Compassion for Our Enemies

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1 Response

  1. Gavriel says:

    As a related point see the Medresh Tanchuma, parshas Mattos #3. Hashem tells Moshe to take nekama for the Jewish people from the Midyanim but we see that Moshe himself did not take part in the war. The question is posed: why did Moshe send others to fight the war when Hashem asked Moshe to do it himself? The Medresh answers that since Moshe grew up in Midyan it would not have been right for him to personally wage war against them. It seems that hakoras hatov also plays a role in how we relate to our enemies, even when God Himself declares them to be our enemies.
    (As an aside, it’s interesting to note that according to Rashi the reason why we waged war only against Midyan and not against Moav was because of the difference in their intentions. Since Moav was simply scared of the Jewish people and acted out of what they thought was self defense, they were spared.)

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