Pisqa’ 199

Pisqa’ 1991


“When you approach a city” (Dt.20:10)—

here the verse speaks of an optional war

[in which there is no mandate to destroy the population].

“A city” (Dt.20:10)—but not a town.

“A city” (Dt.20:10)—but not a village.

“To engage it in battle” (Dt.20:10)—

but not to starve it out,

or to foul its water,

or to unleash disease within it.


“Then you shall sue it for peace” (Dt.20:10).

Great is peace,

for even the dead need peace,

Great is peace,

for even in Israel’s wars they needed peace.

Great is peace,

for those who dwell on high need peace,

as it is said:

“He makes peace in His lofty dwelling” (Job 25:2).

Great is peace,

for the Priestly Blessing concludes with peace.

And Moses, too, was a lover of peace,

as it is said:

“Then I sent messengers from the desert of Qadmut. to Sihon, the King of Heshbon,

with words of peace” (Dt.2:25).2

  1. H:217; JN2:89-90.
  2. Sifre Nu, 42, s.v., gadol hashalom