Death or Repentance?
Reader: Thank you so much for all your hard work. It is because of Hashem and your dedication and the hard work of so many Torah Jews like yourself, that I now count myself as “Orthodox” and on the path of Truth. I have started going every morning to an Orthodox shul in Dallas and praying Shacharit services and have made friends with a rabbi and some other men there. I have received nothing but love, patience, and kindness from these people. They were even gentle today in correcting me when I answered an “amen” while still wrapping my tefillin. They have a spare “borrower” set of Tefillin for anyone in need, and I am using this until I can save enough money to buy a good set of my own.
Here is my question. When we pray that Hashem “destroy evil and humble the wanton sinners”, we are actually praying for idolatry and ignorance to be ended by education and love towards individuals, correct? I understood that we do not pray for the death of the Palestinians but that they convert to B’nai Noach or become Jews, correct?
Mesora: When in war, we do not pray the enemies convert, but we kill them, as demonstrated by Moses, Joshua, King David…the list is endless. There is a distinction between those who are out to kill us, and those who don’t threaten us, but have ill ideas and religions. For the latter, we educate them, and hope they see the light, and this is the meaning of this verse you quote as discussed in Talmud Brachos. But for the terrorists, we hope they perish. G-d commands Israel to annihilate the Amalekite nation for this reason. Some people deserve death. We carry out G-d’s death penalty on our own if warranted.