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Ask the rabbi Family and Society War Ethics

Rachel A Bit Dishonest?!

Rabbi Jonathan Blass10 Kislev 5764
1022
Question
In Parashat Vayeitze Rachel does an act which may be seen to be devious. She sits on the Lavan’s Terafim and claims she cannot get up. Is this not the forerunner to what is happening with soldiers hiding among children, firing from hospitals, hiding bombs in ambulances etc?
Answer
"Soldiers" to the best of my knowledge are not hiding among children- terrorists are! The problem is not that they are hiding, but that they are terrorists. Hiding is not a crime in and of itself. When Jews hid from the Nazis were they being devious? When Israeli soldiers who fight the terrorists wait for them in ambush- are they wrong-doers? When Rachel takes her father's idols in an attempt to protect him from the sin of idol worship and hides them from him so as not to be pressed to return them and so as not to suffer her father's curses- the only question that arises (a question addressed by the commentaries) is why did she not destroy them before she left?
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