Abstract

Warfare was noticeably marginalized in the vast library of pre-modern texts that transmit orthodox Judaism. Contemporary rabbinic literature presents an entirely different picture. The ubiquity of military service and armed conflict in the modern Israeli experience has, over the past fifty years, stimulated intense interest in hilkhot tzavah u-milchamah [religious] laws relating to the military and war). Hitherto, scholarly interest in the new Jewish discourse on warfare has been diffuse. The handful of studies that note its emergence generally confine themselves to either broad-brush surveys of contemporary Jewish thought or to specific analyses of individual developments. Still lacking, therefore, are both an integrated survey of recent writings in the field and a preliminary map of their authorship, content, and means of dissemination. The present essay attempts to repair such gaps and to analyze the implications of the phenomena described.

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