8ח׳
1 א

מְשׁוּחַ מִלְחָמָה, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּדַבֵּר אֶל הָעָם, בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ הָיָה מְדַבֵּר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כ) וְהָיָה כְּקָרָבְכֶם אֶל הַמִּלְחָמָה וְנִגַּשׁ הַכֹּהֵן, זֶה כֹּהֵן מְשׁוּחַ מִלְחָמָה, וְדִבֶּר אֶל הָעָם, בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ. וְאָמַר אֲלֵיהֶם (שם) שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל אַתֶּם קְרֵבִים הַיּוֹם לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל אֹיְבֵיכֶם, וְלֹא עַל אֲחֵיכֶם, לֹא יְהוּדָה עַל שִׁמְעוֹן, וְלֹא שִׁמְעוֹן עַל בִּנְיָמִין, שֶׁאִם תִּפְּלוּ בְיָדָם יְרַחֲמוּ עֲלֵיכֶם, כְּמָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דה"ב כח) וַיָּקֻמוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר נִקְּבוּ בְשֵׁמוֹת וַיַּחֲזִיקוּ בַשִּׁבְיָה וְכָל מַעֲרֻמֵּיהֶם הִלְבִּישׁוּ מִן הַשָּׁלָל וַיַּלְבִּשֻׁם וַיַּנְעִלּוּם וַיַּאֲכִלוּם וַיַּשְׁקוּם וַיְסֻכוּם וַיְנַהֲלוּם בַּחֲמֹרִים לְכָל כּוֹשֵׁל וַיְבִיאוּם יְרֵחוֹ עִיר הַתְּמָרִים אֵצֶל אֲחֵיהֶם וַיָּשׁוּבוּ שֹׁמְרוֹן. עַל אוֹיְבֵיכֶם אַתֶּם הוֹלְכִים, שֶׁאִם תִּפְּלוּ בְיָדָם אֵין מְרַחֲמִין עֲלֵיכֶם. אַל יֵרַךְ לְבַבְכֶם אַל תִּירְאוּ וְאַל תַּחְפְּזוּ וְגוֹ' (דברים כ). אַל יֵרַךְ לְבַבְכֶם, מִפְּנֵי צָהֳלַת סוּסִים וְצִחְצוּחַ חֲרָבוֹת. אַל תִּירְאוּ, מִפְּנֵי הֲגָפַת תְּרִיסִין וְשִׁפְעַת הַקַּלְגַּסִּין. אַל תַּחְפְּזוּ, מִקּוֹל קְרָנוֹת. אַל תַּעַרְצוּ, מִפְּנֵי קוֹל צְוָחוֹת. כִּי ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם, הֵן בָּאִין בְּנִצְחוֹנוֹ שֶׁל בָּשָׂר וָדָם, וְאַתֶּם בָּאִים בְּנִצְחוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם. פְּלִשְׁתִּים בָּאוּ בְנִצְחוֹנוֹ שֶׁל גָּלְיָת, מֶה הָיָה סוֹפוֹ, לְסוֹף נָפַל בַּחֶרֶב וְנָפְלוּ עִמּוֹ. בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן בָּאוּ בְנִצְחוֹנוֹ שֶׁל שׁוֹבַךְ, מֶה הָיָה סוֹפוֹ, לְסוֹף נָפַל בַּחֶרֶב וְנָפְלוּ עִמּוֹ. וְאַתֶּם אִי אַתֶּם כֵּן. כִּי ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם וְגוֹ', זֶה מַחֲנֵה הָאָרוֹן:

The anointed for battle, at the time he talks to the people, he would speak in the holy tongue, as it is said, “And it shall be, when you draw near the battle, that the priest shall approach” (Deuteronomy 20:2)—this refers to the priest anointed for battle. “And speak to the people” (ibid) – in the holy tongue. “He shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, you are about to join battle with your enemy'” (Deuteronomy 20:3)— “with your enemy” but not against your brother, not Judah against Shimon nor Shimon against Benjamin, that if you fall into their hand they shall have mercy on you, as it is said, “Then the men named above proceeded to take the captives in hand, and with booty they clothed all the naked among them—they clothed them and shod them and gave them to eat and drink and anointed them and provide donkeys for all who were failing and brought them to Jericho, the city of palms, back to their kinsmen. Then they returned to Samaria” (II Chronicles 28:15). Rather against your enemies do you march, so that if you fall into their hand they will have no mercy on you. “Let not your courage falter, fear not, and do not tremble or be in dread of them” (Deuteronomy 20:3) “Let not your courage falter”-- at the neighing of the horses and the sharpening of swords; “Fear not” --at the crash of shields and the tramp of the soldiers shoes; “Do not tremble” -- at the sound of trumpets; “Or be in dread of them” -- at the sound of battle cries. “For it is the Lord your God that goes with you”--they come [relying] upon the might of flesh and blood, but you come [relying] upon the might of the Omnipresent. The Philistines came [relying] upon the power of Goliath (I Samuel 17:4), but what happened to him in the end? In the end he fell by the sword and they fell with him. The Ammonites came [relying] upon the power of Shobach (II Samuel 10:16-18), but what happened to him in the end? In the end he fell by the sword and they fell with him. But with you it is not like that, “For it is the Lord your God that goes with you”—this refers to the camp of the ark.

2 ב

וְדִבְּרוּ הַשֹּׁטְרִים אֶל הָעָם לֵאמֹר מִי הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר בָּנָה בַיִת חָדָשׁ וְלֹא חֲנָכוֹ יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ וְגוֹ' (שם). אֶחָד הַבּוֹנֶה בֵית הַתֶּבֶן, בֵּית הַבָּקָר, בֵּית הָעֵצִים, בֵּית הָאוֹצָרוֹת. אֶחָד הַבּוֹנֶה, וְאֶחָד הַלּוֹקֵחַ, וְאֶחָד הַיּוֹרֵשׁ, וְאֶחָד שֶׁנִּתַּן לוֹ מַתָּנָה. וּמִי הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר נָטַע כֶּרֶם וְלֹא חִלְּלוֹ וְגוֹ' (שם). אֶחָד הַנּוֹטֵעַ הַכֶּרֶם וְאֶחָד הַנּוֹטֵעַ חֲמִשָּׁה אִילָנֵי מַאֲכָל, וַאֲפִלּוּ מֵחֲמֵשֶׁת מִינִין. אֶחָד הַנּוֹטֵעַ, וְאֶחָד הַמַּבְרִיךְ, וְאֶחָד הַמַּרְכִּיב, וְאֶחָד הַלּוֹקֵחַ, וְאֶחָד הַיּוֹרֵשׁ, וְאֶחָד שֶׁנִּתַּן לוֹ מַתָּנָה. וּמִי הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אֵרַשׂ אִשָּׁה וְגוֹ' (שם). אֶחָד הַמְאָרֵס אֶת הַבְּתוּלָה, וְאֶחָד הַמְאָרֵס אֶת הָאַלְמָנָה, אֲפִלּוּ שׁוֹמֶרֶת יָבָם, וַאֲפִלּוּ שָׁמַע שֶׁמֵּת אָחִיו בַּמִּלְחָמָה, חוֹזֵר וּבָא לוֹ. כֹּל אֵלּוּ שׁוֹמְעִין דִּבְרֵי כֹהֵן מֵעֶרְכֵי מִלְחָמָה וְחוֹזְרִין, וּמְסַפְּקִין מַיִם וּמָזוֹן וּמְתַקְּנִין אֶת הַדְּרָכִים:

“Then the officers shall address the people saying: ‘Is there anyone who has built a new house but has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his home’” (Deuteronomy 20:5). It is the same whether he built a house for straw, a house for cattle, a house for wood, or a storehouse; it is the same whether he built, purchased, inherited, or somebody gave it to him as a present. “‘Is there anyone who has planted a vineyard but has never harvested it?’” (Deuteronomy 20:6). It is the same whether he planted a vineyard or planted five fruit-trees and even of five different species; It is the same whether he planted, bent or grafted it, or whether he purchased, inherited or somebody gave it to him as a present. “‘Is there anyone who has betrothed a woman [but who has not yet married her]?’” (Deuteronomy 20:7) It is the same whether he had betrothed a virgin or a widow, or even a woman awaiting levirate marriage, or even if a man heard that his brother had died in battle, he returns home. All these hear the priest’s words concerning the battles of war and return home, and they supply water and food and repair the roads.

3 ג

וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵינָן חוֹזְרִין. הַבּוֹנֶה בֵית שַׁעַר, אַכְסַדְרָה, מִרְפֶּסֶת. הַנּוֹטֵעַ אַרְבָּעָה אִילָנֵי מַאֲכָל, וַחֲמִשָּׁה אִילָנֵי סְרָק. הַמַּחֲזִיר אֶת גְּרוּשָׁתוֹ. אַלְמָנָה לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל, גְּרוּשָׁה וַחֲלוּצָה לְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט, מַמְזֶרֶת וּנְתִינָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַמְזֵר וּלְנָתִין, לֹא הָיָה חוֹזֵר. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אַף הַבּוֹנֶה בַיִת עַל מְכוֹנוֹ, לֹא הָיָה חוֹזֵר. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, אַף הַבּוֹנֶה בֵית לְבֵנִים בַּשָּׁרוֹן, לֹא הָיָה חוֹזֵר:

The following do not return home: He who built a gatehouse, a portico or a porch; He who planted four fruit trees or five trees which are not fruit-bearing; He who took back his divorced wife. If a high priest married a widow, or an ordinary priest married a divorcee or a woman who had been released from levirate marriage, or an Israelite married a mamzeret or a netinah [member of a caste of Temple servants, historically descended from the Gibeonites], or the daughter of an Israelite married a mamzer or a natin, he does not return home. Rabbi Yehudah says: even he who builds a house upon its [original] foundations does not return home. Rabbi Eliezer says: even he who builds a brick-house in the Sharon does not return home.

4 ד

וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵין זָזִין מִמְּקוֹמָן. בָּנָה בַיִת וַחֲנָכוֹ, נָטַע כֶּרֶם וְחִלְּלוֹ, הַנּוֹשֵׂא אֶת אֲרוּסָתוֹ, הַכּוֹנֵס אֶת יְבִמְתּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כד), נָקִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵיתוֹ שָׁנָה אֶחָת. לְבֵיתוֹ, זֶה בֵּיתוֹ. יִהְיֶה, זֶה כַּרְמוֹ. וְשִׂמַּח אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ, זוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ. אֲשֶׁר לָקָח, לְהָבִיא אֶת יְבִמְתּוֹ. אֵינָן מַסְפִּיקִין מַיִם וּמָזוֹן וְאֵינָן מְתַקְּנִין אֶת הַדְּרָכִים:

The following do not move from their place: He who built a new house and dedicated it, He who planted a vineyard and redeemed its fruit, He who married his betrothed, He who brought in his dead brother's wife; As it is said, “He shall be exempt one year for the sake of his household [to give happiness to the woman he married]” (Deuteronomy 24:5) “His household,” this refers to his house; “Shall be” refers to his vineyard; “To give happiness to the wife” refers to his wife; “He married” to include his dead brother's wife. These do not supply water and food and repair the roads.

5 ה

(שם כ) וְיָסְפוּ הַשֹּׁטְרִים לְדַבֵּר אֶל הָעָם וְאָמְרוּ מִי הָאִישׁ הַיָּרֵא וְרַךְ הַלֵּבָב יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, הַיָּרֵא וְרַךְ הַלֵּבָב, כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ, שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַעֲמֹד בְּקִשְׁרֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה וְלִרְאוֹת חֶרֶב שְׁלוּפָה. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר, הַיָּרֵא וְרַךְ הַלֵּבָב זֶהוּ הַמִּתְיָרֵא מִן הָעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ, לְפִיכָךְ תָּלְתָה לוֹ הַתּוֹרָה אֶת כָּל אֵלּוּ, שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר בִּגְלָלָן. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, אַלְמָנָה לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל, גְּרוּשָׁה וַחֲלוּצָה לְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט, מַמְזֶרֶת וּנְתִינָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַמְזֵר וּלְנָתִין, הֲרֵי הוּא הַיָּרֵא וְרַךְ הַלֵּבָב:

“Then the officers shall go on addressing the troops and say, ‘Is there anyone afraid and disheartened, go and return to his house’” (Deuteronomy 20:8). Rabbi Akiva says: “afraid and disheartened” is to be understood literally, that he cannot stand in the battle lines and see a drawn sword. Rabbi Yose the Galilean says: “afraid and disheartened”—this is the one who is afraid because of the transgressions he has committed; therefore the Torah connected all these with him that he may return home on their account. Rabbi Yose says: a high priest who married a widow, an ordinary priest who married a divorcee or woman released from levirate marriage, an Israelite who married a mamzeret or netinah, and the daughter of an Israelite who married a mamzer or a natin—behold this one is “afraid and disheartened.”

6 ו

(שם) וְהָיָה כְּכַלֹּת הַשֹּׁטְרִים לְדַבֵּר אֶל הָעָם וּפָקְדוּ שָׂרֵי צְבָאוֹת בְּרֹאשׁ הָעָם, וּבַעֲקֵבוֹ שֶׁל עָם. מַעֲמִידִין זְקִיפִין לִפְנֵיהֶם, וַאֲחֵרִים מֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶם, וְכַשִּׁילִין שֶׁל בַּרְזֶל בִּידֵיהֶן, וְכָל הַמְבַקֵּשׁ לַחֲזֹר, הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדוֹ לְקַפֵּחַ אֶת שׁוֹקָיו, שֶׁתְּחִלַּת נִיסָה נְפִילָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ד) נָס יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וְגַם מַגֵּפָה גְדוֹלָה הָיְתָה בָעָם, וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (שם לא) וַיָּנֻסוּ אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיִּפְּלוּ חֲלָלִים וְגוֹ':

“And it shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, they shall appoint captains of hosts at the head of the people” (Deuteronomy 20:9). And at the rear of the people they station guards in front of them and others behind them, with iron axes in their hands, and should anyone wish to flee, they have permission to strike his thighs, because the beginning of falling [in battle] is fleeing, as it is said, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the people also suffered a great slaughter” (I Samuel 4:17) and elsewhere it states, “And the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell down slain” (I Samuel 31:1).

7 ז

בַּמֶּה דְבָרִים אֲמוּרִים, בְּמִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת. אֲבָל בְּמִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה, הַכֹּל יוֹצְאִין, אֲפִלּוּ חָתָן מֵחֶדְרוֹ וְכַלָּה מֵחֻפָּתָהּ. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, בַּמֶּה דְבָרִים אֲמוּרִים, בְּמִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה. אֲבָל בְּמִלְחֶמֶת חוֹבָה, הַכֹּל יוֹצְאִין, אֲפִלּוּ חָתָן מֵחֶדְרוֹ וְכַלָּה מֵחֻפָּתָהּ:

To what this apply? To a voluntary war. But in a war commanded [by the Torah] all go out, even a bridegroom from his room and a bride from her canopy. Rabbi Yehudah says: to what does this apply? To a war commanded by the Torah, but in an obligatory war all go out, even a bridegroom from his chamber and a bride from her canopy.