Menu JTA Search

Rabbinical Court Declares Jews Can Justifiably Be Conscientious Objectors to War

The Rabbinical Court of Justice of the Associated Synagogues of Massachusetts has declared that Jews can justifiably be conscientious objectors to war. This declaration, made several days ago at a seminar on Jewish Law at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed a one-and-a-half year study of the Talmud and the history of the Jewish people by the “Beth Din” court, a rabbinical court. Rabbi Samuel I. Korff spokesman for the court, said the foremost Jewish law is that nothing is “greater and more important than the single individual, not the society, its institutions or one’s country.” The court’s statement added that it is up to the individual to “decide if he considers killing in a particular war to be murder or not.” Continuing, the statement observed that “If he decides that to engage in a particular war would be murder, according to his conscience, he not only can conscientiously object to engage in that war, he must protest that war.”