Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Tzitz Eliezer: Burying Our Dead Enemies
There is a mitzva in the Torah to bury the dead (Lo Salin) and an issur to leave them without burial.  Does this apply to non-Jews?  What about in war?  The Tzitz Eliezer (10:25:9) brings the Yerushalmi (Gittin 3), the Rambam (Avel 14:12), as well as Rashi in Melachim 1 (11:15) who all imply that you should bury them because of Midas Chassidus but doesn't mention any Chiyuv.  However, the Ramban Al HaTorah says that the obligation to bury them is Min HaTorah.

The Tzitz Eliezer attempts to says that all sides agree but it depends on how and where they die.  If we killed them or if they died themselves.  Are they in Eretz Yisroel or not?  Was it a King that killed them or not? 

L'Maskana he says that according to the Ramban, Chasam Sofer, and the Chavos Yair there is a Mitzva to bury non-Jews killed in battle or even not in battle.  Certainly if they are in Eretz Yisroel (where it causes tumah).  Certainly when they are under our control and Darkei Shalom applies, we must bury their dead in the same way we would bury one of our own.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh. Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L’Maaseh may be asked to him at