NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 10/5/2010 12:13:32 PM ET 2010-10-05T16:13:32

Seducing the enemy in order to get information that would help save the lives of countrymen has received the blessing of an Israeli rabbi.

Taking such steps goes "above and beyond" and is a "spiritual blessing," Rabbi Ari Schvat said in a written ruling, which was part of a detailed theological analysis looking at Biblical and other sources.

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However, the ruling warned members of Israel's feared Mossad spy agency that playing the role of honey-pot isn't straightforward.

"The act of illicit sex with the enemy is almost always forbidden unless there is no other solution, and only after asking explicit religious permission from a leading halachic authority," Schvat told msnbc.com in a statement Tuesday.

Halachic refers to the interpretation of Jewish laws.

"If it is necessary to use a married woman, it would be best [for] her husband to divorce her. ... After the [sex] act, he would be entitled to bring her back," Schvat's ruling said.

However, Schvat said it was "more serious" for a man to perform an act in such circumstances. But he added that in the "rare" cases when it would be permitted, divorce would not be required.

Written in Hebrew, the ruling appeared in a study entitled "Illicit sex for the sake of national security" published by Zomet Institute, an organization that studies the overlap between religion and modern life.

The story was first reported on ynetnews.com.

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In the ruling, Schvat said the current situation for the Jewish state required solutions that are not "appealing to us." Using a honey trap is a way to deal with the danger that Israel exists with, he added.

Honey-pot missions have a long history. Queen Esther had sex with Persian king Zerxes to defend her people. The wife of Hever, Yael, slept with an enemy and then killed him, according to the Bible.

NBC News and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.


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