Skip to comments.‘Stand Your Ground’ And Halacha
Posted on 11/07/2013 2:50:24 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Question: Can you stand your ground according to halacha as George Zimmerman allegedly did when he killed Trayvon Martin?
Answer: According to halacha, if someone is running after you to kill you, that person is classified as a rodef and you may kill him. However, this is only the case if you have no other option. If wounding the rodef is sufficient to stop him, you may not kill him. If you do nonetheless, you are a murderer (see Rambam, Hilchot Rotzeiach 1:6,7)
The Mishnah LMelech, however, takes a different position (see his comments to the Rambams Hilchot Chovail UMazik 8:10). He argues that only a bystander has to assess whether killing a rodef is necessary. In other words, if A is trying to kill B in front of bystander C, C may only kill A if he has no other recourse available. If he can save B by wounding A, he may not kill A.
The victim, however in other words, B need not assess whether killing A is necessary or not. His life is in danger and he is permitted to kill A without making any calculation as to whether killing him is necessary or whether wounding him would be sufficient.
And these are the ones whom one must save even with their lives [i.e., killing the wrongdoer]: one who pursues his fellow to kill him [rodef achar chavero le-horgo], and after a male or a bethrothed maiden [to rape them]; but one who pursues an animal, or desecrates the Sabbath, or commits idolatry are not saved with their lives.
This law, the din rodef ("law of the pursuer"), is significant as one of the few provisions in Jewish law permitting extrajudicial killings.
The allowance to kill the rodef does not apply, however, in a case where lesser means would prevent the innocent's murder. Furthermore, according to the Rambam, killing a rodef who may have been stopped by lesser means constitutes murder, though the punishment for a murderer in this case is not dealt out by Beit din.
“Can you stand your ground according to halacha as George Zimmerman allegedly did when he killed Trayvon Martin?”
THIS.IS.NOT.WHAT.HAPPENED! For the umpteenth time. George Zimmerman was on his back with Tryvon Martin on top of him. Zimmerman never claimed to “stand his ground” and never raised it as part of his defense. There was no ground to stand because he had no ability to retreat! Please get this right!
I got news for you, Yehudi, it is THE THUG, who decides:
the time, the place, the motive, the weapon, the victim.
As a red-blooded American, it is my civic duty and responsibility, under The Sheepdog Principle, to enact my self-preservation principles, and to guard and defend those also accosted by the same THUG, in a manner that will ensure my self-preservation, and of those I love, and/or of those unable to defend themselves, in defense, not aggression, which is the motive of the THUG.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.