Ask Noah Q&A Forum
Stopping an attacker - Printable Version

+- Ask Noah Q&A Forum (
+-- Forum: Living the Seven Commandments (
+--- Forum: Ask The Academy Rabbis (
+---- Forum: Prohibition of Murder and Injury (R, T) (
+---- Thread: Stopping an attacker (/showthread.php?tid=347)

Stopping an attacker - bdschuh - 09-25-2009

One thing to consider - not all states in the U.S. (forget about the rest of the world just for this one point) permit one to use lethal force if necessary to prevent the murder or rape of his neighbor.

I have been waiting for your answer for Noahides on this. In self-defense or defense of a third party from murder or rape, is one permitted, discouraged, encouraged, or forbidden to use force to stop it? Is this the heroism you are speaking of? I live in Ohio, where one probably would go to prison if he were to use force in someone's defense if it significantly harmed the perpetrator of the crime. What about robbery? May I use force in Noahide law to protect my money?

Stopping an attacker - Director Michael - 10-25-2009

The answers to these questions are given and explained in the book "Sefer Sheva Mizvot HaShem," Volume 2 (in Hebrew), by Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem.

If one person (an attacker) is coming against another person (the victim) with intent to kill, according to Torah Law (including the Noahide Code) it is an obligation to save the life of the victim, even if it means taking the life of the attacker. This applies to a third party who witnesses the attack, as well as to the victim who should act in self-defense. The victim whose life is being threatened should be protected by any possible means, and if there is *no alternative* (e.g. by words, or by injuring the attacker with non-lethal force), the attacker should be killed in order to save the victim.

If an attacker definitely does not have intent to kill, but only to strike or rape, G-d forbid, a third party should try to stop the attacker if possible, but he is not allowed to kill the attacker. However, the victim is permitted to kill the attacker in self-defense, to save him/herself from injury or rape, if there is no alternative way.

If there is no knowledge to the contrary, it can be assumed that a robber who breaks into a home or business is prepared to kill someone who would try to prevent the theft. Therefore within Torah Law (including the Noahide Code), it is permitted to kill a robber who breaks in. But if one sees that the robber is certainly not prepared to kill, then it is forbidden to kill the robber.

The heroism being referred to in Post #2 on the forum page

is the case of someone who voluntarily gives up his/her life to save others. For example, someone who falls on a bomb to save others from being killed by the explosion, or someone who gives up his seat on a life raft for another, when the ship they are on is sinking.