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when are violent revolutions justified?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Iyyar 21, 5772
Could you please elaborate some more about when violent revolutions are justified?
Shalom Michael, In general, in Judaism the rule is “the end doesn’t justify the means”. Accordingly most violent revolutions wouldn’t be allowed. On the other hand, when danger is involved, sometimes a little violence prevents a lot of violence, and then it’s praiseworthy. The Torah clearly loves peace but is not pacifistic. It strives for peace yet isn’t naïve, and teaches to fight fire with fire, and use strength to deter the evil. Another factor which Rav Kook cites, is that sometimes G-d runs history and makes significant changes particularly through non-religious who don’t consult with rabbis. Like in the Zionist revolution, if we were to wait for the rabbis’ decision, we’d still be waiting and wouldn’t have a homeland, and would not have saved the millions of refugees from WWII, Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, etc. The best solution is to have yeshiva trained scholars who are than trained in the military, political etc. fields, and would know how to apply the Torah ideals in the pragmatic world. With Love of Israel! Rav Ari Shvat
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