN194).
    To destroy the seed of Amalek (Deut. 25:19) (CCA77).
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?searchDeuteronomy 20New International Version (NIV)

    Going to War
    20 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

    5 The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. 6 Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. 7 Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8 Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.” 9 When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.

    10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

    16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.

    19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?[b] 20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.

    Footnotes:

    Deuteronomy 20:17 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
    Deuteronomy 20:19 Or down to use in the siege, for the fruit trees are for the benefit of people.
    New International Version (NIV)
    Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

    =Deuteronomy+20

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+20

    This is what the Torah says about dealing with murderers:

    “Nefesh
    It is forbidden to murder, as it says “You shall not murder”.1 A murderer must be put to death, as it says “He shall be avenged”2; it is forbidden to accept compensation from him instead, as it says “You shall not take redemption for the life of a murderer…; and there shall be no atonement for the blood that was spilled… except the blood of him that spilled it”.3 It is forbidden to execute a murderer before he has stood trial, as it says “And the murderer shall not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment”.4 However, we are commanded to prevent an attempted murder by killing the would-be murderer if necessary, and it is forbidden to refrain from doing so, as it says “And you shall cut off her hand; you shall not be merciful”5; and similarly for attempted fornication, as it says “[If the man seizes her and lies with her…] just as a man rises up against his friend and murders him, so is this thing.”6 It is forbidden to refrain from saving life when it is in one’s power to do so, as it says “You shall not stand on your friend’s blood.”7,a
    One who kills a man by accident must be exiled to a city of refuge and it is forbidden to accept compensation from him instead, as it says “He shall dwell there until the death of the high priest… and you shall not take redemption from [one] who flees to his city of refuge [to return and dwell in the land before the priest dies].”8 We are commanded to set aside such cities in the land of Israel, as it says “You shall set aside three cities… [to which a murderer can flee]”9; all the cities given to the Levites are cities of refuge, as it says “The cities that you shall give to the Levites: the six cities of refuge that you shall give for a murderer to flee there, and besides them you shall give 42 cities”.10,b
    If a murdered body is found in the land of Israel the court of the nearest city kills a calf near a stream on untilled soil as an atonement [as it says “If a corpse is found in the land… and it is not known who struck him… the elders of the city nearest to the corpse shall take a calf with which no work has been done… and take the calf down to a mighty stream that must not be worked and not sown and break the neck of the calf there by the stream… and say …`atone for Your people Israel…’”].11 When murder is common this practice is not followed.c
    We are commanded to remove all possible sources of danger to life — for example, to build a parapet around a roof — and it is forbidden to refrain from doing so, as it says “You shall make a fence for your roof and you shall not put blood in your house”.12 All practices that are potentially dangerous to life must be avoided. It is forbidden to lead anyone astray and in particular to tempt him to sin, as it says “And you shall not put an obstacle before a blind man”.13,d
    [If we find someone in difficulty we are commanded to help him; for example,] if someone’s animal is crushed under a heavy load we are commanded to help him unload and reload it and it is forbidden to ignore him, as it says “[If you see your enemy’s ass crouching under its load…] you shall unload with him”,14 and it says “You shall not see your brother’s ass [or his ox fallen on the road and ignore them]; you shall lift up with him”.l5,e
    Sources:
    1. Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17 a. 1:1,4-11,14
    2. Ex. 21:20; see Lev. 24:17,21 b. 5:1; 8:1,9
    3. Num. 35:31,33 c. 9:1-3,12; 10:1,9
    4. Num. 35:12 d. 11:1,3-5
    5. Deut. 25:12 e. 13:1-2
    6. Deut. 22:26
    7. Lev. 19:16
    8. Num. 35:25-32
    9. Deut. 18:2ff; see Num. 35:10ff
    10. Num. 35:6
    11. Deut. 21:lff
    12. Deut. 22:8
    13. Lev. 19:14
    14. Ex. 23:5
    15. Deut. 22:4

    http://torah.org/learning/halacha-overview-chapter68/

    Where is this “love thine enemy” Torah they keep prattling on about? Have they even read this book?

    T. Belman … does it serve our interests to allow a hunger strike to wrest concessions from us or are we better off taking no responsibility and letting them all die a slow death until the hunger strike itself dies”

  2. Muslims place little or no value on life whether it be the life of an infidel or the life of a Muslim. So respect their values and let them starve to death.

  3. DON’T NEED TO PHYSICALLY FORCE FEED THE PRISONERS. SPIKE THEIR WATER WITH THE HARMLESS DRUG MERTAZAPINE AND STEP BACK, THEY’LL BE SOOOOO HUNGRY THEY’LL EAT THE FURNITURE.

  4. :
    If a hunger striker is willing to starve himself to death, it would be cruel to let him wither away, painfully; the guy might linger for two months or longer.

    It would be less unethical to kill him with a lethal injection, at the outset of the strike.

    If the guy has no intention of killing himslf and merely wants to make a political statement, then Israel should use the guy to make its own political statement. For example, by livestreaming his demise with an emphasis on showcasing all the Jewishly-humane efforts made to heal him. It could even charge for advertising: The following segment is brought to you by Rubashkin Kosher Meat.

  5. If one can show evidence of undue hardship sufficient to cause suicide, then it becomes requisite to induce “forced feeding.”

    (Please note: “Undue” does not include the common hardships of incarceration, including – but not limited to – suspended privileges for bad behavior.)

    However, if this standard is not met, then the prisoner has – when engaged in a patently political protest (proven by 1000+ prisoners involved) entitled to have full authority over their body, even to cause its death.

    To the question of an individual’s ‘suicide,’ a psych evaluation may be appropriate.

  6. @ ml:
    undue hardship for terrorists in an Israeli prison? Ha Ha.

    PMW Bulletins
    484 terrorist prisoners getting degrees in Israeli prisons, in violation of Israeli law
    by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    Apr. 5, 2017

    http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=20720

    School of Hard knocks

    WHY DO SO MANY JAPANESE SCHOOLCHILDREN KILL THEMSELVES?
    BY STEPHANIE LU ON 11/8/15 AT 1:42 PM

    http://www.newsweek.com/why-do-so-many-japanese-schoolchildren-kill-themselves-391648

    Poor lil terrorists. Academic pressure can be too much.

  7. @ ml:

    “16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.”

    Deuteronomy 20

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+20

    17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. 19 When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

    Deuteronomy 25

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+25

  8. Hello Sebastien Zorn,

    “undue hardship for terrorists in an Israeli prison? Ha Ha.”

    Yes, it’s not very likely; my appologies if I failed to meke that clear.

  9. Arutz Sheva quotes another Rabbi:

    “Regarding the terrorists demanding conditions, steak and pizza, the clear halakha is that if a man deserves the death penalty and it is not possible to impose the penalty, you put him in jail and feed him scant amounts of food and water – until he kills himself.”

    “Make his life miserable until he chooses death for himself. According to the true law, we must give them only scant amounts of food and water. We need to say these things to the country’s leaders. The public does not identify with this lax treatment of terrorists, as if they will become better people in the future,”

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