They say that justice is the most important thing in the Torah since God reiterated it, “Justice, justice should you establish.” But the Tanakh offers us two examples of something reiterated still more strongly. One is the famous “Holy, holy, holy,” which the angels sing to God. Jews need to emulate that holiness: our justice is the earthly equivalent of divine holiness. Justice has nothing to do with democracy, liberalism, or any such values—it is the world’s way of maintaining holiness. In practical terms, justice equals purity, and therefore opposes liberalism, which legalizes deviations and impurities. In Tanakhic terms, executing Rabin or homosexuals restores purity, and is unquestionably just.

Another instance of reiteration bears on the current events. Before Joshua crossed the Jordan, God commanded him to be “strong and courageous”—thrice. Grammatically, it is the strongest repetition in the Tanakh: be strong and courageous, only be strong and courageous, haven’t I commanded you to be strong and courageous? Add Moses’ similar injunctions in Deut31 to make it seven repetitions. This is puzzling. Joshua saw all the miracles together with Moses. He spent decades in Moshe’s tent and knew everything his teacher knew; in the Scripture’s words, “the book of Torah did not depart from his mouth.” Now God speaks directly to Joshua, and what can we expect—that he could be insufficiently courageous? God just promised him all the help in the world, leaving little need for courage.

A better translation is, “Cling strongly and be firm.” The people were enjoined to cling to God lest they be frightened (Deut31:6, Joshua 1:9), but for Joshua the command meant something entirely different, “to observe to do according to all the law.” Are we to imagine that Joshua would violate the laws of the Torah, that he would eat non-kosher meat or sacrifice to other deities? Surely not.

Joshua, like any normal person, had a problem with the commandment at hand: “destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them.”

Think of the sequence: “And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you,” and only then, “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them.” The enemy will be delivered into Jewish hands first, and then the Jews should not be frightened. This is not about being frightened by a mighty enemy before or during combat: the enemy is already rounded up. Jews must not be afraid to do what God has commanded us: “destroy these nations.” This is why Joshua’s firmness is connected with “you shall cause this people to inherit the land.” The only way to dispossess others and inherit the land is to kill them.

The Scripture does not call the land “theirs,” but speaks of inheritance: Jews receive the land which was promised to Jacob. The land became legally his at the time of the promise; he did not just take possession of it. Thus, the enemy nations must be dispossessed of the land they hold illegally.

The commandment looked harsh to contemporaries, not only to us. And so Joshua is enjoined to execute every Jew who refuse to carry out this commandment (Joshua 1:18). Yes, Judaism is about observing commandments; it is not about human morality or worse, moralism.

Deut31:5 contains the most astonishing statement, “you shall do unto them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you.” The commandment to kill our enemies equals all other commandments combined.

Because it is common sense.