A study by the Tzomet Institute titled "Forbidden sexual relations for the sake of national security" released this week rules that female Mossad agents may have sex with the enemy in missions against terrorists.
Rabbi Ari Shvat explains: "There are ocassional, lone cases in which female agents in our secret service initiate seduction in order to protect our nation's security. The question is: Is it permissible for the state to initiate and use forbidden sexual relations in rare and extreme cases, if that is the fastest and most efficient solution for getting necessary information or stop an act that endangers national security?"
Shvat says that seduction is "an efficient weapon" that was used to take down "the most righteous amongst the righteous (King David), the wisest amongst the wise (King Solomon) and the strongest of the strong (Samson)."
The rabbi uses the precedents from the Book of Esther and the Book of Prophets to approve "honey-pot" missions. Queen Esther slept with King Ahashverosh (there are different opinions as to whether they were married or not) to save the Jews in 500 BC, and Yael seduced enemy chief of staff Sisra and then cut off his head, according to Prophets.
Mossad "honey-pot" lures were rumored to play an important role in the January 2010 assassination of terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai and the capture of Mordechai Vanunu, a technician who revealed confidential information about Israel's nuclear program.
The halachic justification allowing women to literally sleep with the enemy is that, according to the Talmud in Sanhedrin, women are passive in the act of intercourse. There are rabbinical opinions that say this does not apply if the woman initiates the act; to them, Shvat brings sources that say Esther and Yael's acts were justified, because they saved the Jewish people. However, forbidden sexual relations are not justified when they save only one, or a few, lives.
A female Mossad agent also does not need approval from a rabbinical
court before seducing enemies. The woman may not commit the act in
public, and it should not be known that she is Israeli.
In addition, if a woman is married, "it would be best for her husband to
divorce her. After the act, he would be able to bring her back," Shvat
Shvat also recommended that the job of seducing the enemy "be given to a woman who in any event is promiscuous."
Tzomet's director, Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, praised the study, but told DPA
that "women employees of the Mossad are probably not going to come
consult with a rabbi" before their missions.
The Tzomet Institute is a non-profit research institute dedicated to
merging halacha with modern life. They are known for developing
elevators, coffee machines and metal detectors that can be used without
violating the Sabbath.