Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rav Moshe Sternbuch: Concerning the dreadful draft decree

Rav Moshe Sternbuch recently wrote the following letter criticizing the Israeli government's decrees against Chareidi Jews.  I have verified that it is genuine and it was posted on  the blog   בעולמם של  חרדים
 Update March 25: I posted Rav Sternbuch's letter after receiving the following criticism. Donniel, the person who criticized me just requested that I add our exchange to the post


Rav Eidensohn,
I find it hard to believe that you have not published on your blog your Rav's recent comments on the coalition agreement. I believe the comments expose Rav Sternboch as being highly unreasonable and even intellectually dishonest by claiming that the agreement punishes chareidim when it explicitly does not. there are no criminal consequences for evading the draft -  only  a withdrawal of unearned state subsidies for housing and child care.

Further , he  calls people who are supporting the agreement "total goyim" which is not only completely halachically inaccurate and s perversion of halacha but such verbiage is mean spirited and creates its own chillul hashem
[DT this is a gross mistranslation. Rav Sternbuch never said such a thing. The goyim he was referring to are converts who don't accept the obligation of mitzvos. Before opening ones mouth to strongly criticize someone - especially of the stature of Rav Sternbuch -  it is important to get the facts straight]. I would have thought that you had enough integrity to let your readers make their own decision. I suspect that you believe many readers would agree with me which is why you've omitted any post about Rav Sternbochs comments. I think you should let readers decide for themselves. I also think your ravs hashkafas are not befitting of your own hashkafas and it may be time to consider finding a new Rav.  I would really appreciate a response. most importantly,i think you should publish his comments and let your readers decide for themselves.

appreciate a themselves.
thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns.

To which I replied:
I have not seen Rav Sternbuch's views on the matter nor have I discussed the issue with him. If you have the comments in the original language I would be interested in seeing them.

You seem to assume a lot about Rav Sternbuch and myself which perhaps would be better worded as questions about what you heard second hand or conjecture.

Rav Sternbuch is not  my Rav  in the sense of him being my only and final authority on all matters. He is someone who I greatly respect and have consulted with him on many matters. I usually agree with his views - but not always. Something which isn't surprising or unusual. There are other rabbinical authorities I consult with.

Most of what Rav Sternbuch says or writes is not included on this blog. I am not Rav Sternbuch's spokesman. It is true concerning the Tropper affair he gave me specific guidance which I followed. He also strongly encouraged me regarding writing about child abuse. There was also a time where I was sent articles of his which had been published in the Yated to be republished - but that stopped several years ago.

It is important to be careful with hasty judgments - and I appreciate that you took the time to clarify the matter.
Donniel replied:
 I greatly appreciate your thoughtful response. My apologies for assumptions that I made that proved to be inaccurate. Thank you for posting our exchange. I would like to add that your response was honorable, articulate,&well thought out. I agree with you that I made assumptions that proved not to be accurate. I apologize for doing so and request Mechila. Thank you for your transparency and integrity in how you conduct the dialogue with myself and others. If you want to post the above, I think it befitting your honor to do so, but obviously that is your judgment call.
   ==================================================
 Translation by RaP    Rav Moshe Sternbuch: Concerning the dreadful draft decree” (March 24, 2013)


Da’as Torah from the Ra’avad of the “Eidah HaChareidis” – Jerusalem


The Gaon, Rebbi Moshe Shternbuch, SHLIT``A


BS”D                                                                                                                                      7 Nisan 5773  [March 18, `13]

Concerning the terrible decree to conscript yeshiva students [bnai hayeshivos], it calls for Da’as Torah about the severity of the matter.


And the matter is clear that their goal is not just to decrease the number of Torah scholars, G-d forbid [chas vesholom], but to uproot and change [the Jewish] faith and its adherents in Eretz Yisroel. And since they have announced that they intend to mix into our educational systems, into Jewish religious courts [batei din], and to insert into the Jewish nation converts who do not accept upon themselves the yoke of Torah and of its commandments [mitzvos] who by virtue of Torah law are pure gentiles [goyim gemurim] , and to increase Sabbath desecration in the cities of Israel, and other decrees, all mainly to damage the world of Torah [olam haTorah] to bring about a decrease in those who study Torah and observe it.

According to the Halachah it is forbidden to conscript the Bnai Torah because they are the “army [tz’va] of Hashem” and in all the generations were always a large community [tzibbur]  among the Jewish nation, for they are the “Tribe of Levi” and likewise all those that have accepted upon themselves the yoke of Torah were not conscripted and they thereby provided [Divine] protection for the Jewish nation as a shield with their Torah, as explained by the RAMBAM [Maimonides] at the end of the laws of Shmittah and Yovel [in the Mishneh Torah]. Those who dare to decrease the Torah scholars place into danger the entire settlement [of Jews] in Eretz Yisroel.

And in the army here [i.e. the Israeli army], they defile with what the Torah regards as [forbidden] mingling [between men and women], and with [forbidden] lusts, and those who are in it regularly hear heretical talk and use of foul language, and those in charge over there constantly try to cause religious soldiers in it to transgress the Jewish faith, as is known. And from experience it is proven that many [religious soldiers] have rejected the entire yoke [of Torah and Mitzvah observance], so that their goal is obvious: To ruin the Chareidim from their observances of their religion and faith [midasam ve’emunasam].


Eretz Yisroel is the Holy Land and many have come here to live a life of holiness and purity in the “Palace of the King” [paltron shel melech], to raise sons and daughters in the paths of Torah and fear [of God], and davka [precisely] here the authorities want to interfere in the pure Torah educational systems and [with those who wish] to live a Torah lifestyle, while in all the countries of the world it is accepted that theological students are free from conscription, yet here they want to force upon the Chareidim weaknesses to educate their sons and daughters against their pure will.



We view the decree of conscription as one more [link] in the twisted chain of their attempts to change the Chareidim and to thereby cause them to reject their Jewish faith [leh’avirim al das], but it is impossible to force us to do this even by means of punishments and increased penalties, and even if they try to [and do] hurt us and our children, they will never succeed in making us transgress from the faith of the Holy Torah.

And it is fitting to publicize that the [government] authorities in Eretz Yisroel who have guaranteed freedom of religion [to all] are instead actively forcing us to transgress our Jewish faith, and that the only place in the world that [Chareidi] Jews are hated and persecuted on account of their religion is in Eretz Yisroel. And we hope that they will be ashamed in front of all the nations of the world, and that they will leave us alone. And we will thereby save all the inhabitants of Eretz Yisroel from the dangers of God’s fury [charon af Hashem].

Let us strengthen each other and be strengthened. And our Father Who Is In Heaven [Avinu shebashamayim] when He sees our protests on behalf of the Honor of His Name, and as we strengthen ourselves in Torah learning and prayer, will hasten our Redemption, and we will shortly be able to greet our righteous Moshiach.

MOSHE  SHTERNBUCH




126 comments :

  1. So if it could be proved to him that the purpose is not to uproot the Torah, would he be in favor of it? If you are close to him... could you ask him?

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    1. Harry I appreciate you sincerity - but please read a little about Israeli history - especially about the Lapid family.

      There realy are big bad wolves out here - and they aren't all Arabs or Iranians.

      If you can provide evidence to counter his views - I will be glad to show it to him.

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    2. Every poster, speech and interview quotes Gedolim as saying "forcibly drafting Bnei Yeshiva"....has the news hit the sources that there will be no FORCIBLY DRAFT.

      BTW what is the Rav's shita on Charedi boys who after Yeshiva Ketana are walking the streets, looking for jobs etc...what should their draft procedure be? As Rav Shach paskined to enlist...or does he have a different eitza.

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    3. Rav Sternbuch really, but really, wants freedom of religion to be practiced in Israel?

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  2. Do you have any idea what hatred he is speaking of ?
    Where is there religious coercion against RELIGIOUS Jews in Israel?
    Has anyone you know personally told you of a specific example of coercion or hatred?

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    1. Joe please don't be so naive. read through any standard history of recent Israel history. Secular Israelis are frightened of Chareidim.

      I once particpated in a group of psychologists - religous and secular - concerning the issue of tolerance. The leader of the group was a secular Jew and his main issue was whether we religous Jews would kill him when we got into power. They are afraid and they repond with hatred and religious coercion

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    2. Perhaps you are projecting ? Of course they fear that the kanoim will execute them ; does that require that they hate chareidim in return ? Do you hate all things that you fear, or is it legitimate to protect oneself?
      Secular and religious Israelis resent the selfish and non-communal behaviors of chareidim. They resent that the chareidim twist the torah to justify these behaviors. They will not relent or accept that a lifestyle invented in the last 50 years is MiSinai
      As you yourself stated below "Rav Sternbuch is well aware of the issue. His views are the standard ones in the chareidi community. Rav Steinman has said the same thing"
      That important Rabbis [publicly] hold "standard" views does not make those views accurate, helpful or wise.
      As you stated last week true Daas Torah, to whatever extent it exists does not manifest itself today.

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    3. perhaps you are in denial? Interesting choice of words - do you really detest chareidim so much?

      Bottom line is that the issue really is about direct confrontation and forced assimilation or letting the natural forces accomplish the same goal.

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    4. I don't detest anyone or any group. But I know right from wrong.
      I also remember most [much?] of the Torah I have learned and taught.I have never seen a heter for non-participation in a milchemet mitzvah.
      My father lived through a shmad, lost most of his family.
      This is not shmad, this is politics, and I personally think that Rav Shterbuch is [ at least publicly] on the wrong side.

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    5. "The leader of the group was a secular Jew and his main issue was whether we religous Jews would kill him when we got into power."

      And there are no public statements from prominent religious Jews that feed into his fears? You know the difference between the sound people and the foolish hotheads in your own camp. Because you are interested – and it affects your professional life – you have some familiarity with the secular world as well.

      Sadly, that degree of familiarity is rare on both sides of the religious/secular divide. It would be better if it weren't so rare, but it is. Both sides of the divide contribute to the polarization.

      Given the significant though imperfect role of Tzahal in integrating the various communities on the secular side of the divide, I think there may be some thinking that it could open some lines of communication at the grass roots level between the chareidi world and the rest of society. Perhaps that is a romantic fantasy.

      And perhaps this is, too:

      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
      That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

      That is the reality of the dispute, though in an attenuated form due to Israel's socialist roots and security situation: What is the nature and extent of the consent of the governed.? Israeli chareidim seem to be at best indifferent to such consent. The secular sector pays a very tangible price in blood and property to which they – so far – consent. I don't think it's unreasonable to wish that burden to be shared.

      Are secular politicians capitalizing on that to advance their own agendas? Of course, that's the nature of politics. But in the blood and property sense, there is a huge "free rider" problem on the chareidi side despite various attempts to separate from secular society. And yes, secular society tends to be (more and/or differently) materialistic so there is going to be less value placed on any spiritual contribution from the chareidi side. But the free rider problem, which is growing as the chareidi community grows and becomes more triumphalist, erodes the consent of the governed on the secular side.

      Yes, chareidim are being assimilated into general Israeli society by natural forces. But the government, as is the practice of all governments, tends to want to expand its size and operations to virgin territory; those who are the "government" of the chareidi community would resist that even if there were no matters of principle at stake. In doing so they are being insensitive to the concerns of less religious Jews and feel they are similarly ignored and scorned.

      I realize that this is chuztpadik but I'm going to say it anyway. It looks as though the Chareidi leadership (in an attempt to speed the redemption?) is trying to institute a post-Messianic lifestyle in a pre-Messianic situation. That seems to me fundamentally problematic; it was also a well founded religious objection to the Zionist enterprise of settling the Land and instituting sovereignty. The secular world has to some extent realized that and in various ways is working on the problem. From where I sit on the West Coast of the US it looks as though the Chareidi world has decided that it can afford to ignore the problem since it's going to win the demographic race.

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    6. The Charedim are in "Battle mode" against the secular forces of the past decades. There is no sense, reason or compromise that can be spoken about.

      The Charedi/Religious Zionism chasm started in Europe and has never been ironed out. There are 'battles' that are being fought on a conscious and very UNCONSCIOUS level..

      No one is eradicating TORAH, YIDDISHKEIT or values, there is a change-over of funding and allocations.

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    7. Bottom line is that the issue really is about direct confrontation and forced assimilation

      i agree 100% that the issue is NOT talmud torah. what is the issue we can argue. however regarding confrontation - there is more than enough blame to go around as to why there is such a direct head on collusion coming our way. BOTH sides have played a part. did the chareidi world HAVE to take a position last summer of "no, no, no" regarding the draft proposals? if they had come out then and said yes to the ya'alon plan, there wouldn't have been elections, yesh atid would still be a nothing, the split with the DL world wouldn't have been, and this entire issue would have been dealt with in a restrained manner.

      but instead the rabbanim took a "no way jose" position and we are where we are.

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  3. This letter is from one of the leaders of the Eda Haharedit, which has never given de jure recognition to the State of Israel, and sections of the Eda do not give de facto recognition.
    Furthermore, I am not sure if members of this community would be drafted in any case.

    Now in general, it does not address reality on the ground. The reality is that the Holy Land is under threat of enemies from outside, and also inside. There is according to the Torah, a requirement of self defense.
    The experience of Europe should have proven that living a purely yeshiva life is not going to stop Amalek from its attack, be they in guise of pogroms, nazism or arab terror, or islamic warfare.
    Thus, we would very much like to see that question addressed by respected poskim.

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    1. Eddie your comment indicates you really don't know what is going on. No one is claiming that by drafting the chareidim the military will be stronger. So please cut condescending comments about Europe.

      The issue is primarily sociological not military. It is about "sharing the burden". Secular Israelis say it is unfair that there children have to go and not the chareidim. Chareidim counter by saying that the protection of Torah is more important than the so called "sharing the burden" since they are in fact making a major contribution to the welfare of society. Secular Israelis say they don't believe in the protection of Torah.

      In addition for anyone who has read any history of Israel there is a major interest in assimilating chareidim into society in terms of education and work. While this process clearly is already being accomplished by natural means - "sharing the burden" wants to force it.

      In sum the secular Israelis are saying we are in charge here and you are a burden that we don't want to handle. Chareidim say that religious laws trump secular laws and they don't want to have their children sacrificed in the name of a secular concept of "sharing the burden."

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    2. depends what you mean by "protection of Torah".
      Protecting learning, or the protection of Israel by Torah study.
      You might be surprised but many allegedly "secular" Israelis believe in the protection afforded by Torah and by Hashem.

      "Chareidim say that religious laws trump secular laws and they don't want to have their children sacrificed in the name of a secular concept of "sharing the burden.""

      Sacrificed in which sense? In the battlefield or to the demon of secularism? This is precisely what the seculars argue, why should they sacrifice their lives when what they perceive is Hareidim learning in yeshivos and then cursing the army and the seculars...

      Interestingly, the Rambam that is quoted by R' Shternbuch talks about the laws of providing cities for Leviim, which are conquered by a melech of Israel. Is that tacit acceptance of the State having the same authority as that of Melech, as is claimed by followers of the Kook family?
      The halacha goes on to exempt Leviim from being called up for military campaigns. But it also says there is no property rights for the tribe of Levi.

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    3. In addition for anyone who has read any history of Israel there is a major interest in assimilating chareidim into society in terms of education and work. While this process clearly is already being accomplished by natural means - "sharing the burden" wants to force it.

      This is precisely the reason that Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid cronies want to draft Chareidim. He said so himself, with his red line.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ1x4SJ3F6g

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    4. The point that is overlooked is that a portion of Charedim would like/agree/desire to assimilate to the Israeli way of life MEANING: getting a job, learning some skills, owning a car and some property without the need for American schnooring. There is also a well spring of nationalism brewing in some Charedi kehillas. (this is being written by a semi-resident of the ANGLO-Charedi kehillos in Israel).
      In most cases Rav Sternbuch is not a posak or Shem-Davar in these kehillas BTW.

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    5. In sum the secular Israelis are saying we are in charge here and you are a burden that we don't want to handle.

      the part about being a burden - how is this untrue? the chareidim counterclaim "we also contribute in own way" doesn't in way knock of the non-chareidi charges against that community.

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    6. the part about being a burden - how is this untrue?

      Because it is a manufactured burden.

      IF you dropped conscription as a necessity for getting a job and
      IF you dropped "universal" conscription(note that IDF poster-girl BarRafaeli didin't serve either, is she a burden?) in favor of a purely volunteer professional military(which has been shown historically to out perform a conscript military)
      Then you would have no "burden" of the Chareidim. However, Israeli society works more like some fraternity where unless you have gone through the proper hazing you are not welcome, and they have no intent of ever changing the hazing because of tradition(not because it actually works).

      And while we are talking about budgetary worries, do you know the amount of waste that involves a short term, non-proefessional conscript Army?
      By the time you have invested sufficient funds in your 50% female population to train them for a simple 24month stint, most professional armies take 16-18mos to train a basic infantryman. In a very real sense it is simply throwing money away.

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    7. It depends on whether you are chareidi or non-chareidi. As it stands now it is a win-lose situation.

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    8. Yoni wrote:
      The point that is overlooked is that a portion of Charedim would like/agree/desire to assimilate to the Israeli way of life MEANING: getting a job, learning some skills, owning a car and some property without the need for American schnooring. There is also a well spring of nationalism brewing in some Charedi kehillas. (this is being written by a semi-resident of the ANGLO-Charedi kehillos in Israel).
      In most cases Rav Sternbuch is not a posak or Shem-Davar in these kehillas BTW.
      ===========
      I have discussed the a number of times. Yes I agree there are changes going on now within the chareidi world. However this issues is whether they are encouraged or forced.

      As I have noted a number of times - the degree that Rav Sternbuch is a posek for the various parts of the Orthodox community is irrelevant given that the views that he is expressing have been echoed by a wide range of other leaders. In other words his view is mainstream.

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    9. you lost me. a secular person says "i serve in the army, work, pay high taxes, high health tax, bituach leumi. i have 3 kids, don't get a government mortage, pay full arnona, full gan costs, etc." the chareidi guy says, "well i learn and maybe do some volunteer work at zaka". the secular guy says "fine, but what does any of that have to do with money? you don't full arnona, pay a minimal amount to bituach leumi yet get full health coverage for your 8 kids, etc etc etc".

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    10. Because it is a manufactured burden.

      and the rabbonim have been completely in favor of the manufacturing process.

      part of the current plan is to reduce service to two years, which will by definition up the manpower requirements.

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    11. note that IDF poster-girl BarRafaeli didin't serve either, is she a burden?)

      the "burden" is a combination of factors. obviously bar rafaeli isn't an economic burden.

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    12. and the rabbonim have been completely in favor of the manufacturing process.

      Your proof for this assertion?

      part of the current plan is to reduce service to two years, which will by definition up the manpower requirements.
      While increasing waste(monetarily speaking) and greatly reduce combat readiness. Why not just drop consription altogether and go with a completely volunteer professional military? That would actually decrease waste and increase combat effectiveness.
      the "burden" is a combination of factors. obviously bar rafaeli isn't an economic burden.
      So long as the secular society puts roadblocks in front of employment, it has no right to complain about economic burden. Which considering the incredibly high unemployment rate that the State now has, how do you propose it absorb yet more workers?(but that is a side point).
      Military conscription is an uncessary roadblock to employment.
      Just to be clear, I don't think anyone should be conscripted. The essetial job of a soldier is to place his frail mortal body between war's cold desolation and his beloved home. That requires higher moral values, specifically the ability to value something more than oneself, that not everyone has. Furthermore it is not something that can be imparted to an unwilling conscript, whether they are secular or religious. The only way to weed out those that will make effective and worthwhile soldiers from those that are not is by giving the populace the choice to volunteer.

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    13. Your proof for this assertion?

      i can't provide you with any transcripts from the meetings of the eida. however . . .

      number one they oppose any change in the status quo. initially they opposed the tal law. perfectly happy with the situation. i heard this time after time on the chareidi radio stations.

      number two, besides opposing any type of draft, they also oppose opening up new paths (מסלולים) for yeshiva guys who want out. besides hearing this, i've read pashkivilim stating this in the name of rav aurbach.

      number three for decades they opposed even enforcing the rules that are on the books. back in the 80s there was a proposal that each rosh yeshiva sign a document for any person in his yeshiva requesting a deferment, to the effect that this person was indeed learning full time. they opposed that law completely. universities give out student cards to people learning a certain amount. that card enables the student to get discounts. if universities are willing to take responsibility for this type of statement, why not yeshivot?

      fourthly having the army there as a whip to keep guys in yeshiva is simply perfect. we are all aware of the famous torah written by Rav Dessler, about the importance of keeping people in yeshiva.

      (for those of you unfamiliar, you can read it here:
      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2010/11/rav-dessler-yeshiva-should-deny-self.html) (thank you rav for providing this!).

      the army serves as a scare tactic (listen little boy, if you don't eat your vegetables and stay in yeshiva you are going to end up looking like this: http://www.kultfaktor.de/images/21411_big.jpg.

      truth be told rav tzadok, if you are in favor of removing this artificial barrier to obtaining gainful employment, you should be supporting the Lapid proposal with both hands. the proposal includes a 4 year period in which a yeshiva guy can leave yeshiva and get a job, without penalty and without going to the army. 4 years in israel is netzach netzachim. it should be child's play for the frum MKs to have this period extended, just like they extended the tal law.

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    14. It's not that I am just in favor of removing the artificial barrier, I am in favor of dropping the draft in it's entirety. Take the Gilad Shalit fiasco. You had an under trained tank crew, that panicked and abandoned a perfectly good tank. Contrary to their training(because they didn't have enough of it to overcome their panic) and contrary to orders(because they are conscripts and don't really care). They didn't know they had help nearby(because they were conscripts and didn't care enough to listen to the briefing). So two soldiers died, and Shalit(who was by his own admission also an unmotivated conscript) was captured.
      In the end Israel had to release 1027 terrorists(some of whom have already taken up weapons against Israel again) to buy Shalit back.
      It's time to wake up and realize that draft is too costly. Not only was the money and time spent on training these conscripts wasted(primarily because it, along with their lack of motivation was insufficient). Further instead of guaranteeing Israel's protection it increases it's danger. A purely volunteer professional military would be the best solution and has been proven to be more effective. Unfortunately folks like Lapid and his Yesh Atid cronies see the Army as a way mainstream and brainwash Chareidim, so instead of doing what is best for the nation, they are going to (try to)for conscription upon the Chareidim.

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    15. first of all, the lapid plan doesn't demand conscription; that is one option. sherut leumi is another where the boys serve in their neighborhood is another. so your comments about him are simply off based (at best).

      secondly, i did a little reading about all volunteer forces (AVF) and have seen that there is a good amount of controversy about them. it isn't as simple as you claim. i am not about to start getting into a link war. however a couple of points must be made.

      1) "Three years after the invasion of Iraq, the United States does not feel much like a country at war. Nearly 20,000 American soldiers have been killed or injured to date, but the more comfortable among us find it shockingly easy to forget about the conflict for weeks at a time. Most middle-class professionals, academics, and journalists don't have relatives or friends serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. We have not been called upon to make any sacrifices, financial or otherwise."

      this is what you want. in the US it is a simple fact that recruits come from lower income populations. in your scenario, the srugis and sefardim will be serving, the secular askenazim and chareidi askenazim will be out doing their own thing.

      2 from a pro AVF article: The fourth factor is adequate financial resources. The defense budget must be large enough to support pay raises that keep pace with both inflation and civilian-sector pay increases; to provide resources for advertising, recruiters, bonuses, and educational benefits; and to fund the military retirement program and quality-of-life initiatives.

      i don't see this happening here.

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    16. this is what you want. in the US it is a simple fact that recruits come from lower income populations
      That is not true at all. The US Armed forces represent a true cross-section of American society. Yes there are very few 1%s in the US Armed forces, but then they are 1%s. Granted there is huge wage inequality in the US, and thus the vast majority of the population of the US is lower income... So naturally so is the make up the US armed forces.

      i don't see this happening here.
      Only because you haven't done a cost benefit analysis. Let's continue comparing to the US. The US spends 4.7% of it's GDP on defense, Israel 6.5%. Now, if Lapid(or any fiscal conservative in Israel) has his way, the GDP will increase, as more people are brought into the job market and taxed. However that is a side point.
      The main point is that Israel's defense spending is already incredibly high. Unfortunately it is also incredibly wasteful. Training recruits cost to be effective soldiers costs a considerable sum of money. However, since 50% of them leave after 24mos, and the other 50% after 30mos that is massive waste.
      If you were to sign soldiers on to 4-6yr terms of service you have immediately cut your training expenditure in half, while still being able to fill out your ranks. Only know you aren't kicking them out as soon as they finally figure out how to soldier.
      Casualty rates would also decrease(both in training and in combat). Again relieving economic pressure. You wouldn't need the same numbers of dedicated training cadre, as you wouldn't have as many recruits every year.

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    17. i have no idea if it is true or not. that line came from a pro AVF person. still, what i wrote about the volunteers being either srugi or sefardi is true.

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    18. Casualty rates would also decrease(both in training and in combat). etc etc etc

      i am not going to get into a debate about the benefits of a volunteer army, since a) i know little about the subject and b)your primary motivation in favoring that setup is to ensure that chareidim don't have to serve. 4 year minimum seems way too long. the US for regular soldiers has a 2 year minimum. but that is a detail.

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    19. the US for regular soldiers has a 2 year minimum. but that is a detail.

      Again that is not true. From the Army Website:
      Everyone who enlists in the United States Military, whether its for active duty (full time) or National Guard/Reserves (part time) incurs a MINIMUM eight-year service obligation. That's right -- when you sign on the dotted line, you commit yourself for eight years!

      While the military does offer shorter Active Duty service options for those recruits who may qualify for such programs, even there that term begins after boot camp and occupational training, which in total can take anywhere from 8-26mos depending on MOS. Again from the Army website:
      First, after completion of initial entry training, individuals must serve on active duty in a military occupational specialty designated by the Secretary of Defense for a period of 15 months.
      After this, and without a break in service, these individuals must serve either an additional period of active duty as determined by the Secretary of Defense, or a period of 24 months in an active status in the Selected Reserve.
      After completion of this period of service, and also, without a break in service, the remaining period of obligated service specified in the agreement will be served as follows:
      On active duty in the armed forces
      In the Selected Reserve
      In the Individual Ready Reserve
      In Americorps, or another domestic national service program jointly designated by the Secretary of Defense and the head of such a program

      So it is a typical recruitment trick. You still are going to serve at least four years on active duty(whether in regular army or active duty reserve).

      Delete
    20. active duty reserve is one weekend a month and two weeks of training, assuming you aren't called up. similar to miluim in terms of commitment but much less as miluim is until the 40s. so that whole point doesn't wash.

      Delete
    21. so that whole point doesn't wash. What you seem to be missing is that is not the standard deal given a soldier in the US Military. That is a special program for very specific specialties. For instance if you are a Rabbi, because of the lack of sufficient numbers of Jewish Chaplains, you can get that deal. You have qualify for it. It is not found in every branch or every MOS.
      Second thing that you seem to be missing, is that that whether your get to go into the Reserve, or are forced to stay in regular active duty is at the sole discretion of the Secretary of Defense, no matter what your recruiter promised you.
      If you think about it for a second, you are taking a Gamble that they will be able to fill out the necessary spots in your MOS in the next two years, otherwise you are going to spend four in Active Duty before being put into the Active Reserve for four.
      Also you seem to be missing that this is only a special program open to select individuals. In other words, everyone else is doing a four year minimum term of active duty service(or six or eight).

      Delete
    22. like i said, i don't want to enter into an argument about a subject about which i know nothing, especially when your goal isn't to produce a better army but to find a way to free chareidim from the draft.

      Delete
    23. especially when your goal isn't to produce a better army but to find a way to free chareidim from the draft.

      That is a patently untrue Ad Hom.

      My personal politics on this are that many of those who sit in Kollel currently have no business being there, and that a few years working or in the Army would do them some good.

      However, I think that a conscript Army is both fiscally irresponsible as well as horribly inefficient for the task at hand.

      Further I do not think that Army service should be a barrier to entering the work force. Especially as the IDF is being increasingly used against Israeli citizens, there are numerous reasons why an Israeli today may be a conscientious objector.

      Delete
    24. regarding the Shalit disaster

      see http://www.timesofisrael.com/shalit-could-have-avoided-captivity-interviews-reveal/

      Delete
    25. Or alternately you can read the interviews here:
      http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Gilad-Schalits-capture-In-his-own-words-308015
      http://www.jpost.com/Features/In-Thespotlight/Gilad-Schalits-capture-in-his-own-words-Part-II-308198

      Delete
  4. r'dt,
    Is r' sternbuch aware of the cognitive dissonance between his description and how others view the reality? would that matter at all?
    KT
    Joel Rich

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rav Sternbuch is well aware of the issue. His views are the standard ones in the chareidi community. Rav Steinman has said the same thing

      Delete
  5. The secular Jewish heroes of yesh atid etc are not cutting arab welfare payments any time soon, and that should tell you about their motivations. Obviously, haredi society was already changing, albeit slowly, and needs to change in order to survive and transform into a viable entity (financially and culturally), but those trying to immediately force changes - Even if you agree with those changes - Definitely do NOT have good intentions! It's amazing how people can be in denial about this.

    The celebrity talk show host is fooling many people but he's a bought and paid for media creation, he is a 2-state final solution-ist, and he is using other means to attack the charedim since his father's did not work. Rabbi Eidensohn used the word "naive" and that is very fitting IMO. I'm the last guy to defend the non-traditional charedi mass-scale full-time kollel learning "system" and yet I can see that lapid, the israeli supreme court, and probably bibi as well have evil intentions. I'm not sure if Bennett is a fraud or being deceived or coerced, but obviously he is involved and complicit in some way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The secular Jewish heroes of yesh atid etc are not cutting arab welfare payments any time soon, and that should tell you about their motivations.

      Precisely.

      At least Otzma wanted to be across the board. Serve or no benefits.

      Delete
    2. This unified front was also to keep SHAS and its tricks out of the coalition. There are many aspects to these new 'buddies'.

      Delete
    3. The secular Jewish heroes of yesh atid etc are not cutting arab welfare payments any time soon, and that should tell you about their motivations

      mapitom. bituach leumi child support will be cut for everyone, just as it was back when bibi was treasury minister.

      Delete
  6. Is Rav Sternbuch actually trying to claim that the only place in the world where Chareidim are allegedly being persecuted is in Eretz Yisrael?

    Many observant and non-observant Jews would respect Rav Sternbuch much more if he would show a little appreciation for some of the benefit he is receiving from the Jewish State, even if that state falls short of Torah ideals.

    The marginally Jewish government in Israel and its army is the only (non-supernatural) force protecting the Chareidim from having to choose between a horrible death or forced conversion to Islam. Without such Israeli army the Chardeim would need to daven for Hashem to save them through a supernatural miracle. Do they really believe they're zocheh such a miracle?

    "The Jews and Christians are both kaafirs and mushrikeen. They are kaafirs because they deny the truth and reject it. And they are mushrikeen because they worship someone other than Allaah." (http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/67626)

    "The ruling on physical jihad against the kaafirs is that this is an obligation on the community as a whole (fard kafaayah)." (http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/20214/jihad)

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    1. ELY makes a good point. Bethlechem and other places including Gaza used to have Christian Arabs. they are being either driven out or converted to Islam, by Hamas and Palestinian arabs.
      Do not think that the good old old days of the british and Turkish mandates were that good for hareidim. Or even the days of the Arab conquests and the Crusades.

      Delete
    2. This is the EDAH loudspeaker.
      The same EDAH that supports the extremists in Bet Shemesh, the same EDAH that dressed their children in Nazi uniforms, the same EDAH that welcomed the Satmar REBBE with full royalty to Yerushalayim, the same EDAH that forbids its constituents to vote.

      Delete
    3. yoni - cut out the garbage. Do you want to discuss issue or just make noise?

      Delete
    4. Emes L'Yaakov - I dealt with your points below. It is not a question of having an army or a yeshiva. The army exists and is doing fine. The question is whether the chareidim need to serve in the army in order to fulfil a social value of "shared burden" or the Jewish value of Torah study.

      Delete
  7. A lot of talk of mutual hatred between different communities.

    Now it is time for leaders of secular and Religious to write manifestos on ending hatred and suspicion for each other. that is much more difficult than the conflict platforms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No it is time to stop focusing on who is right and focus on the pragmatic reality of what is the best way to bring about needed change. Should it be imposed by a government that has declared war on the Chareidi and denied them entry into the coalition. Why would anybody in their right mind trust the motivation and good will of such a government?

      Delete
    2. How is not allowing them into the coalition a declaration or act of war? Many parties are not "allowed" or not welcomed into coalitions, as a matter of course. It's all part of the game. In the last coalition, Ichud Leumi (now subsumed into Bayit Yehudi) was not included. Was that "war on religious zionists" or just simply political maneuvering. On the rest of your point I agree though about the govt's intentions.

      Delete
  8. R Eidehonson-

    Does R Sternbuch see a difference between the ultimate goals of Lapid, Bibi, Bennnet, Dov Lipman? They clearly aren't all the same. (I know he holds Mizrachi is treif, but their goals are clearly not the same as Lapid's- that why the chareidi politicians are expressing such confidence that the coalition won't last)

    More importantly, since it's now become clear that no one's going to be rounded up and it's just a monetary issue, I'm really confused by the concern expressed by R Sternbuch, R Dovid Soloveitchik etc. They don't take money anyhow. So what exactly are they afraid of? I think it's pretty clear that the Medinah doesn't have much power over them, I almost laughed when AG Yehuda Weinstein directed the BADATZ to stop issuing seruvim. R Sternbuch's reply was predictable: basically "God's in charge- not you, Mr. Weinstein."

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    1. It's commonly claimed that the Edah and Brisk are somehow more ideological pure because they don't take money from the State. This is shortsighted. There is only so much money out there. That the Edah and Brisk are relatively small groups relative to the general charedi community allows them such ideological purity. The general charedi community is on the dole, and they thus need less support from private charity. If the general charedi community were to take the Edah and Brisk route and reject state funds, private charities would simply be unable to support them. The whole system would collapse immediately. In effect, by accepting state funds, the general charedi community is subsidizing the Edah and Brisk who are thus indirectly supported by the State.
      The last thing the Edah wants is for the rest of the charedim to be as frum as they are.

      Delete
    2. Read the article again - draft, financial penalties, changes in educational system.

      Delete
    3. yes a draft (not necessarily army service btw), penalties for those don't and curriculum requirements for schools that accept government funding. this is shmad?

      in the US, schools that don't accept government funding still have to adhere to a state mandated curriculum.

      Delete
  9. where in the world would the cessation of dishing out funds to Torah scholar be considered an attack against freedom of religion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you should read his comments again and stop cherry picking

      Delete
  10. I find it strange to say that a government that subsidies Torah study to an extent unprecedented in world history -- to say nothing of how it compares with other countries today -- would be considered haters of Torah and its adherents.

    Aside from kollel stipends and school subsidies, which the Eidah officially does not accept, there is subsidized housing, low-cost mortgages, and exemptions from municipal tax, all of which Eidah members benefit from. And that is aside from free health care.

    The housing programs, which are a target of Lapid, are designed for the primary benefit of the haredi world.

    While I do not agree with Lapid, I do understand why the lack of hakaras hatov and outright hatred expressed by the haredi world towards those who have made the haredi lifestyle viable would result in a backlash by those who have been financing all this -- namely, Israeli taxpayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. absolutely. complete lack of hakarat hatov.

      Delete
    2. Dovid Shlomo - please keep your eye on the ball. Rav Sternbuch is pointing out the present government is focused on drastic changes in the Chareidi society - not just drafting, but financial and most significantly of all the eductional system.

      Not sure why you deem it necessary to remain silent for the sake of hakoras hatov - when the government is focused on revolutionary changes in the charedi world.

      hakorast hatov doesn't demand being stupid or committing suicide.

      Delete
  11. The EIDAH HACHREIDIS,is completely irrelevant and they only represent a very tiny fraction of religious jews living in Jerusalem,they consist of the Toldos Ahron extremist's,the Israel hating Satmar,some of the Breslover crazies,and the Neturai Karta criminally insane RESHAIM,
    The vast majority of jews,be they,Belz, Viznits, Gerr, and the other chasidus who belong under the Agudah umbrella,and 100% of the yeshiva world,do not recognize them and have absolutely nothing to do with them,and don't accept their halachik rulings,basically all that is left of the Eidah,is a gigantic HECHSHER business,
    therefore why even quote them? they are as relevant a last years snowfall.
    CH.S

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    Replies
    1. Browser your comment is totally irrelevant to the discussion. Please show how all the other Chareidi rabbonim - whether they are from Belz, Ger etc - disagree with what Rav Sternbuch said. If they all agree - then what difference does it make whether Rav Sternbuch is representing a group that you assert only represents a tiny fraction of religous Jew?

      Please stop the ad hominem arguments and stick to the points raised by Rav Sternbuch

      Delete
  12. "Chareidim say that religious laws trump secular laws and they don't want to have their children sacrificed in the name of a secular concept of "sharing the burden."
    =====================================================
    Rabbi Eidensohn,what are you talking about? why is sharing the burden a secular subject? Israel is a small island in the middle east with six and a half million jews, surrounded by over one hundred million blood thirsty arab muslim murderers who openly declare their intention of invading and slaughtering every last man woman and child,and the only thing preventing it (al pi derech hatevah)is the hundreds of thousands of jewish boys and girls standing guard in the army and air force sacrificing their well being and life to defend their people and country,and even rabbi Sternbuch knows,should the IDF put down their guard and arms just for a few hours,rivers of jewish blood would flow,and would make Auschwitz look like a picnic.
    How could anyone with an ounce of brains an ounce of morality just with an ounce of MENSCHLICHKEIT have the CHUTZPAH to claim,that i should not share the burden of defending my own family because i am sitting and learning,we all know that HASHEM absolutely does not want that kind of TORAH,it is TORAH learned with the spilling of someone else blood,all that idiotic excuses of not sharing the burden is pure and evil demagoguery.
    CH.S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting - your comment is pretty rich in demagoguery. If you would like reasonable dialogue - please lower the violence of your rhetoric. If you want to blow off steam - please take it some place else. I don't enjoy discussing topics with someone that I need to keep wiping the spit off my face.

      I'll try again. "sharing the burden" is a secular phrase. There are Jewish ones such as "don't stand idly by the blood of your brother" "All Jews are responsible for each other" etc.

      The secular Jews are insisting equality in serving in the army - while the Chareidim are saying that they are in fact working hard at protecting Israel. If you study some hashkofa you will notice that man is required to makie efforts according to tevah and also spiritually thorugh bitachon. There have always been those who focus primarily on teva and those who focus on the spiritual realm. In fact aside from quote of the Rambam Rav Sternbuch provies the Rambam also asks, "Since the reason for existence is the talmid chachom - why do we need those who are not scholars? I would suggest you look up the answer.

      Rav Sternbuch is expounding mainstream hashkofa. Your argument would only make sense if in fact there were not enough men to fill the army. But in fact there are. Given that there is a solid army - one of the best in the world - the question is whether you believe that there is benefit to studying Torah and keeping mitzvos as a means of protecting society. If you don't believe this then you are obviously not an Orthodox Jew and the there is nothing more to talk about. If you do believe it - then why are so angry?

      Delete
    2. the question is whether you believe that there is benefit to studying Torah and keeping mitzvos as a means of protecting society

      the belief that studying torah protects society doesn't obligate one to believe that the current yeshiva system is what protects society.

      Delete
    3. Rav Sternbuch is expounding mainstream hashkofa.

      IMO he is expounding chareidi chaskofa.

      If you don't believe this then you are obviously not an Orthodox Jew and the there is nothing more to talk about.

      Since when did this belief become an ikkar haemunah that someone who doesn't believe becomes treif?

      Delete
    4. Please tell me what Orthodox rabbi claims that Torah learning and keeping mitzvos doesn't provide a benefit to protecting society? I am not claiming that it is an ikkar - but simply that is what the Orthodox rabbis believe - whether Modern Orthodox, Chassidic or Litvaks.

      Delete
    5. i have never heard of anyone stating that talmud torah doesn't benefit society, nor did i claim such a thing. i simply deny daas torah's formulation and implications.

      Delete
  13. WADR to Rav Sternbuch, and I realize you have a close connection to him, I wonder if when he looks at the outside world he's still seeing things the way they were back in the 1930's when there was real friction between the new and old yishuv.
    The chilonim of today are not the old secular forces of yesteryear but it seems that some in the Chareidi leadership insist on seeing any opposition to their program as equivalent to the Czarists coming to steal their boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WADR to Mighty Ironheart - Rav Sternbuch is very much aware of the reality of Israel. Clearly more than you. How long have you lived in Israel?

      Delete
    2. How often does the Rav get out of Har Nof? When does he speak with secular Israelis (I don't mean people coming for a bracha, but regular, educated, Israelis)? For that matter, how often does he speak with rabbanim who lead chesder yeshivot?

      Delete
    3. Ben I don't know his schedule - but that is not relevant. The question was whether he knows what is going on in Israel.

      Delete
    4. Ben's questions are quite relevant to the subject being discussed. "He knows what is going on in Israel"--from what sources?

      Found it interesting when a few weeks ago there was some aisfa between Charedi & Torah Religious Rabbanim discussing the new coalition. A few of the Charedi RY & a Chassidish Rebbe said they were not aware that there are 1000s of Bnei Torah learning in RZ Yeshivos, they thought they were farmers, esrog planters, and agriculture talmidim. HUH!!!! Is there an open awareness of what is happening and how?

      Delete
    5. the question remains - how does he know what is going on? i maintain that a person who never or at best rarely leaves his beit midrash, doesn't speak with people outside of his fold, or doesn't speak with people outside of his boundaries, does get outside information, doesn't know what is going on. i am not questioning his intelligence or ability to analyse.

      i will also note that as a leader of the eida, the Rav is coming from a certain perspective about the zionist entity which obviously colors every word he says.

      Delete
  14. Rabbi E,

    you wrote to someone: "the question is whether you believe that there is benefit to studying Torah and keeping mitzvos as a means of protecting society. If you don't believe this then you are obviously not an Orthodox Jew and the there is nothing more to talk about."

    What if one believes that studying Torah and keeping mitzvos is a means of protecting society when done on a societal level as opposed to being done by certain individuals? Furthermore, what if one believes that the above is true (either societally or even including individual level) but not mutually exclusive with serving in an army too? Does that make one "not an Orthodox Jew?"

    Is there a "purely orthodox hashkofa" which includes Torah study and mitzvah observance as an exclusive replacement for any need of other physical means of protection? (ie, what if one believes that it provides protection but still doesn't preclude the need for military protection? How else to explain King David's armies and those of other Jewish Kings - those of them who were actually righteous?)
    And has that been proven true in Jewish history? Proven to work?

    Could you elaborate on why you are opposed to army service in principle?
    Thank you and chag sameach.

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    Replies
    1. I have no problem with a range of emphasis and still being Orthodox. My problem was at the extremes. No I am not opposed to army service

      Delete
  15. Daas Torah wrote:
    "hakorast hatov doesn't demand being stupid or committing suicide."

    Yes, but historical lack of such results in the backlash that is currently occurring.

    And, when we are not just talking about lack of hakaras hatov, but vitriolic expressions of deep contempt and hatred, don't be surprised when the response is just the same, middah k'negged middah.

    (How much more so when those you have been insulting for the past decades are the ones who are financing your lifestyle and laying down their lives for you.)

    ReplyDelete
  16. what is your response to this www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/Draft-Dodgers-or-Deserters? is R slifkin not an orthodox Jew?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes R Slifkin is an Orthodox Jew. However as he told me he no longer considers himself charedi. His essay is appropriate for a debate of chulent on Shabbos. It does not have anything to do with the reality of the nature of the Jewish commmunity. One of the unfortunate consequences of the ban against him is that he was driven out of the community. He has become something of a guru for a certain disaffected element of the Orthodox world - but he doesn't really have any genuine responsiblity and thus he is free to say things that are detached from consequences to real people. If he were a congregation rav or was a rosh yeshiva - I think his comments would be different and I would take his views more seriously.

      Bottom line - the issue today is a pragmatic one - despite the fact that ideological language is being used by both sides. If the issue every becomes a pure theological one - R Slifkin would definitely be someone to consult.

      Delete
    2. "One of the unfortunate consequences of the ban against him is that he was driven out of the community... but he doesn't really have any genuine responsiblity and thus he is free to say things that are detached from consequences to real people. If he were a congregation rav or was a rosh yeshiva - I think his comments would be different and I would take his views more seriously"

      That is precisely what makes his statements so valuable. He is not beholden to the politics, money, and other attractions which can color the statements and decisions of others who have vested interests. How could a rosh yeshiva's opinion about this matter not be considered biased? He is the head of an institution, where he probably preaches to his students and the govt sources of funding that it protects society, which is now being questioned as a means of protection for society as a purely theological debate.... How can he participate in such a debate and be considered without bias?

      Delete
    3. "He has become something of a guru for a certain disaffected element of the Orthodox world "

      Perhaps a small-time "guru" (aka rabbinic leader) becomes a mainstream leader when enough "disaffected" people begin to view him as such. Disaffected elements need a rabbi too.

      Delete
  17. Just a quick question. From what I understand about the new draft law (I might be wrong). It is not the governments intention to actually arrest any hareidim evading the draft. The ramifications of draft evasion will be a loss of social benefits. Which in a world of people who have large families is admittedly quite a guillotine.

    The question that I have is that Rav Sternbuch is a member of the Eidat HaChereidit. They do not believe in taking social benefits from the state of Israel anyway. Do you get what I am asking?

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    1. Rav Sternbuch was presenting a Torah perspective - and that would include those who take benefits also

      Delete
  18. What is interesting is that the secular world mostly wants chareidim to work, pay taxes and go in the army... and that's how a lot of them understand "assimilate." If they'd rather learn Torah than play video games, it's a free country.
    The chareidi leadership hears "assimilate" and, so to speak, thinks tattoos, drugs and barbecuing pork on Shabbos as the inevitable result of job, army etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes the secular world would like the chareidim to be more like them - and then they would not view them a threatening - because they would not be chareidim and perhaps even be secular. [the same argument is used to explain anti-Semitism. If the Jews would just loosen up and not object to Christmas or eating bacon etc etc. "why do they have to be different?"

      I remember a discussion group I conducted in which I asked a group of non-Orthodox Jewish parents which would they viewed as more painful - a child who becomes Orthodox or joined Hari Krishna?

      It seemed that Orthodox was viewed as more painful because they viewed it as a direct rejection of their Judaism. Hari Krishna was just weird but was not viewed as a personal affront.

      Delete
    2. anti-semitism is not aimed at any specific sector of Jewry.
      It doesn't like secular Jews, or religious Jews. Even the anti-Zionist branch of amalek are not satisfied with attacking the State of Israel, but they claim a world conspiracy of elders of Zion. Iran recently attacked the Talmud as some conspiracy to do with drug trafficing or something equally ridiculous. This is Iran which welcomes meshugaim from ultra haredi sectors to their Holocaust conferences.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  19. I realize this post is not about Rav Shmuel Auerbach but both Rav Sternboch and he claim the goal of the agreement is to uproot Torah.

    I feel I must take this opportunity to ask the following question: Rav Auerbach claims the coAlition decree is shmad and therefore is yehareig v'al yavor.I cannot begin to fathom how this is shmad when
    1) the agreement even calls for INCREASED stipends for the more than 25 percent of yeshIva bochrim who are exempted from the draft or national service
    2) there are NO criminal penalaties for draft evasion as long as you are in yeshiva full time where as a draft evader not in yeshiva would face criminal penalties.

    Further, the Chazon Ish said that women being forced into the army was yehareg v'al yavor ---
    which clearly implies that if either you are not a woman or are no being forced (as no one is being forced according to the most recent coalition agreement) you do not have to give your life.
    furthermore many great Rabbonim served in armies in other countries even under force and they did not give their lives in order to avoid doing so. eg The Steipler Rav was in the Russian Army.
    Bottom line I feel the rhetoric of the chareidi rabbonim is way over the line and out of control and his is particularly disturbing when they are framing it in the context of halacha. To claim halachic basis for somethingwhen tere is not such a basis is Doraita lav and a massive chillul Hashem

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  20. The reason that the secular world fears Hareidim is not because they are differant, it is because they fear that Hareidim wish to ultimately control them. This fear is not completely irrational considering how people in Hareidi communities are treated when they do not tow the line. It is also when their leaders spew rhetoric publicly from a completely different era. In fact many totalitarian societies use this type of rhetoric.

    Also Hareidim have not exactly made it a secret what they think of secular values (western civilization) and the state of Israel in particular. Since it has been noted that hareidim are the fastest growing segment within the Jewish population with their demands growing for stricture complience in the public domain (i.e. no advertizements showing any females whatsoever and gender segregation on buses), yes many secular observers are getting anxious that this country could turn into a kosher style Iran.

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  21. The gov't is not proposing criminal penalties as a consequence of refusal to participate in civic service, only the loss of certain educational and housing benefits.

    As a member of the Eidah, Rav Sternbuch certainly holds that it is forbidden to take these benefits anyway.

    Daas Torah responded: : "Rav Sternbuch was presenting a Torah perspective - and that would include those who take benefits also."

    That's very generous of Rav Sternbuch to be thinking also of those who do something forbidden and transgress Eidah Da'as Torah, but it does leave one a bit incredulous as to why he would do so with such vitriol.

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  22. if rav sternbuch's concern is that the draft will lead to a breakdown in or end of the semi-autonomous status that the chareidi world has achieved, in that he is probably right to be concerned.

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    1. Therefore the Charedei world opposes ARMY ENLISTMENT for any Charedi young man whether he is learning or walking the streets. It is not shmad ONLY against BNEI TORAH, against any of its youth.
      It is not the lessening of Torah learning as understood it is placing cracks, openings and breaking down the autonomous status of the kehilla. That is the reason there have been no 'kol koreis' regarding non learning boys.

      Delete
  23. The "Total Goyim" quote in relation to religious zionists came from Shmarya Rosenberg:s blog. Glven his strong anti-religious bias, I now realize I should not rely on him for translation. I think Shmarya has uncovered critical problems in the Orthodox world, but as this mistranslation shows, additional objective research needs to be done before accepting Shmarya's posts as fact.

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    1. You mean to say you thought he might accurately report the views of Rav Sternbuch?! The mistranslation is obviously not the result of ignorance of Hebrew - but of someone who not only has "a strong anti- religious bias" - but one who has an all consuming hatred. There is an elementary requirement of giving someone the benefit of the doubt - which at least means checking the original and not relying on someone who has no greater joy in life then finding something negative to say about religious Jews.

      Delete
  24. "yes the secular world would like the chareidim to be more like them"

    My mother's family came from within the Pale, which means that when the Czar drafted Jews for his expansionist wars, they went because they weren't rich enough to bribe their way out. They payed high taxes for this privilege, too, and then paid the assessments of the kehillah, and likely kicked in something to the collectors from the Old Yishuv.

    While the Old Yishuv seems to be the ideal of the chareidi world (come to think of it, the Society for Creative Anachronism likes to dress up in medieval clothing and play out a fantasy version of the Middle Ages but they mostly go home after the weekend is ove to nice lives) nobody wants to actually live in the actual kind of squalor and poverty with no access to reliably clean water and nobody had effective medical care. Bandits made it much more dangerous to travel almost anywhere; in Eretz Yisrael, to go from Yerushalayim to Tzfat was a big deal and much more dangerous than crazy drivers make it today. Let's not forget that the best medicine of the day, which mostly wasn't available to the Yishuv, couldn't prevent the diseases that carried off many, if not most, of the children who were born, which tended to limit the population to the point that when somewhere between a few hundred and a thousand or so Ashkenazim came following R' Yehuda ha-Hasid it was a proportionately massive, destabilizing population increase even though the communities were supported by Jews all over the world and the Yishuv was a tiny fraction of the Jewish population of that world.

    [continued below]

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  25. So no, the secular world would like the chareidim to be more like the vast majority of their ancestors who worked hard for a living and payed taxes. They know that the current chareidi lifestyle is a radical innovation. When they think about it, they realize how fortunate they are to be paying their taxes to a Jewish state. (And by the way, part of the ideology of Zionism involved a sort of noblesse oblige of sacrifice in which the elites took the most risks in defending their communities, rather than the least as under the czars; that is still a factor today when the military units that are the sharp end of the spear are the most prestigious. It isn't all a macho thing, though that is a factor and it remains מסירת נפש ממש.) So yes, sharing the burden.

    I listened to Yair Lapid's red line speech. He understands the demographics correctly. Chareidi spokesmen brag about their end of it. So do the Arabs. Just looking at the chareidi sector: if half of the young men in Israel expect that the country will support them for life while they don't work they are out of their minds. Most "secular" Israelis aren't militant secularists. They are traditionalists and they know that Jewish tradition includes the burden of working for a living. That's what they want to share. Having learned job skills, they know by experience what many chareidim don't and, unfortunately, what most are told they shouldn't have to know: Smart but practically ignorant people cannot become full participants in a modern country without changing how they live.

    Since I seem to be in a vein of quoting classical American texts, here's another one:

    "... when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!"

    That's another burden most "secular" Israelis want to share, too. I think most of the rest of the verse applies for them as well.

    The current chareidi educational ideal was set up in a spiritual hora'at sha'ah; it paralleled a very real physical hora'at sha'ah which has undergone permutation but hasn't gone away. B"H, the worse than decimation of the world's Torah scholars is being repaired, maybe has been already. It's time for the chareidi world to grow up and join in. It's being given the opportunity to do so now, organically, by political means rather than by a new, physical hora'at sha'ah, R"L. History tells us this window of opportunity won't last.

    Chag kasher v'sameach to all.

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  26. If learning torah protects the state of Israel, what keeps the hareidim from learning Torah AND serving in the army?

    I hear there are even special combined 5-year-programs...

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    Replies
    1. Remark - you either are not capable of following the discussion or you are so obsessed with knocking chareidim you simply don't pay attention.

      Delete
  27. I am quite shocked that "torah learning protects the state of Israel" is used as an argument here to justify not drafting hareidim.

    If Hareidim are so sure that the army is superfluous, and it is better to rely on G-d only to protect the country, by the same token, they could abolish the health system and rely on the "rofeh kol bassar" only for their health care.

    Why don't they do it?

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    Replies
    1. Remark sorry to hear you are shocked - but it comes from not paying attention to the discussion.

      Delete
    2. I would add that not only does Torah help protect us, but abuse of Torah or its violation will remove that protection. if chas v'shalom something goes wrong, we should be honest about what went wrong, not create problems about G-d doing evil.

      Delete
  28. Recipients and PublicityMarch 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Note how Rav Shternbuch emphasizes that this matter is NOT just about forcibly conscripting Charedim, but it's a wide attack to ruin Yiddishkeit in Israel:

    "And since they have announced that they intend to mix into our educational systems, into Jewish religious courts [batei din], and to insert into the Jewish nation converts who do not accept upon themselves the yoke of Torah and of its commandments [mitzvos] who by virtue of Torah law are pure gentiles [goyim gemurim] , and to increase Sabbath desecration in the cities of Israel, and other decrees, all mainly to damage the world of Torah [olam haTorah] to bring about a decrease in those who study Torah and observe it."

    While the ultimate target is to change the Charedim, the "game plan" to get there is to:

    (a) Disrupt the pure Torah educational systems that function al pi taharas hakodesh under the guise of "improving" them with extraneous secular studies they have always shunned.

    (b) Disrupt and interfere with the Batei Din that, for all their imperfections, are the final adjudicators of Torah law for the majority of frum and a lot of Jews.

    (c) MOST dangerously, forcibly push through weak CONVERSIONS and bring in GENTILES who will be called "Jews" once they get watered-down and rubber-stamped conversions from Religious Zionist-controlled batei din and even worse just from the secular Israeli courts eventually.. Unfortunately this was already started by Rabbi Drukman, who supposedly converted 50,000 such people and then got the backing of the secular Israeli courts to back him up -- now there will be plans to convert all the remaining 300,000+ gentiles from the former USSR in Israel who are not Jews -- and then the biggy, recognizing the MILLIONS of American Reform-Liberla and Conservative-Egalitarian-Masorati and Conservadox-Moderdox "conversions" and even PATRILINEAL DESCENT as the Reform do so that people with 100% gentile mothers will also be recognized as "Jews" in Israel.

    All this with the aim of constantly fighting the perceived rising tide of Chareidi growth and eventual dominance of Israeli and Jewish society.

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    Replies
    1. Eida Hachareidis Time WarpMarch 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      There is an interesting dialectic in Rav Shternbuch's statement. He argues that the Yeshivos protect Klal Yisrael while the army plays no such role since they are an entity of znus whose sole objective is to destroy Torah. The Eida Hachareidis live in something of a time warp - projecting the extreme anti Chareidi secular Zionist past onto the present. The Eida Hachareidis constantly relive the days of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, and the murder of his protege, the anti-Zionist Yaakov deHaan under the direct order of the person who was to become the second president of the State of Israel, Yitzchak Ben Zvi. They therefore long for the days of the British mandate, and take no interest in the defense of the State of Israel. Unlike Degel Hatorah, Rav Shternbuch does not argue that those learning in Yeshiva are standing on the front lines alongside Israeli soldiers: the Eida Hachareidis reject the very idea of an Israeli soldier.

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    2. Eida Hachareidis Time WarpMarch 29, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      If you look closely at the proposal by Lapid and Bennett, there is no plan for forced conscription to the army, only a reduction in government benefits to those who do not enlist. Since the Eida Hachreidis has always been against accepting benefits from the State of Israel as an illegitimate entity, Rav Shternbuch and Yair Lapid are in total agreement!

      Delete
    3. here is some biography about DeHaan, who was one of the Eda's leading representatives:

      "In one of his poems he asks himself whether his visits to the Wailing Wall were motivated by a desire for God or for the Arab boys there.[7]

      He endeavoured to get an agreement with Arab nationalist leaders to allow unrestricted Jewish immigration into Palestine in exchange for a Jewish declaration foregoing the Balfour Declaration.[8] During this time it is alleged that he continued to have relationships with men, including Arabs from east Jerusalem.[2]"

      from wikipedia

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    4. Recipients and PublicityMarch 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      1 of 2:

      "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp said...There is an interesting dialectic in Rav Shternbuch's statement."

      RaP: And it is NOT what you go on to say because you either misunderstand or twist what he does say.

      "He argues that the Yeshivos protect Klal Yisrael while the army plays no such role since they are an entity of znus whose sole objective is to destroy Torah."

      RaP: No, he does NOT say ANY of this. He does not say anywhere that the Israeli army "does not" protect Israel. He does not even go anywhere near that topic, because it's would be foolish to say that "the army is not an army and is not doing it's job" -- which it is as an army, but it is not a place for a Chareidi bochur"! What he does say, is a pretty simple Torah hashkofa that any cheder boy should know, and that is, that limud HaTorah (sincere Torah study) by dedicated Torah scholars is a spiritual "shield" that protects the Jewish people above and beyond anything else. He does say that a religious person faces great dangers when going into the army, because unfortunately in the Israeli army can be found immorality (as everyone knows, when the chayalim and chayalot get together it becomes "freilach") and this would be dangerous for young people coming from strictly Chareidi homes who would get morally polluted as has been proven. He is not telling secular Israelis or even the Religious Zionists what to do, and nowhere does he say they should "not" be in the army. It is their problem and let them deal with it if they want to. But as far as Chareidm are concerned they should stay away because the army environment is not for them as they will face situations that will actively try to undermine and destroy their frumkeit and Yiddishkeit. That is what he is saying.

      "The Eida Hachareidis live in something of a time warp - projecting the extreme anti Chareidi secular Zionist past onto the present."

      RaP: No, they are not in any time warp. They are living the same Torah way of life that Torah Jews have lived for millennia. Certainly it is the way of life Jews have lived since the destruction of the Second Bais HaMikdosh and the ensuing 2,000 year golus, and their methods and approach have always been with an eye to keeping the Torah and mitzvos as they live in the here and now on the road to the coming of the true Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Third Temple. It's actually quite obvious and it has worked quite well for them. That is why so many seculars feel threatened, because the Chareidim have succeeded too much and now there is an alliance between the secular and Religious Zionists to CH"V clip the wings and even emasculate the successful Chareidim who they feel will soon be in the Jewish majority not just in Israel but all over the world. It's obvious what's happening.

      Delete
    5. Recipients and PublicityMarch 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      2 of 2:

      "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp said...The Eida Hachareidis constantly relive the days of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, and the murder of his protege, the anti-Zionist Yaakov deHaan under the direct order of the person who was to become the second president of the State of Israel, Yitzchak Ben Zvi."

      RaP: Yes, they remember history and too bad you cite this example of the proof that Zionists will murder fellow-Jews in order to achieve their Zionist delusions. You also cite a good example of Chareidi influence because DeHaan was actually a prototype of the classical Baal Teshuva; he was a secular genius far removed from any Yiddishkeit but with his posting in then Palestine as a brilliant Dutch journalist and diplomat he became a Baal Teshuva when he saw the greatness of Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld first hand and gave his life to help the frum Yishuv which at that time was the main body of the Jews in Turkish (from the 1400s to 1917) and then British Palestine (until 1947). Most secular Jews did not make aliya it was mostly Charedi type Jews (from the time of the GRA and the BESHT and CHASAM SOFER who created the "old Yishuv" of the Eidah) who came to learn and live and die in Eretz Yisroel. Do you know why he was assassinated? because he was SUCCESSFULLY negotiating with the Arabs to give up Trans-Jordan, what is now Jordan, to the Arabs and create a "two state solution" before anyone even heard of this notion. For that the socialist Hagana ordered his murder -- but hey guess what -- at the end it was the same socialist Zionists who became the biggest proponents of the two state solution -- Ben Gurion agreed to it in 1947even in what was left of Palestine on the west bank, and the UN okayed it, and that even Netanyahu of the Likud have now agreed to OFFICIALLY -- all this was DeHaan's, and Rav Yose Chaim Zonnenfeld's idea in the first place -- not bad for people living in your so-called "time-warps" huh? in fact they were ahead of their time and that is why the Hagana panicked and had him gunned down as he was coming out of shull one night, like cowards..

      "They therefore long for the days of the British mandate, and take no interest in the defense of the State of Israel."

      RaP: Also false. If you read the history of that era you will know that Meah Shearim and the Eidah helped Begin and Shamir hide from the British and they actively helped support the fight to get rid of the British. It was only once the official state got going in 1948 and adopted active anti-Chareidi policies that the position of the Eidah hardened and the Neturei Karta gained a foothold.

      "Unlike Degel Hatorah, Rav Shternbuch does not argue that those learning in Yeshiva are standing on the front lines alongside Israeli soldiers: the Eida Hachareidis reject the very idea of an Israeli soldier."

      RaP: Nowhere does he say any of this. You are creating this out of thin air. It is a shameless lie. Degel haTorah has the same HASHKOFA as the Eidah, but years ago, there were gedolim like the Chazon Ish, The Gerrer Rebbes, and Rav Aron Kotler who ruled that it is IMPERATIVE to be "on the inside" and try to achieve the same goals that the Eidah holds to. You obviously miss the point that it is the UTJ (that you want to paint as a bunch of "Bnai Akiva boychiks" lehavdil) who are fighting against conscription. They are the ones who sat in the previous government to help Chareidm and have now been shut out. They are the ones fighting the proposals of the Lapid-Bennett-Netanyahu axis, and the Eidah is way on the outside as their people do not take government money and stay away from the Knesset (per the rulings of their gedolim), so it is in fact very generous of Rav Shternbuch to write anything. If anything this is a letter of support and ruling that HELPS UTJ and connects them, rather than there being the kind differences you are falsely trying to conjure up.

      Delete
    6. Recipients and PublicityMarch 31, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      "Eddie said...here is some biography about DeHaan, who was one of the Eda's leading representatives: "In one of his poems he asks himself whether his visits to the Wailing Wall were motivated by a desire for God or for the Arab boys there...During this time it is alleged that he continued to have relationships with men, including Arabs from east Jerusalem."

      DeHaan's alleged homosexuality is not a new "discovery" and it is hitting "below the belt" to throw this at him. He was a famous Baal Teshuva at a time when it was unheard for secular Jews to begin such a journey in life, and who had accepted the Hashkofas of Yiddiskeit, but it seems, like is so often the case with Baalei Teshuva he may have had other deeper personal issues that he never resolved. He was cut down in a hail bullets by a fellow Jew in the prime of his life and therefore his evolution and growth as a Baal Teshuva was also stopped, meaning that his ability to resolve his own struggles with his own yetzer horas and demons was also stopped. And obviously that was a time when psychology and therapy was very new and hardly available in old Palestine.

      It has been said that Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld knew of this issue and supposedly said he only took responsibility for what DeHaan did "above his shoulders" or something to that effect. But as for DeHaan's sincerity in starting the long road of becoming a true Baal Teshuva and devoting his life to the Da'as Torah of Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfled, no one questions that. If anything, DeHaan had such a wide personal history, and like many such people his experiences and interests in life were much wider and yes even stranger: He was a famous Dutch writer, author, journalist, poet, musician, definitely very "artsy", philosopher, a linguist who spoke read and wrote multiple languages fluently, he was married to a gentile woman who he gave up, and had access to the royal court not just of Holland but to many of Europe and he was a famous high-ranking DIPLOMAT who could get things done since he knew the language and byways of international diplomacy, and why he was so valued by Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld and why he was targeted for death by the Haggana establishment who viewed him as a true rival who could outmaneuver them, for that he was assassinated al kiddush Hashem so that in one moment he want from a struggling famous Baal Teshuva to the status of martyr and probably a Kadosh whose ugly death, a misa meshuna, was probably mechaper for all of his avonos.

      Interestingly, nowadays we have roshei yeshiva and gedolim such as Rav Aron Feldman Shlit"a who have publicly written letters of encouragement to Baalei Teshuva struggling with their homosexual tendencies and behaviors in more practical ways acknowledging the problem and encouraging a final remedy and not just condemning it:

      "Rabbi Aharon Feldman, at that time the dean of an ultra-orthodox Yeshivah in Jerusalem, writes [in a letter to a homosexual Ba'al Teshuvah, which was published in the spring issue of Jewish Action Magazine, 1998]:

      A Jewish homosexual has to make a commitment to embark on a course where he will ultimately rid himself of homosexual activity. It is not necessary that he change his sexual orientation (if this is at all possible), but that he cease this activity. It is obvious that for many people this will be difficult, and will have to be accomplished over a period of time...."

      and for DeHaan that time was cut short by the Haggana assassins (for political reasons of their own that have NOTHING to do with sexual immorality which they practiced just as much) so that they must also take full responsibility for STOPPING not just DeHaan's political successes that so frightened them but also of STOPPING DeHaan's obviously sincere ongoing Teshuva process on the road to a Teshuva Sheleimah before the kisei hakavod!

      Delete
    7. I am in no way condoning his assassination.
      As far as BTs are concerned, there was already a BT movement which Rav Kook had started by his engagement of the secularists - something that he paid a very high price for.
      In fact, there was an occasion when R Kook and R Sonnenfeld went on a mitzvah campaign to the secular kibbutzim.
      I don't know much about the real R Sonnenfeld, since his character has been hijacked by extremists for political reasons.
      I am not criticizing RAP on this, but the issue of Gay Orthodox is a serious one, and whenever accommodating words are made by MO, they are attacked by the types who follow R' Sonnenfeld. Thus, I think it is ironic that the champion of the Eda's orthodoxy was himself an extremely perverted fagele and pederast. How do we know that he wasn't an abuser of Jewish children too, since there was no reporting in those days.

      As for his activities and negotiations, again, I don't know what he achieved, but the few online stories say he wished to prevent a State from forming and to abolish the Balfour declaration.

      Delete
    8. Recipients and PublicityApril 1, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      @EddieMarch 31, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      This whole insertion of the Rav Zonnenfeld & DeHaan issue into this thread by poster "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp" @March 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM is just an obvious curve ball and straw man argument that has nothing to do with anything. I only responded to it because he mentioned a number of things entirely out of context. He is obviously not a serious poster. A discussion about how Orthodoxy, from the left to the most right wing spectrums, view the challenges of homosexuality is indeed a fascinating, valid and important topic, but it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. If the owner of this blog wishes, he may want to start a different thread about what the Halacha has to say about LGBT Jews and how to deal with being LGBT and still try to be frum or just Jewish. A serious issue, but again nothing to do with the discussion of Rav Shternbuch. May as well mention every scandal that has happened to secular Israeli politicians over the decades, and there have been MANY, it will also not help this discussion and be just as irrelevant. So let's stay focused please.

      You can see just how silly poster "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp" when @March 29, 2013 at 6:43 PM he states: "If you look closely at the proposal by Lapid and Bennett, there is no plan for forced conscription to the army, only a reduction in government benefits to those who do not enlist."

      RaP: That is a total falsehood, and it's laughable, because while there are no SEVERE laws on the books yet, just little ones creeping up from many directions, but in the build up to the elections both Bennet and Lapid are on record as advocating conscription of the Chareidim no different to anyone else under the slogan "sharing the burden" -- or as they say in Ivrit: "shivyon banetel".

      "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp" also says: "Since the Eida Hachreidis has always been against accepting benefits from the State of Israel as an illegitimate entity, Rav Shternbuch and Yair Lapid are in total agreement!"

      RaP: Another silly comment because Rav Shternbuch is not talking about taking or not taking money from anyone. The ONLY major concern he has is that Chareidim, meaning ALL Chareidim must resist the call to be drafted IN ANY FASHION because it is part of something more far-reaching that the authorities have in mind:

      (a) Changing the traditional Chareidi chinuch systems;

      (b) Mixing into and interfering with Batei Din;

      (c) Legitimating weak conversions of gentiles who do not accept Torah umitzvos and are hence "goyim gemurim";

      (d) Increasing chillul Shabbos in Israeli cities;

      (e) and more such harmful gezeiros.

      The net result of the above is NOT just to conscript Chareidim but to change the Yiddishkeit of the Chareidim by means of all of the above and more, and he warns that by a Chareidi entering the Israeli army there is a real danger of losing one's faith totally.

      There is no talk of "money" by Rav Shternbuch, and in fact he mentions that even though there will be "punishments and [financial and other] PENALTIES" it will NOT succeed in breaking the spirit of the Chareidim -- all of which is diametrically opposed to what Lapid and Bennett hope to accomplish and what poster "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp" is saying, since in any case "Eida Hachareidis Time Warp" is obviously not interested in sticking to a discussion but to just throw in bombs that he hopes will derail people from thinking rationally and logically and focusing on the facts and not on narishkeiten.

      Delete
  29. Rav Tzadok

    a) i apologize for the ad hominem remark.
    b) there are more issues involved in going volunteer than money. like i said, going to a situation where the army is made up of nothing but DLs, sefardim, russian and ethiopians wanting a ticket into israeli society, and empty of tel avivians and bnei brakkers will be devastating to israeli society.

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    Replies
    1. Personally I'm not sure that you would have an absence of Tel Avivians, anymore than you have an absence of Bostoners(or your liberal New England city of choice) in the US Army. However what you will not have is people who do not want to be there and thus pose a danger to the lives of their comrades. Just read the Gilad Shalit interviews to see what comes of under-motivated and under-trained soldiers.

      Yes the Army would cease to be the supposed "glue" that holds Israeli socieity together, however with increasing rates of Seculars getting deferrals it is already heading that way. And yes once service is no longer compulsory the liberal media will soon feel free to sneer down their noses at the military(much like it does in England and the US). However I still say the net gain is better than what we have now.

      Delete
    2. making it official (the army is not for everyone) is making a statement. people often say "there are so many people who get married in cyprus, sign a contract, live together, etc, why not have the state allow these modes officially?" and the answer given by the religious lobby is always "that would be making a statement about the nature of the jewish state." same thing for changing the army in the way that you propose.

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    3. How would changing the army change the nature of the Jewish state? If you are saying that the army should be inefficient and put Jewish lives in needless risk, that doesn't sound very Jewish to me. Making the army more efficient and doing it's utmost to safeguard Jewish lives would be reflective of Jewish values.

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    4. OK i wasn't clear. i didn't mean that it would change the nature of the jewish state.

      try again:

      just like we say that changing the marriage laws to allow marriage outside of the millet system framework (ya'ani recognizing reality) would make an official statement about the nature of the jewish state, so too changing the nature of army service such that certain groups legally disappear from the ranks (ya'ani recognizing reality) would ALSO make an official statement.

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    5. So let me understand you. In order to make sure that every element of society, from the liberal Tel Avivian to the Serugi to the Sephardi to the Meah Shearim Chareidi are equally represented in the military you are willing to suffer inefficiency that endangers lives of both servicemen and civilians?

      Delete
    6. Given the long ramp up that it takes for a democracy to raise and train an army capable of meeting at least one possible existential danger, the answer might be yes: invasion or threatened invasion on one or more broad fronts, as in 1973. That doesn't appear to be a significant threat at the moment. Can you say that it won't be under a Muslim Brotherhood government unable to keep the mobs fed? Jordan if the monarchy falls to a faction that insists on immediate contiguity?
      In the absence of a population with basic training and military experience, would Israel be forced into the first use of weapons of mass destruction to meet such a threat? what would the consequences of THAT be?

      Delete
    7. yoel b

      even i have to admit you went pretty far with that post. the army has to be built based on predictions, not what ifs. for the foreseeable future egypt is out of the picture for a variety of reasons, even if the MB can't feed anyone.

      if jordan fell to the palestinians, that would be a dream come true (for many israelis).

      again, most people in the army aren't combat soldiers (something like 4/5). no one, but no one, wants a 100% draft.

      Delete
    8. Rav tzadok

      i'm saying two things:

      1) i don't buy your picture of all the advantages of a volunteer army.
      2) such a huge change means huge consequences, many of which will be unforeseen. that type of things requires huge thought before being done.

      you have no problem that other people will die and chareidim will simply sit in kollel or learning programming BECAUSE chareidim aren't up to the challenge of army and keeping the chareidi lifestyle?

      Delete
    9. you have no problem that other people will die and chareidim will simply sit in kollel or learning programming BECAUSE chareidim aren't up to the challenge of army and keeping the chareidi lifestyle?

      I think you are mistaking me and my opinions for a certain troll that you have been arguing at length with about this.

      I've never said that Chareidim aren't up to the challenge of Army. In my opinion the Army doesn't want greater Chareidi enlistment. If it did it would have expanded Nachal Chareidi a long time ago, instead of baiting Chareidim in with the promise of Nachal Chareidi and then shoving them into units where they aren't even provided Kosher food, aren't permitted to daven ect. Akiva Paths has a long and detailed post about how that happened to his son, and how his family has since decided that the Army is not for them on account of it.

      The beauty of AVF, aside from the fact that it is more effecient and casualty rates are lower is that no one is being forced to carry a burden others reject. Instead the volunteers choose to serve their populations(much like those in Nachal Chareidi currently do) and thus shoulder responsibility on account of their ability to see beyond themselves. It is called higher virtue.
      The only purely conscript Army that ever came close to working was the Soviet Army, but are you really willing to do what is required for that? There they had execution for loss of a weapon(not amnesty day). Gilad Shalit would have been shot upon his return(if they deigned to bargain for him) given that he disobeyed orders, did not fight, and abandoned his weapon. Then his family would have been billed for the bullet that killed him, and the training that was wasted upon him. That kind of fear is the only way you can motivate people who don't want to be there in the first place.
      Even then look at casualty rates differnces between any AVF and conscript Army in any relative conflict. The differences are staggering. Take Afghanistan for example. The Soviets(and their Afghan allies) had 32000+ men killed, and 53000+ wounded. Same theatre of action with AVF the US and it's allies had 3254 killed and 23000+ wounded.

      Yeah I have no problem that some will choose to make a sacrifice for the greater good of their society while others, be they Chareidi or secular choose not to, so long as it is their choice, and they are not forced to fight next to someone that doesn't want to be there, and will get them killed.

      Delete
    10. Recipients and PublicityApril 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      'Rabbi Michael Tzadok said...I think you are mistaking me and my opinions for a certain troll that you have been arguing at length with about this."

      Hi there cowboy!

      PLEASE: Answer Ben Waxman's posts or questions that he poses directly to you, it's obvious he is smart enough to know you are not me!

      Sorry, but while it may seem to you that Ben Waxman is being unfair, but Ben Waxman lumps anyone who is not like him into one stereotype. So please try to answer him without using me as a straw man, because Waxman is quite intelligent, without resorting to calling other good faith posters around here "trolls", especially ones who have given years of reliable FREE service -- so hey how about giving some of the Kabbalistic stuff you supposedly know so much about in response to Ben Waxman, let the world see how Kabbalah can help resolve the current situation.

      Funny also how you are so SILENT about the BERLAND catastrophe, where a big-league supposed mekubal is now revealed to be a worse sex fiend than Leib Tropper, while you have nothing to say. Too busy with other things lately?

      Here is a brain teaser for you that I have been wondering about: how the Breslov-brand Kabbalah has so misled the likes of Shlomo Carlebach the singer and now Eliezer Berland and his family, and you know what, on the quiet, Leib Tropper was also a big "chosid" of Carlebach (they were related) and knew a lot about how to pervert Yiddishkeit in order to get access to vulnerable females -- all in the tradition of course of worthy latter-day Sabbateans. How about something from you on that, instead of making snide remarks about posters you don't like that proves nothing, just that you are very frustrated.

      Again: Answer Ben Waxman's posts or questions that he poses directly to you, leave me out of the equation as I can answer him myself if need be, it's obvious Ben Waxman is smart enough to know you are not me and that I am not you!

      Delete
  30. Regarding the state of the Israeli army, I'd like to quote a few statements from an interesting book I've been reading "Endless War" by Ralph Peters, a (retired) American Christian army officer. The book is generally quite pro-Israel, and anti-Islam, and describes in detail the massive centuries long conflict between Islam and the Christian West.

    From "Endless War":
    "I was privileged to be able to go to Israel midway through the war in the summer of 2006. It was heartbreaking to go up to the front lines...It just broke my heart to see what was happening...Israel lost..the Israel Defense Forces absolutely need profound reform...leadership was absolutely abysmal...tactically, the IDF ground forces I saw were pathetic...the reserve system doesn't work anymore...the citizen soldier doesn't work in the 21st century...a system that relies so heavily upon reservists simply can't attain the requisite level of professionalism...(the IDF has) got to become more professional...the IDF was badly led at its top...Israeli air and naval forces performed very well with civilian reservists...the IDF needs a professional NCO corps."

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  31. interesting little tidbit:

    bit.ly/11El7sH

    Rav Ovadia and Rav ELYASHIV (emphasis added) were the ones who gave their stamp of approval to founding the nachal chareidi

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  32. If, as a religious Zionist, I hate Judaism does that mean I can stop davening, keeping kosher and learning Torah now?

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  33. Kalonymus AnonymusAugust 18, 2019 at 1:17 PM

    The chareidi gedolim in Europe, who were even more knowledgeable than today's rabbis, made the same claim that Torah study would protect them in this world. They were repeatedly wrong.
    The eidah is a small sector of the hareidi population.
    There is a great falsehood perpetuated by this kind of argument _ that the authorities want the hareidim to forget their learning.
    No, they want a larger pool of soldiers, to lower the average burden in the army.
    The hareidi youth have gained guerilla warfare experience by their protests and clashes with the police, and cars. Not to mention regular fighting in yeshiva, bomb making, rock throwing etc. Also attacking women. All these activities has given them military experience, and taken away from their alleged Torah studies. But this was under directives of rabbis, not government.
    Even some gedolim were attacked, stones, tomatoes etc were thrown at them.
    Next, a Rav cannot rely on miracles. This is another deception in general used by chareidim. The Talmud says we do not rely on miracles, but when it comes to security, they claim we can only rely on miracles.
    Thus, irrational claims will nullify the psak of such rabbis. Can you imagine a case where the rabbi says you don't need to worry about insect infestation on vegetables because if you have faith there will not be insects. If you study Torah when your vegetables will be immune from infestation. But where it comes to other types of infestation such as terrorists they make precisely this kind of absurd remark.

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