In “Touch of Torah,” Rabbi Joyce Newmark says that the interpretation of Exodus 13:17-17:16 is that “We are taught to fight not only in self-defense but also to defend others against aggression” (Jan. 29).

I am confused. When was this interpretation derived? Has it always been so? If that is the case, why didn’t more Jews take up arms against the Nazis other than in the Warsaw Ghetto and a few rebels? Or had the people forgotten this translation, and by sending Jews quietly to their deaths, God was reminding them of this section of the Torah? If the latter was the case, it worked immensely well because Israel will never go down without a fight.

Richard Brawer

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