imaginary family values presents

yesh omrim

a blog that reclines to the left


Talmudic gun-control, er, sword-control laws

7 May 2004

A quick note (because, alas, I haven’t had the time to compose anything better) on last week’s parsha: we all know about the commandment “do not put a stumbling-block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14). The rabbis (Avodah Zarah 15b, cited in Sefer ha-Chinuch §232) declare, as one implication of this law, that a Jew should not sell a weapon of war to a non-Jew, unless it’s so the non-Jew can defend us. Likewise, it is forbidden to sell these weapons to a Jew who will resell it to a non-Jew, or to a Jewish bandit.

What are the modern implications of this halakha? Discuss….