commented on The Clash Between Torah Study and Enlistment
2014-04-21 17:53:35 -0400
Unfortunately, almost each time I read an article from torah-observant people defending the israeli draft of haredi yeshiva students, there is a problem that is often not addressed: social engeneering.
The biggest fear of the haredim, above the fact of not studying, is the use of the army to transform them into hilonim.
According to figures provided by dati leumi rabbis themselves (even rav Melamed if I remember correctly) a significant percentage of D"L become hilonim in the army. If some people agree with taking this risk, not everyone does and their point is as respectful as yours. And given the fact that there is no shortage of manpower in the IDF (to the contrary, since some people are playing on the radio during their so-called service) there is no rush in drafting haredim. Since the beguining of the state, the army is the factory of the israeli westernised culture and the new jew. The haredim are not interested in these two goals. they want to stay old jews and keep their jewish culture with as less influence from western culture as possible.
- The IDF rabbinate is at odds with haredi halacha so how to solve it? The chief rabbi says that hearing women singing is not a problem. The fact that it’s not a problem for him is a big problem. There might be other cases where he will say mutar when it’s assur according to other haskafot.
- I’m surprised to read the accusation that the haredi leadership didn’t invest in preparing the army to include haredim. What about the netzar yehuda/nachal haredi and the shachar programs? It was precisely the purpose of these programs.
- It should be explained why, from a religious point of view, there should be a mandatory draft? Isn’t it involuntary servitude? Even though it’s a mitzva, why this particular one should be enforced against the will when others also. What about creating a law ordering mandatory limud for everyone during high school or during the army to share the burden of limud? Or simply a vote ordering the discarding of non useful topics of the bagrut (like civics, world history, physical education, literature) and replacing it with mandatory talmud to receive the bagrut?
To summarise: if those who want to include haredim want to force them in the army, first provide (in almost all units) food they can eat, disband women, enforce rules of modesty among men, allow time for prayer & for minimal limud and prohibit orders (i.e. revoke immediately from the army those who order the following) like mandatory shaving, hearing women singing, visiting churches on yom yerushalaim, mandatory transgressions of shabbat for other things than pikuah nefesh according to haredi definition of pikuah nefesh (important because in discussions I noticed that the common definition is way to permissive). Then, after proving that they are serious by taking steps like these, discussions can be held and a solution can be found for a majority of haredim. Without these conditions, the whole talk is about social engeneering (aka how to secularise the haredim) at worst, or creating buffalo soldier units at best.
Anyway, we can talk and debate as much as we want. In the end they (the haredim) will win because their motivation is very high. And, until now, the only effect of this whole process is to bring an halt to the trend of haredi recruitment that was growing this last years…..
a zionist haredi
PS: in my synagogue, we pray for IDF soldiers