Monday, June 3, 2013

' Thank you ' Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid !: You Have Paradoxically United the Charedi Torah World Like Never Before In Recent Memory !

Guest Post by RaP   Charedi life in Israel is very complicated and competitive and disunited. Degel HaTorah , the Israeli Litvish Charedi political party was founded in 1988 after Rav Elazar Shach z"l finally consolidated his break with the Chasidish-dominated Agudas Yisroel party. Along the way, in 1984, Rav Shach partnered with Rav Ovadia Yosef to launch Shas the political party of Charedi Israeli Sefardim.

Since then, from 1984 until 2013, for a period of almost three decades, these three Charedi political blocks were in competition with each other for positions in government alliances and national, regional and local rabbinates, allocation of government funds and for general political influence. At times the Ashkenazim of Degel HaTorah and Agudah united for elections to form Yahadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism [UTJ]) formed in 1992, and competed head to head with the Sefardi Shas party. At other times, the Shas party joined the government and UTJ sat it out. But there was little overall unity as each set of Gedolim and rabbis went their own way fighting for their own slices of the big pie in and out of government to fund various yeshivas, schools, programs and getting help for its people from the Israeli socialistic welfare state in myriads of ways.

No more! With the rise of Yair Lapid and his activist progressive Yesh Atid party, founded in 2012 , becoming a key partner in the latest Israeli government coalition whereby they insisted that "no Charedi" party be in the government coalition -- the Charedim of  Israel have been thrown out of government and are now forced to be united in the face of the common threats against them.

What they could not do on their own, Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party and  agenda have done for and to them. Like when the Maskilim and Zionists of old  became emboldened, the Misnagdim and Chasidim closed ranks and united against the common threat against them that is part of the history of the rise of the Agudah movement : This phenomenon sounds familiar (from Wikipedia): "World Agudath Israel was established at a conference held at Kattowitz (Katowice) in 1912 after the Tenth World Zionist Congress had defeated a motion by the Torah Nationalists Mizrachi movement for funding religious schools."

Precisely one hundred years later, it looks like we are back to square one! There have now been a series of anti-Charedi proposals and actions that have been emanating from the new Israeli government that is "free of Charedim" with raw insults emanating of "parasites" and worse -- while of course every ruling clique must have it's "court Jew" and Yesh Atid has ensured that it has a modern progressive American Charedi in its ranks as well, namely Rabbi Dov Lipman who has been a lightning-rod for much criticism from his own circles in America and Israel.

The main thrust and weapon of the new coalition is encapsulated in a grand new slogan of "shivyon banetel" ("sharing in [the] burden") whereby Charedim are being threatened with criminal prosecution and jail-time if they don't sign up for and then join the Israeli army. There is even a political czar or commissar who is fittingly a former head of the vaunted Shin Bet security services Yakov Peri who heads a Knesset commission to plan and implement all of this.

This is furthermore backed up with threats of financial blackmail towards the oldest bastions of Torah, the yeshivas that have been the backbone of the Jewish people for over 2,000 years, and their roshei yeshiva, who will face cutbacks and penalties or criminal charges unless they deliver their talmidim to the army. Suddenly the secular Yesh Atid party is an expert concerning the most complex core of the Jewish people as a Torah nation.

It does not stop there. The Israeli tax authorities, under the guidance of both Yair Lapid as Finance Minister and his political partner "Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor" Naftali Bennett from the new Bayit Yehudi party founded in 2008, have agents investigating and prosecuting all sorts of Charedi-owned and run businesses and operations that are unique to Israel and the frum world. Even regular Israeli politicians are saying this is just obviously a Charedi "witch hunt"! Minister Lapid has been noticeably absent from important economic panels, forums and international meetings with all sorts of excuses. While he does not hide the fact that he does not have a background in economics, in fact his education did not go beyond high school, here is what Wikipedia says about Lapid's "education" : "As a teenager, Lapid struggled with learning disabilities, and dropped out of high school, and never earned a bagrut (high school matriculation certificate)..." yet this is the "expert" on economics who now wants to tell all the Charedi "Gemora Kups" how to run "Yiddisha Gesheften" ! And in spite of the fact that General Moshe Yaalon, the current Israeli Defense Minister OPPOSES the forced mass conscription of Charedim, yet Minister Lapid threatens to bring down the government if he does not get his way.

It gets worse. Latest reports are that the Israeli tax authorities are demanding that Charedi families who have made weddings and simchas show proof of how they paid, where the money came from and who it was paid to. This is a new level of obnoxious intrusiveness that has started to alienate many prospective Olim and, well, what can one say, it is just downright crazy if not plain evil!

So what has all this produced besides all the headlines and recriminations back and forth? One BIG thing! The Charedi world is now united as never before! Now that Shas and UTJ are in the opposition in the Israeli Knesset, they have united in the face of the common threats they face.

Rav Shteinman sounds like Rav Yosef who sounds like the Chasidic Rebbes who sound like all the other Gedolim in the Charedi Torah world. It's not just the rise of a united political front, as symbolized by the fact that the Litvish Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Degel HaTorah and the Chasidish Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudah have recently met JOINTLY for the first time since
1988, bringing Litvaks and Chasidim together, but also Charedi Sefardim have united with the Charedi Ashkenazim and Rav Yosef comes to dance with the Belzer Rebbe who it appears is emerging as a key mastermind in the Charedi struggle against the Yesh Atid onslaught against the Israeli Charedi world.

Even more, in one fell swoop, Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid have STRENGTHENED Torah learning. Now all the Gedolim from all the spectrums are calling for more intense Torah learning. Even New yeshivas are being set up, such as by Rav Moshe Shternbuch. A recent letter from Rav Shteinman says that perhaps these challenges against the Torah world are coming about precisely because there has been a slackening of Torah study. But this message is coming from ALL the Charedi rabbis of all walks, and it is all thanks, paradoxically of course, to the loud and clear and unambiguous threats emanating from Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid colleagues.

So if one wanted to know how Charedim are thinking in the face of all the threats, what would be a typical "lesson" to point out? There is a famous Chazal and it's worth repeating here because it seems that so many enemies of the Charedi Torah world just do not grasp just who they are dealing with:

" (From: Rabbi Akiva's Teachings ): ...Amongst Rabbi Akiva's teachings was that a person should accept suffering with humility and be prepared to give his life for G-d and His Torah. Rabbi Akiva practiced in life what he taught. When the wicked Roman government decreed that study of the Torah was forbidden on penalty of death, Rabbi Akiba continued to study and teach Torah. When he was asked by Pappus ben Yehudah whether he feared the government and its decrees, he replied with a parable of a fox who was walking along a stream and saw some fishes gathering together. The fox asked the fishes why are they gathering at this point, the fish replied that they were hiding from the fishermen's nets. The fox said to them that they should
come up on the dry land and dwell together with the fox. The fish answered that if in the water which is their natural habit they are in danger, how much more so if they leave it and try to dwell in a place with no water!

'So it is with me,' Rabbi Akiva explained, 'If while we study Torah we are in danger, how much more so if we neglect it!'

A few days later Rabbi Akiba was arrested and imprisoned. Pappus ben Yehudah was also placed in the prison with him. Rabbi Akiba asked him for what reason is he imprisoned, Pappus replied, 'Happy for you Rabbi Akiba that you have been imprisoned for learning Torah; woe unto me who has been imprisoned for vain things.'

When Rabbi Akiba was taken out to be killed his flesh was raked with iron combs to increase his suffering. As he recited the Shema Israel for the last time, his face had a beautiful smile of pleasure. His torturer called to him to explain his pleasure. He replied that all his life he wanted to fulfill the edict of the Torah that one should '…love G-d with all of one's heart, and of one's soul and all of one's might' He said he had been saddened to think that he knew not how he could love Him with all of his soul (life). However now that he was giving his life at the time of saying Shema, how can he not be pleased..."

So, thank you Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid for bringing the Charedi Torah world to such similarly high levels of mesiras nefesh (self-sacrifice) because the Torah world will now PARADOXICALLY become much stronger and better because of you and your "proposals"!


  1. Recipients and PublicityJune 3, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Israel National News / Arutz Sheva:

    "Hareidi IDF Rabbi: Forced Enlistment? This Means War

    Hareidi IDF rabbi, Nachal Hareidi co-founder, threatens zero cooperation if government tries to force enlistment.

    By Maayana Miskin

    If the state tries to force hareidi-religious men to enlist in the IDF, hareidi men will stop enlisting even in the existing programs for hareidi soldiers, Rabbi Yoel Shwartz has warned.

    Rabbi Shwartz is one of the rabbis and co-founders of the Netzach Yehuda (Nachal Hareidi) Brigade, a brigade created for hareidi-religious soldiers.

    He spoke Sunday to Kol B’Rama radio, a hareidi station. “If this assault continues, will the rabbi end his involvement with Nachal Hareidi?” the interviewer asked, referring to the government-appointed Perry Committee plan to require hareidi men to enlist and consider their non-enlistment a criminal offense..

    Rabbi Shwartz answered, “It’s not that I will end my involvement – everyone will end their involvement. Nobody will enlist. There will be no more Shachar Kachol, no Netzach Yehuda, nothing.”

    “The military has realized that if it wants to enlist hareidi men, it has to give them what they need in terms of religious observance,” he continued. “With Netzach Yehuda, the army has met all of the conditions for the past 14 years. As long as it’s under the supervision of rabbis and it’s possible to keep Torah and mitzvoth [commandments – ed.], you have enlistment.”

    “If that’s not there – it’s over,” he warned. “Nobody will dare to enlist.”

    He suggested that enlistment stop already. “If parents were to ask me, I would tell them to wait for now, until it becomes clear whether the state wants to be a true partner to all of its citizens, or to compel its citizens using force,” he said.

    “If it wants to compel its citizens with force – we won’t be there,” he concluded."

    1. "If it wants to compel its citizens with force – we won’t be there,"

      I do respect R Yoel, but this is not a very smart statement.
      The Government must compel its citizens in certain issues, such as taxes, also in self defence.
      Would the Haredim see fit to refuse any other area of Law, eg paying taxes, keeping speed limits on the roads, etc, if the Government enforces the law of the land? This is ridiculous, and criminal. Perhaps the implied message is that Haredim see themseles as above any secular law, and they will break those laws as and when it suits them?

    2. No other Parliamentary democracy in the world has a conscript army, including your own home nation of England. They have all seen the benefits of an all volunteer force. Only totalitarian regimes and Israel have conscript armies. Reason being that they want to force a set of ideals upon their people.
      This is shamad plain and simple, and it is the duty of every Jew to resist.

    3. anonymous for this oneJune 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Perhaps it's time to admit to ourselves that Israel itself is a totalitarian regime. Because other parliamentary systems also have direct election, which Israel does not. It has always been a shmad before anyone wanted to draft a single haredi. It's amazing to me that now that MY TYPE OF JEW is involved, all of a sudden let's all cry shmad. But if it's the chilonim or traditional Jews being persecuted by govt, well not our problem right? This whole thing makes me sick.

    4. Ramatz, my own nation of England did have conscription until a generation ago. The reason they stopped it was because after WW2 and the end of the Empire, the threat level was low enough, and the population was large enough, to have a professional volunteer army. If UK was at constant threat of war (which may happen in the future), they would start conscription again.
      Next, your comment about set of ideals and shamad is total nonsense. Of course I don't blame you for it, since you are relying on gedolim who make the same statement.
      The Chofetz Chaim wrote a halchic guide on what to do in army consription in Europe. there, there was no kashrut, no shabbes or yom tov, no military rabbanut, and no Hesder agreements. Did The CC suggest martyrdom rather than conscription? Did any Rabbi suggest it in Europe?
      I refer again to the Steipler Rav, who served in a treif communist army. Why didn't he choose martyrdom?

      Ramatz, to claim that Israel doesnt need a conscript army shows the blatant disregard and ignorance of the security situation in the Middle East. However, gedolim were also blatantly oblivious to the security situation in Europe, and would mock those who wished to leave Europe or chas v'shalom go on Aliyah to Israel.

    5. Next, dear Michael, you are incorrect about conscription in the democratic world.

      It takes place in Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland, as well as Greece, and in many S. American countries.

      Furthermore, Israel's enemies are not the peace loving democracies of America and Europe, but the dictatorial and bloodthirsty tyrannical regimes that can be summed up by the civil war in Syria.

      So stop making up claims of Shamad, you ahve had it too easy since Israel was formed, to remember what a real shmad was. Perhaps you should refresh your memory by reading Rambam's Iggrot, since that is the situation that your Gedolim will be leading you to without an army.

    6. See table here which lists whether their is conscription, whether one can get alternative service(something that Lapid outlawed here in Israel for Chareidim) and what type of govt.

      No nation with a Parliamentary democracy(aside from Israel) has conscription.

      Furthermore you are dead wrong as to why the US and England and other Nato powers moved from conscription to all volunteer force. The reason was because it produced better soldiers more cost effectively and the nature of war changed.

      The Soviet Union was considered a huge threat until 1988. However, in WW2 battle strength in many nations was still being calculated by "lead weight" theory. The idea of highly trained soldiers that were force multipliers was as of yet largely unheard of.

      The nature of war has changed and today a conscript is nothing less than a liability. You need only read the story of Gilad Shalit's capture in his own words to realize that the reason for it was:
      1) He was an unmotivated conscript
      2) He was poorly trained because much needed funds for training go to new recruits, half of whom will only spend 18mos in the service(the minimum amount of time that the US and the UK take to train an infantryman).

      Finally Lapid has said again and again that his reason for wanting conscription of all chareidim, to deny chareidim hesder yeshivot(which religious zionists are permitted) and to criminalize draft avoidance is to force a culture change amongst Chareidim. He wants to force secular culture on Chareidim. To force them into compromising situations in the hope that more will abandon a Torah lifestyle. That is shmad.
      Which is precisely the reason that Naftali Bennett is fighting him on the subject of criminalizing(as opposed to economic sanction). Even Naftali Bennett realizes(and has said) that this is an an attempt at shmad.

    7. R' Tzadok,

      The classification of government types in is a bit tricky. Just choosing "Parliamentary Republic" is simply too narrow the purpose of this discussion; I mean, why specifically stick to countries with a *parliamentary* system as opposed to other structures of democratic representation (e.g., the US, for example)? There are many democratic, non-totalitarian states on that list that has a different classification (for example, the U.S. is listed as a "Constitution-based federal republic," and Japan as "Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary government").

      As an example, South Korea is a democratic state by any measure, and it most definitely has compulsory conscription for its male citizens.

      I'm not arguing on your overall thesis, but I think you're overplaying your cards in this particular argument you're making.

    8. RAMATZ:

      1) Did Hareidim request Hesder style service, or is it just a straw man argument you are raising?

      2) not all democracies have a parliamentary system, so your insistence on this term is not helpful tot he discussion.

      3) Conscription in UK was during the WW1 and WW2 periods, and ceased in 1960. We have a population of 50-60 million in UK since 1960. Israel has had a population of maybe 2M in 1960, and 6-7 million today. Uk's security situation has changed ,whereas Israel is still technically at war with Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hizbollah, and many Palestinian terror groups. UK does not have any threats to its mainland.

      4)Culture change that Lapid wanted to force was the one of evading military service. That is not shmad. If a group of Jews were evading Tax, and the governemnt collected tax by force, is that shmad? Perhaps you would claim so, but it shows how weak your argument is.

      5) You are having a feast with Gilad Shalit. If someone found 1 case of a Haredi yeshiv student who doesnt want to be there, or doesnt know much, is that proof that the entire system of yeshivot shoudl be scrapped? Your foolish argumentation only shows that logically you are yourself supporting a "shamd"

      6) I repeat, read rambam's iggeret Teiman and Iggeret Hashmad. I think you don't have a clue what religious shmad is. I am surprised that you have the title of Rabbi.
      Is the army or the government imposing upon Haredim either another religion or forcing them to become atheists? that would be considered shmad.
      No, what it is attempting to impose is to serve in the army. that is not shmad.

      There is a joke about an old Jewish man who walks into a lamp post , an calls the lamp post an anti-semite.

      by the way, would your Chevra prefer to be dhimmi under Islamic rule, whether Hamas sunni or iran/hizbolla shiite, than to have a strong IDF, which has Haredi soldiers ?
      I am sure that some in Meah Shearim would prefer an Islamic shmad to a zionist "shmad".

      As for your suggestions on the IDF's operational efficiency, perhaps you can use your credentials as a 5* General, and raise it with the Defence Ministry.

    9. > No other Parliamentary democracy in the world has a conscript army, including your own home nation of England

      With all due respect, no other parliamentary democracy in the world is surrounded by states dedicated to its destruction and the obsession of several others as well.

    10. 4)Culture change that Lapid wanted to force was the one of evading military service. That is not shmad. If a group of Jews were evading Tax, and the governemnt collected tax by force, is that shmad? Perhaps you would claim so, but it shows how weak your argument is.
      Not true. You simply haven't listened to his speeches, even those given in English. Spend some time on youtube hearing what he actually says and then come back with this.

      5) You are having a feast with Gilad Shalit. If someone found 1 case of a Haredi yeshiv student who doesnt want to be there, or doesnt know much, is that proof that the entire system of yeshivot shoudl be scrapped? Your foolish argumentation only shows that logically you are yourself supporting a "shamd"
      It isn't just what Gilad Shalit has done, it is that his actions, as the report notes are a known and accepted part of the Israeli military. Sleeping on watch, abandoning one's weapon, failing to engage a known and present threat(and the many other things that Shalit and his entire crew did) are court-martial offenses in every AVF in the world. It is only in conscript armies that these behaviors are shrugged off, and the truth is that they get people killed, like the rest of Shalit's tank crew.

      6) I repeat, read rambam's iggeret Teiman and Iggeret Hashmad. I think you don't have a clue what religious shmad is. I am surprised that you have the title of Rabbi.
      You seem to think that the Rambam is the one and only arbiter of Jewish law. He is not. So let us lay that aside. However, the definition of Shmad that I am familiar with is trying to force Jews away from their religion.
      When Yair Lapid stands in front of a crowd, and in English decries the enrollment in religious(both DL and Chareidi) schools, and calls the increasing religious sector(both DL and Chareidi) an existential threat to the "Israeli way of life" and starts making campaign promises(and now following through on them) to push people away from their faith, and specifically says how the army can be used for that. Yes it is Shmad. Educate yourself on what Lapid's actual goals are, and then attempt to discuss the issues.

    11. the US historically always had a volunteer army except during extended wars. that they kept the draft after WW2 was an anomaly. and yes, the draft got the bottom of the barrel. at least, after WW2 when the US fought wars which were unpopular and the white boys had the option of colleging it out, than the draft got the low lifes.

    12. At the moment, the Army is even cancelling miluim - reserve duty,
      due to budget cuts. Thus a major call up of new Haredi soldiers is less and less likely.

      Rambam is NOT the one and only arbiter of Jewish law. But he is pretty substantial.

      Lapid's agenda, I cannot speak about what is in his heart, but he is not the one and only arbiter of Israeli law :)
      The secular Israeli on the street will say that he wants haredim to enlist, so that they have less miluim to do each month. B'H our enemies in the North are destroying each other, and using up their weapons agasint each other.
      Hamas are also sending fighters to syria to fight Hizbolla.

      But I don't see any shmad, no more than if a religious Jew has to pay a parking fine, is it shmad, or just inconvenient tax, that everyone else has to pay as well?

    13. this is a very interesting lecture by Lapid - prior to him becoming a politician.

      What he is saying is "kol Yisrael areivim ze le ze".
      But he is saying it in practical terms, in national terms.
      Is that shmad? Perhaps the opposite.

    14. Saying that Chareidim are a drain on the Government because they don't work and are for the most part unemployable even if they chose to work is not Shmad according to any arbitrator of Halacha. Now we may disagree with the need to have Chareidi children educated in secular subjects, but for someone to say that they need an education is not Shmad!

    15. Recipients and PublicityJune 4, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      Israel National News / Arutz Sheva:

      "CoS Gantz Slashes IDF Training, Other Programs

      Chief of Staff Benny Gantz announced that the army would be forced to cut training missions for soldiers because of budget cuts

      By David Lev

      "The cuts in the upcoming budget are having an influence on the IDF. On Monday, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz announced that the army would be forced to cut training missions for soldiers because of cuts. The IDF's budget is to be cut by NIS 3 billion.

      Training missions for reserve soldiers will be eliminated altogether for the rest of 2013. In addition, several groups of reserve soldiers called for service will have their orders cancelled altogether. Training missions for as many as 70 units will not take place. Priority in training missions will be given to infantry and tank battalions, both in the regular army and reserves, said Gantz.

      As part of the the cuts, several units, such as those assigned to homefront command duties, artillery and engineering corps, will see reduced training hours and missions. Training for infantry units will not be eliminated, but the number of training weeks will be reduced. Several joint training maneuvers for IDF units – among them a maneuver for the navy and IDF Central Command – will be eliminated for the rest of 2013 as well.

      Some of the social, educational, and recreational activities will be reduced or eliminated as well, Gantz said.

      In a statement, the IDF said that it would continue to “extend great efforts to operate in its more modest budgetary capacity.” "

    16. Recipients and PublicityJune 4, 2013 at 3:21 AM

      1 of 2:,7340,L-4386652,00.html


      "Haredim: 'We won't enlist anyway, why do well at tests?'

      Stories told by screening officers reveal grim reality of contempt, lack of cooperation, passive aggression from haredi youths reluctantly entering induction centers

      Yoav Zitun
      05.31.13, 19:12 / Israel News

      A few months following the expiration of the Tal Law last year Ravit, a screening officer at one of the regional induction centers, started receiving 17-year-old Haredi draftees. Their attitude at all stages of the process could be described as uncooperative at best and offensive at worst.

      "It doesn't make sense to them to see a woman is in a position of superiority," she says. "Sometimes they would not talk to me; sometimes they would refuse to complete a questionnaire with the pen I gave them as it was touched by a woman. Some requested to be profiled by male instructors. Some even hurled their ID cards at me to avoid any contact between us."

      Since last year the regional recruitment offices received more than 3,000 haredi youths for initial screening procedures, intended to be the first step in a long military service. While the IDF prides itself on the fact, an examination by Ynet shows that many of these young people do not cooperate during the phases of the process, and in fact do everything to convey the unambiguous message "We have no intention of joining you and you would be better served by not wasting any time on us."

      While the Peri Committee is doing its best to communicate optimism regarding the possibility of integrating haredi youths within the Israeli military, the reality of what goes on once the yeshiva students enter the induction centers tells another story. IDF sources say the recruits do the bare minimum to avoid being categorized as draft dodgers, and that's where their cooperation ends."

    17. Recipients and PublicityJune 4, 2013 at 3:22 AM

      2 of 2:


      "Haredim: 'We won't enlist anyway, why do well at tests?'

      As one officer at a recruitment center put it, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Equally, you can get the haredi youths to the induction center, but not force them to become full-fledged soldiers."

      The first conscription order is a crucial step in the career of every IDF soldier. In several hours of evaluations, interviews and medical examinations, a profile is compiled that determines the potential range of roles and units where the recruit might serve. Yet the majority of the haredi recruits refuse to answer even the most basic questions regarding their home address or telephone number.

      "Don't you realize we're the ones that guarantee the security of the state with our prayers?" one yeshiva student asked his screening officers. Others spoke only Yiddish, refusing to speak Hebrew to the screening officers despite speaking the language perfectly well outside the induction office. Finally, some said they would enlist only if the IDF did their matchmaking for them and supplied them with brides.

      "I could've done well at the psychometric tests as I know math, but I picked the wrong answers deliberately," one reluctant recruit told Ynet. "We just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. We won't go to the army any way, what does it matter then if my marks in the tests are low?"

      Other draftees said they thought the IDF could have made things easier to them by selecting exclusively male screening officers to hold the tests.

      The IDF Spokesperson's Office responded in a statement, saying it takes all the appropriate measures to enable fair and productive screening procedures to the ultra-Orthodox recruits. They added the success of the process crucially depends on the draftees' willingness to collaborate; and failure to do so might result in a placement that bears no correspondence to the recruit's capabilities."

    18. Saying that Chareidim are a drain on the Government because they don't work and are for the most part unemployable even if they chose to work is not Shmad according to any arbitrator of Halacha. Now we may disagree with the need to have Chareidi children educated in secular subjects, but for someone to say that they need an education is not Shmad!

      That is not what I am saying. Not every Chareidi Jew should be sitting in Yeshiva all day long. Many don't want to be there. Show up at an average Israeli Kollel at the start of seder and see if you can even count a minyan. Most come late and leave early, and for various reasons their time would be better spent elsewhere.

      However the Army is not the answer. Especially the Army as it now is. Don't take my word for it, read the complaints of a father who gladly sent his children off to fight for the Jewish people, and only too late saw the problems.

    19. Now we may disagree with the need to have Chareidi children educated in secular subjects, but for someone to say that they need an education is not Shmad!

      agreed. if it were shmad than all the chareidim living in the west would have to move because all western governments, the US included, require a core curriculum in all schools (even if they aren't funded by the government).

    20. Michael Tzadok writes: "However the Army is not the answer. Especially the Army as it now is. Don't take my word for it, read the complaints of a father who gladly sent his children off to fight for the Jewish people, and only too late saw the problems."

      Are there problems in the army... of course... guess what, the are problems in the Yeshiva too. I have a nephew that went to Nachal Chareidi and it did great things for him. I have a boy that was raised in Meah Shaarim that dropped oout of Yeshiva when he was 18 and was in the streets, he was placed in my home and lived with us for 2 years. We got him a job, a basic education, Chavrusa's, he went back to Eretz Yisrael and went to the army... it made him into a Mentch (which is more than I can say he was when he cam to live with us). There are success and failures in every system. If you only look at the negative side you can shoot down anything... there are people like that ... what were they called?... Oh, yes, MARAGLIM.

    21. Recipients and PublicityJune 5, 2013 at 6:20 AM

      1 of 2:

      Israel National News / Arutz Sheva:

      "MK Eichler: Abolish Mandatory IDF Service

      Cancellation of the mandatory service and turning the IDF into a professional army will end the "cultural war" against hareidim, says MK.

      By Arutz Sheva Staff

      MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) said on Monday that the mandatory IDF service should be cancelled and that the Israeli army should be turned into a professional army. This, he said, would bring to an end what he termed the “cultural war” between secular Israelis and hareidim.

      “There are two wars going on in this country,” he said. “The first one is a security war against the Arabs and the second is a cultural war against the Torah and the Jewish way of life. Someone who is truly concerned about security must only accept into the army soldiers who are suitable for fighting. This should be in accordance with the decision of the related authorities, not in accordance with the aspirations of the commissars of secular culture.”

      “The law of mandatory conscription requires the military to recruit everyone, even those who are unable to fight,” said Eichler. “Drafting everyone constitutes a burden on the fighting forces. Billions from the defense budget are wasted on soldiers who do not contribute anything to national security. Only eliminating the mandatory conscription will also eliminate the demagogic basis of the enemies of the hareidim who wish to use the army to war against the Jewish culture.”

      According to Eichler, "In the war of defense against enemies from outside, we must cancel the mandatory draft and release billions that are unnecessarily wasted by the army on soldiers who are not fit. These cost the country three years of unnecessary and heavy expense that affects the wages of professional soldiers. The ‘people's army’ is a political term to create a ‘melting pot’ of secular culture. It should gradually become a professional army whose job is only to defend. Releasing the unnecessary soldiers will leave a lot of money for fair wages for a professional soldier.” "

    22. Recipients and PublicityJune 5, 2013 at 6:20 AM

      2 of 2:

      Israel National News / Arutz Sheva:

      "MK Eichler: Abolish Mandatory IDF Service

      Eichler’s comments come as the government faces its first coalition crisis over the planned drafting of hareidim.

      The Perry Committee for Equal Burden of Service abruptly ended a meeting on Sunday night after an argument between the chairman of the committee, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Perry of Yesh Atid, and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon over the issue of criminal sanctions against hareidi yeshiva students who evade army service.

      Yesh Atid demands that, once a 4-year transition period is over, hareidi men who dodge enlistment face criminal sanctions, but the other coalition partners want the sanctions to only be financial.

      In response to the disagreement, Yesh Atid chairman Finance Minister Yair Lapid threatened that “There will be equality in the burden [of military service] or this government will fall apart.”

      "If someone thinks that I entered politics only in order to solve the financial catastrophe that the former government has left behind, then he does not understand what we are doing here,” he added. “I call upon the parties to wake up and behave as ruling parties are supposed to behave. Stop this game – it does not bring them any honor and it is preventing a historic wrong from being corrected.”

      Bayit Yehudi chairman Minister Naftali Bennett urged members of the government and MKs to show understanding and stay calm until the problem can be resolved.

      “We are within a historic process that will eventually integrate the hareidi public into Israeli society,” Bennett said at a meeting of Bayit Yehudi MKs Monday. “The path to this is full of roadblocks, and I call on all involved not to overreact.”

      Bennett said that the process of bringing hareidim into the army and the workforce – after a decades' long exclusion from both – would require time and patience to work properly.

      “No one wants to see the Military Police invading Bnei Brak and making arrests," he said, in reference to Israel's largest hareidi-majority city. "This will not solve anything. On the other hand, a slow and intelligently-implemented process of benefits, coupled with a great deal of love for the hareidim to integrate them into the greater Israeli society, is what is needed." "

    23. Recipients and PublicityJune 5, 2013 at 6:33 AM

      Israel National News /Arutz Sheva:

      "IDF: Absent Yeshiva Students Considered AWOL Soldiers

      Hesder yeshiva students who skip class could face military discipline.

      By Maayana Miskin

      Students in the hesder program who miss classes at yeshiva could face military discipline, a letter from IDF commanders warns.

      Yeshiva heads received a letter from the IDF Manpower Directorate. Arutz Sheva was able to see a copy.

      The letter noted that any unauthorized absence of a hesder student could lead to discipline. “Any soldier who misses yeshiva for any reason must report to the head of the yeshiva or a staff member authorized by the head of the yeshiva… The yeshiva management must track students’ attendance and report any unauthorized absence.”

      The suggested protocol, and punishment for offenses, emphasized hesder students’ status as soldiers.

      Hesder students are part of a five-year program that combines Torah study and military service. Unlike regular soldiers they serve 16 to 24 months in military service rather than 36 months; they spend the rest of the period learning Torah full-time and are eligible for reserve duty once they have finished their first stint in the army. They are known as excellent soldiers, volunteering for combat units in numbers above their proportion in the roster of enlisted soldiers.

      The program has come under fire recently as the government debates requiring hareidi-religious men to enlist in the army."


  2. Just a History Fact Check, perhaps the Author can Clarify what he meant when he wrote:

    "the yeshivas that have been the backbone of
    the Jewish people for over 2,000 years"

    While it is true that we learn in Migilah that a dwelling place can not be called a city with out its Ten "Batlanim" and it is true that there have been Yeshivas through out the generations some generations they were small , some generations they were large. but the modern Yeshiva format has only been around for the last 200 years or so (1803 to be exact with the establishment of Volozhin by Rav Chaom Volozhin)

    my point, unless I am mistaken, the Yeshiva World as it is today is not what existed in the last 2000 years, so I am unsure as of how it was the backbone of the Jewish people, for the last 2000 years?

    I thought Observing the Torah through studying, teaching (each to their ability) and upholding The laws with or without the Yeshivas was how we survived the The last 2000 years...
    therefore I was under the impression, that The Torah is what molds our nation, it is the soul of the Jewish people, and the Jewish people will survive as long as they make it the center of their lives with or without a Modern Yeshiva.

    1. Recipients and PublicityJune 4, 2013 at 2:41 AM

      "Yechezkel Moskowitz said...Just a History Fact Check, perhaps the Author can Clarify what he meant when he wrote: "the yeshivas that have been the backbone of the Jewish people for over 2,000 years"

      From what you say you seem to be ignorant of both Jewish History and of how the Talmud and Torah Shebe'al Peh developed. After the destruction of the Second Temple 2,000 years ago, that included the destruction of the Sanhedrin and remnants of any prior Jewish government in Judea, the central role of "Yavneh and its Sages" took center stage in the Jewish people, meaning that STUDY OF THE TORAH and the FORMULATION OF HALACHA and that alone became the central focus of true Jewish life now that the Jews lost their country to the Romans.

      "Yavneh and its Sages" is another nomenclature for a great YESHIVA and MESIVTA (METIVTA) and this institution continued into Babylonia where it is symbolized by Sura and Pumbedisa that were not just towns, but great YESHIVOS where the Talmud was formulated. From there, great scholars set up YESHIVOS in North Africa and Southern Europe. Meaning they gathered elite disciples and taught the Talmud to them.

      This continued into Central Europe and Eastern Europe where above and beyond what was learned on a daily basis by all Jews, the ELITE were always studying with the greatest sages and that is what the yeshivas were.

      Note, great yeshivos were NOT measured in numbers of people who attended them, it could that they lacked names, yet they were the centers where great Torah sages spread their teachings to disciples.

      This is the idea that Yaakov Avinu went to study in the "yeshiva of Shem and Ever" and it has always been like that, a Yeshiva is generic name for a special place where Hashem's Torah Truth is learned by great scholars. Anyone who has learned in a yeshiva for any time will know this, while anyone who has not, will scratch their head and not understand it. I cannot teach you this, you either have know about it or you must go and learn it for yourself.

      The great modern Yeshiva of Volozhin was set up according to the guidelines of the Vilna Gaon. It was NOT the "first yeshiva in history" it was created to deal with the BREAKDOWN in society by creating an attractive central address for those wishing to imbibe the analytical Litvish derech as a counter to the outer world's disintegration due to the challenges and inroads of modernity. Volozhin;s greatest Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Chaim Volozhner was even referred to half-jokingly as a "scientist" (or chemist, "chemiker" in Yiddish) by his colleagues. There were still at the same time great centers of learning in other places in Europe and the Orient such as in Italy (home of the Ramchal), Pressburg (home of the Chasam Sofer) and Baghdad (home of the Me'am Loez) and many similar ones.

      The point is that Yeshivas produce great Torah scholars who in turn create great Torah works that in turn create the guidelines and Halacha for Jewry to live by.

      Try to get hold of some of the works by Rav Avigdor Miller on this subject they are informative and enlightening.

  3. anonymous for this oneJune 3, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Come on. This is silliness. Do you really agree with this pie-in-the-sky nonsense, RDE?

    1. what do you mean pie in the sky nonsense? we're talking about RAP here, the guy who wrote that gushing post on how yeshiva guys use their yeshiva trained brains to make oodles of money.

    2. anonymous for this oneJune 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Yes but when RDE has this as a guest post, it implies that he agrees with it. It doesn't work as "I'm showing you what the charedi street is thinking" because 1. most haredi people aren't of these opinions and probably many have no idea what RAP is talking about and 2. Posting someone as a "guest Post" implies that they are writing something you agree with wholeheartedly.

    3. that RDE would have to clarify. in the world of twitter, retweet doesn't mean endorsement.

    4. @anonymous for this one

      RDE hosting a guest post does not mean that necessarily agrees. Scroll back through guest posts and you will see several, even one of my own, that disagrees with.

  4. Chareidi weddings are paid for with money which is borrowed from gemachim, not with money which has ever been earned legally or illegally. You can't pay tax on money you have never had.

    1. Yes but the real issue is the band, badchan, etc. who get paid in cash and don't pay taxes on it.

    2. being paid in cash and not paying taxes isn't a problem unique to the chareidi world.

  5. So, allow me to understand what you are saying: yair lapid has done more for Torah learning than rav shach and that rav shach caused fights amongst klal yisroel. Did I get that right?

  6. I am not sure what the point of this post is. Is it to address a problem or just to rant? I am tired of all the immature "my team is better than your team" that we see on both sides of this argument! We have respected Torah people making comparisons to the Nazis Y"S, and we have respected secular people referring to Chareidim as parasites, and it goes on and on and accomplishes NOTHING except immature ranting. We are more united now then ever before... WHO CARES??? How does any of this solve the real problem at hand? It is time to be honest with ourselves.. there is a real systemic problem with our system. We have terrible poverty, which leads to Shalom Bayis issues, which leads to kids at risk... I know, because I work with my Rav in trying to help these families that come to America from Israel. My wife and I have B"H taken in kids from these families who have lived with us for a number of years until they were able to make it on their own. The core issues were poverty and no way out, no options provided by the Chreidi Israeli system. This is not a joke or a game where we care who's side is winning, this is a question of Hatzolas Nefashos, no less than the issues of pedophilia that for some odd reason dominate these posts!

    I have strong disagreement with the Yesh Atid agenda and even greater disagreement with Dov Lipman, BUT, the issues that they raise are real issues and closing your eyes and saying it will all work out is not a solution... There is a great business book titled "Hope is not a strategy", I suggest we all read it.

    Instead of all the ranting I would suggest we agree or disagree on the issues. It is my opinion that there is a terrible and unsustainable system in the Chareidi world (primarily in Israel but it is beginning to be imported to Chutz LaAretz too). Having just returned from Shacharis, I made an informal count of about 20 Chareidim from Israel collecting just at Shacharis, yesterday we had another 6 or so come to our door, all with the same story. One case this morning, an Avreich from Ramat Shlomo, married off 4 children, is in $200,000 debt from this and some medical issues (back pain). This is not an unfamiliar situation and I believe needs our support because it is not his fault that he is stuck in this system. But we need to transform the system so we don't keep producing these hardship cases.

    My answer is not to force secular education on the Charesdi world. While I believe in Torah Im Derech Eretz and I believe it is the Toras HaShem Temimah derech, I recognize that others disagree. What we should do is encourage the Charedi system to build alternative institutions based on the TIDE Hashkafa and provide an alternative to people who are looking for an option but don't have one today. This will take longer to have an impact but it is the only way in my mind for the system to correct itself. Army or National Services can also be accommodated if is approached with maturity and a desire to agree that there is an issue and to resolve it, not the Eida Chareidus approach of "we will not budge one inch".

    Let's focus our energy on the issues and resolution and perhaps this will help in bringing the Geulah Shelaimah.

  7. This post sounds to me like a rant.

    This comment does not: Torah Truth June 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM.

  8. Lapid's whole approach copies of Obama's bait-and-switch approach, that is, bait to get into office, then switch to punish opponents by any means at hand once in office. Lapid's intended victims may be right about some issues and may be wrong about others, but they have the straight scoop about Lapid himself. Commenters who are not reflexively against Chareidim would understand. The fact that Lapid is profoundly ignorant yet a legend in his own mind is icing on the cake. Demagogic appeals to prejudice are not seemly in any democratic system, regardless of their source.

    1. I'm really not sure what you are saying... I am not "reflexively against Chareidim"... I am part of the Chareidi community, Learned in Kollel, Smicha, kids in Brisk, Kollel etc... you want to attack Lapid and I'm trying to say that Lapid is not the issue. There are real issues that we have and need thoughtful resolution. Let's not get sidetracked on Lapid or Lipman or anyone else, let us focus on the problems from within. My problem with your posts is that they assume an unrealistic world where everything in the Israeli Chareidi world is fine and dandy... it is not, and it needs real adjustments. Let's focus on that.

  9. You must really hate math if you think that learning it is like having your flesh torn by iron combs.

  10. We have above a debate about "shmad". This brought question to mind.

    I have never previously thought of this , but perhaps some more learned people have:

    A situation arises where there is some kind of persecution. The persecutor wishes to force Orthodox Jews to be oiver an issur d'rabbanan. Let's say it is kol isha. The Rabbis of the victims says this is a case of yehareg v'lo avor.

    Can, l'horaat shaa, a Rabbi or Bet Din suspend the rabbinical issur, in order to save lives?

    The question may seem contrived, but did Hazal place gezeirot in order for people to die because of them?

    1. the line in the gemara is one has to be willing to die even if the goy tells you have to tie your shoe (but see the rashi there for the qualifier).

    2. It depends on whether a patently manipulative individual such as yourself is forcing the issue or not.

    3. tying a shoe lace - but this was not just any shoelace, it had a sexual connotation.

      I am asking a different question.
      If we go back before chazal, there was no issur on Kol Isha, and on many other issues.
      Hence, if such a situation occurs, can the rabbinic gezeira be suspended, temporarily?

    4. are you asking if one beit din can cancel the gezira/takana of another beit din?

    5. Not exactly. I know that a current day BD cannot cancel a Gezeira or takana of chazal , until it is greater in wisdom/numbers etc. But that is for regualr questions, eg 2nd day Yomtov in CHU'L. However, in the very theoretical situation of a shmad, where we might be asked to break such a takana d'rabbanan, and because it is specifically an anti religious shmad, we might ordinarily be asked to sacrifice our lives - a solution might be to temporarily suspend that takana, eg kol isha, or 2nd day yomtov, in order to avoid the human sacrifice.

      Just a thought, i hope it never becomes practical.

    6. I don't understand what you are saying. The halacha is where an attempt is made to destroy religion one must sacrifice one's life to preserve the smallest detail associated with Judaism. Why do you think that rabbis would try to annul this basic idea?

    7. Yes, my argument is along a different line.

      Let us say that a tyrant would impose upon the Jewish community that we must take vitamin C on wednesdays, and vitamin B on Thursdays. Since there is no issur on this, there would be no requirement to sacrifice one's life for this decree.
      If the case was for a d'rabbanan rule, in certain conditions we would be required to sacrifice ourselves. My point is, if we suspend the gezeira, then on the day of the shmad, the gezeira, eg kol isha, reverts to being something totally patur or mutar. An illustration is vegetable oil. there was a gezeira on vegetable oil, which was then reversed, so there would be no yehareg vlo yaavor on consuming sunflower oil, if we were forced to by a tyrant. thus, in my case, the kol isha becomes like vegetable oil. No need for sacrifice.


    1. Recipients and PublicityJune 4, 2013 at 2:54 AM

      Times of Israel:

      "WATCH: ‘I’ve never seen my people so united,’ says Turkish journalist

      Sevin Turan tells Times of Israel that mass anti-government protests have brought together people from all social, economic backgrounds

      By Times of Israel staff
      June 3, 2013

      As the mass anti-government protests spread across Turkey — sparked by a violent police crackdown on a peaceful sit-in in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on May 31 — The Times of Israel spoke to Turkish journalist Sevin Turan about the unifying feeling of discontent with Prime Minister Erdogan, the coverage of events by the Turkish press, and the buzz about a “Turkish Spring.” "

  12. Perhaps the issue is one of perception.
    It seems that within the Chareidi community words like "Nazi", "Shmad" etc. don't carry much opprobrium. In the non-Chareidi community they do.
    Thus when Chareidi spokesmen respond to Yesh Atid positions with claims that this is a new Shmad or that the secular government is acting like a bunch of Czarist Roman Nazis they may simply thing they're using clever linguistic flourishes. Meanwhile the other side is rolling its eyes and thinking "What a bunch of hysterical morons".
    What the government is doing is no "shmad", not even close and anyone who claims it is either doesn't know what a real "shmad" is (ask a Holocaust survivor) or wants to elicit a negative response from the other side.

    1. Garnel

      While the Holocaust was horrible, it wasn't shmad, at least that is what all of the poskim have said afterward. One wasn't expected to give one's life rather than eat non-kosher food in the camps. The Nazis weren't trying to eradicate the religion, they were trying to eradicate the people.
      The Israeli Army does it's utmost to eradicate the religion in the name of cultural indoctrination. It fits into the parameters of Shmad.

    2. Ramatz @ The Israeli Army does it's utmost to eradicate the religion in the name of cultural indoctrination. It fits into the parameters of Shmad.

      Michael, you are totally indoctrinated to talk rubbish.
      The above statement is a lie and blood libel, and really no different from the lies of the spanish inquisition.
      Considering that the IDF has its own rabbanut, kashrut supervisors, siddur, then you are telling porky pies.
      In some cases, there is requirement to break Shabbes for defensive purposes. Perhaps many generals are not shomrei Shabbes. They do not force frum people to break shabbes or eat trief, so this is not shmad, and you are talking nonsense.

    3. I think the truth is somewhere between the two views - but significantly closer to Rabbi Tzadok than to Eddie. The army is not a protector of religion. It prides itself as serving to provide a melting pot for Israeli society - not as an organization that respects the values of the individual soldier. They don't lose sleep at night if someone loses his religion in the army or ends up eating treif food because the kitchen wasn't run properly etc etc

    4. That may be true for the "army" in general, but is not true for Nachal Chareidi where most of the Chareidim would serve I would assume.

    5. That may be true for the "army" in general, but is not true for Nachal Chareidi where most of the Chareidim would serve I would assume.

      Your assumption is wrong. Which is precisely the point of first of those two articles that I posted from Rabbi Akiva Paths. There are a limited number of slots in Nachal Chareidi, and they are full. Further the Israeli govt has no plan to expand Nachal Chareidi(even though they could fill another Battalion on current numbers of Chareidi enlistment).
      So unless either by luck of the draw or through protexia you do manage to secure one of those limited slots, you wind up serving in the normal Army where Kosher food is not guaranteed, nor is time to pray, or is the ability to avoid Shabbat issues.
      Nachal Chareidi at this point is more of a token propaganda piece then a destination for Chareidim entering the Israeli military.

    6. Look, if the Chareidim would enlist in great numbers they would be accommodated by the IDF by expanding Nachal Chareidi or other like programs. it is silly to look at the current limitations of the program for the future process needs.

    7. Look, if the Chareidim would enlist in great numbers they would be accommodated by the IDF by expanding Nachal Chareidi or other like programs. it is silly to look at the current limitations of the program for the future process needs.

      What are you talking about? With current Chareidi enlistment numbers they could triple Nachal Chareidi. They have needed another Battalion since 2009, which is when they officially ran out of space in the Nachal Chareidi.

  13. The argument about universal conscription is groundless. Israeli deterrence against numerically superior enemies rests on its ability to mobilize enormous reserves for short periods and win wars quickly. Without universal conscription you cannot have very large reserves. Israel's enemies know she can field enormous armies as needed.

    You may not like the extension (or enforcement) of universal conscription to the haredi world. But it is paranoid to believe the universal draft was created as a forced conversion mechanism.

  14. Perhaps this "Shmad" implies that in future generations, haredim will consider offspring of those who were int he army as safek mamzerim or goyim. There will be Anusei Tzahal, those who went to the army but kept the mitzvot, but they will be given a hard time, and may have to rely on Zionist batei din for their giur.

    1. You should stop writing, you are only making yourself and those with your viewpoint look like utter fools and bullies to the people who read this blog.

    2. Making a joke is not the same as being a fool or a bully.
      To understand the joke, you have to understand what real shmad is, and its consequences.
      In historical shmad, the offspring of anusim were safek Jews, since they were possible apostates. If you don't get that, then read up on it.

  15. To the original poster: paranoia is such a comfort.

    "Rabbi" Michael Tzadok (are you REALLY a rav?): the employment of terms like 'shmad' and suchlike is wickedness - pure and simple. It shames the memories of the millions who died al kiddush hashem throughout the ages.

    I think that Lapid is going a bit gung-ho in his approach but every action has a reaction and every over-reaction engenders the same. For many years the chareidim have lived off a tactical blunder of Ben-Gurion and the absurdities of the Israeli electoral system to bribe and be bribed by the secular parties; to have their lifestyle subsidised by the rest of the Israeli taxpayer and show little or no willingness to participate in society - civil nor military. They are now reaping the whirlwind, I'm afraid and should show a bit of humility and at least attempt to ameliorate the situation.

    I also don't buy the rather pathetic refrain that they are learning to help the army. Maybe if they actually recited the prayers for the medina and tzaha"l or offered to learn with the troops (behind the front line would be OK) then I might believe them. Running away from Ashdod to Bet Shemesh doesn't really fit with their claim. it ois simply that they do not see themselves as part of the State and in which case the state is free of an obligation to fund hem.

    1. Semikha from Rabbinut, Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Halberstam ZTzUK"L, whether that qualifies me for "REALLY" being a Rav, I don't know. When I got Semikha from Rav Ovadia I asked him, "What should I do next?" He replied, "Go earn the title I just hung before your name."
      So the short of it is what metric do you use?

      As far as using the term "Shmad" do you have any idea what goes on in the Israeli military in the name of "cultural indoctrination"?
      Soldiers being coerced through punishment into sexual relationships with their superiors.
      Soldiers being denied kosher food.
      Soldiers being denied time to pray.
      Soldiers being forced to be m'chlal shabbat.

    2. none of these 4 ever happened to me, especially the first.

    3. Ramatz, you have done an injustice to the title that ROY allegedly gave you.

      If you claim that "Soldiers being coerced through punishment into sexual relationships with their superiors." is a general occurrence then u are lying, since it may occur in specific cases but not to the majority. If you draw a generalization from this, then you must also outlaw all Yeshivot , since some rabbis and teachers coerce the students into sexual relationships.
      Also, you should close allmikavot, since some of them have sexual abuse.

      The joke is, when people who are close to gedolim, like Krispel, tropper, zalman kohen etc do what u claim goes on in the secular army, the gedolim will hush up, sweep it under the carpet, and try to prevent any action agasint their protoges.

    4. Eddie you have lost any sense of proportion. The frequency abuse occurs in the military is much greater than what goes on in yeshivos etc.

      The following statistic is that 25% of female U.S. soldiers will be abused during their careers. They have 19,000 reports of abuse a year. Do you think that 25% of yeshiva students are abused by their teachers?!

    5. Firstly, we are comparing apples (american) and oranges (Israeli).

      Next, abuse might also be a comment made to a female.

      Third, if a teacher hits a student, which is recommended by some in the Yeshiva world, it would be considered "abuse" in army terms, or in secular terms.

      Finally, the issue is not the proportion of alleged abuse. Ramatz claims that a limited amount of sexual abuse [in the army] amounts to shmad. Therefore, by his own argument, a limited amount of abuse in yeshivas also amounts to shmad. Khalas.
      You cannot have it both ways.

    6. Firstly, we are comparing apples (american) and oranges (Israeli).
      Correct, things are much worse in Israel because there are not laws protecting against it.
      Eddie it is easy for you to pontificate about things which you have never seen or experienced from an island in the middle of the North Atlantic. However, you have no idea as to the realities on the on ground. Considering that commanders refer to female soldiers as mattresses, well that should tell you all you need to know. However, you are unfortunately stuck in a world view that exalts a Zionist state over the Jewish faith.

    7. Recipients and PublicityJune 5, 2013 at 7:08 AM

      1 of 2:


      "John McCain: Women should avoid military service until sexual misconduct crisis solved

      By Bill Briggs, NBC News contributor

      Sen. John McCain, who built a potent political career on his record as a Vietnam veteran and ex-prisoner of war, on Tuesday told the leaders of every military branch he cannot in good conscience advise women to join the service as the military grapples to contain and curb its sexual assault epidemic.

      "Just last night, a woman came to me and said her daughter wanted to join the military and could I give my unqualified support for her doing so. I could not," McCain, an Arizona Republican, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining whether all serious sexual crimes should be removed from the chain of command.

      "At its core, this is an issue about defending basic human rights but it's also a long-term threat to the strength of our military. We have to ask ourselves: if left uncorrected, what impact will this problem have on recruitment and retention of qualified men and women?" McCain asked. "I cannot overstate my disgust and disappointment over continued reports of sexual misconduct in our military. We’ve been talking about this issue for years and talk is insufficient."

      The pivotal hearing follows numerous calls for a military-justice overhaul amid a recent barrage of sexual misconduct allegations in the ranks — including separate sex-assault charges against two branch leaders tasked with preventing rapes. In May, the Pentagon released an annual report estimating as many 26,000 military members faced unwanted sexual contact in 2012 — an increase from 19,000 cases the previous year. The numbers were based on an anonymous survey of military personnel.

      And while he and his fellow four-star generals and admirals said they remain open to any idea to help stem the crisis, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, maintained that discipline and punishment of sex offenders in the ranks must stay inside the chain of command.

      "The role of the commander should remain central. Our goal should be to hold commanders more accountable not render them less able to help us correct the crisis," Dempsey said. "The commanders' responsibility to preserve order and discipline is essential to effecting change."

      Under questioning from McCain, however, Dempsey acknowledged that the armed forces allow, albeit unwittingly, some people with histories of sexual bad acts to enlist and serve.

      "There are currently, in my judgment, inadequate protections for precluding that from happening," Dempsey said. "So a sex offender could, in fact, find their way into the armed force of the United States, and in fact there are cases where a conviction (of a sex crime committed while in the service) wouldn’t automatically result in a discharge."

      "Obviously," McCain responded, "we have to fix that." "

    8. Recipients and PublicityJune 5, 2013 at 7:08 AM

      2 of 2:


      "John McCain: Women should avoid military service until sexual misconduct crisis solved

      Dempsey — again at the behest of senators — also agreed to launch an immediate change in how the Pentagon tracks sexual misconduct within the ranks by dividing its accounting of such offenses between rapes and sexual harassments.

      Despite the Pentagon's own analysis that some 26,000 military members faced unwanted sexual contact during 2012, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said nobody at the Department of Defense can offer an accurate number on how many women and men in the service are raped. Her reason: in its annual report on sex assaults, the Pentagon combines criminal attacks and unwanted gazes in the same column of numbers.

      "You have all mushed together two issues," McCaskill said. "You have two problems: one, you have sexual predators who are committing crimes and two, you have work to do on the issue of a respectful and healthy work environment. These are not the same issues.

      "'Unwanted sexual contact' (as the Pentagon report defines it) is everything from somebody looking at your sideways when they shouldn’t to pushing you up against the wall and brutally raping you ... We need to know how many women and men are being raped on an annual basis and we have no idea right now," she said.

      Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, put it to assembled leaders of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard this way: "Not every single commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and a rape."

      Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the armed services committee, instructed Dempsey to have the Pentagon install a system that surveys and calculates sexual misconduct by both the frequency of rapes and of sexual harassments.

      Dempsey agreed.

      "Here's how we got here," Dempsey said. "Ten, 12, 15 years ago, there was a conversation about whether we should separate these categories. Because in separating them, (some felt) you could encourage some to ignore the unwanted sexual touching or the sexual harassment and focus in only on the sexual assault.

      "It was our view 15 years ago, this problem was a continuum, not individual acts. I’m suggesting to you we didn’t get to this point by being stupid," Dempsey added. "We actually got to this point because we were trying to do the right thing. Looking back on it, it’s probably time to adjust it." "

    9. RAP, the debate is not about drafting haredim into the US army.

      Ramatz, quit the ad hominems. Haredi women are not being drafted, and that is not under discussion.
      Considering that there is a disproportionately high number of Dati Leumi officers in the IDF, then your claims do not make sense. And the issue is not about Kashrut, since the food supplied to the army is Kosher. What hechser it is , that's a separate issue.
      "a world view that exalts a Zionist state over the Jewish faith."
      No Ramatz, you are not the last word on the Jewish faith.
      If you are opposed to paying taxes, and army service is one form of tax, then perhaps you can rescind your Israeli citizenship.

    10. Haredi women are not being drafted, and that is not under discussion.
      No true.
      Considering that there is a disproportionately high number of Dati Leumi officers in the IDF, then your claims do not make sense.
      Again not true. Disproportionate compared to what? You think "army girlfriends" is only a chiloni issue?
      And the issue is not about Kashrut, since the food supplied to the army is Kosher.
      Again not true. The Army is supposed to make Kosher food available to those who desire/want it, but not all of the food supply is kosher.

    11. OH, so now you claim that Haredi women are being drafted? Do you have any evidence of that Mr Tzadok?

      Disproportionate compared to their percentage in the army and general population. That means if say 3% of the population are DL, they have a higher %age of officers than their absolute numbers. Do you think they all eat treif?

      What are u talking about army girlfriends? A few posts ago you were talking about forced rape of women, now you claim that DL have girlfriends. These are contradictory words. If they have "girlfriends" , then they are not raping them, since they are consensually eating ice cream together.

      It is a scandal for Haredim to talk about men having girlfriends, when very often haredi men have boyfriends. And you seem to think it is less of a sin.
      If the army fails to provide kosher food, which it is legally obliged to, then the soldiers can go to military court about it.
      It is also a scandal that no competent haredi Posek has written any substantial work on military halacha in modern days. This was left to R Goren, R' Yisraeli, and the Hesder and Military Rabbanut.

    12. Here is says Haredi women are automatically exempted

      That is the same rule since the Hazon Ish. And there is no controversy over this fact.

    13. From the Haaretz piece:
      “For the first time,” the statement said, “these could mean that anyone who isn’t really learning will serve.”

      The Forum for Equality of the Burden issued their own scathing critique of the Perry committee's draft legislation.

      “The ultra-Orthodox can grin from ear to ear – they’ve played it well. [Finance Minister] Yair Lapid is about to miss an historic opportunity,"

      Then Yair Lapid threatned to bolt the coalition if he didn't get the legislation he wanted, and he won. This piece is outdated and does not reflect the legislation that has since passed.

      First line of the second article:
      As Israelis gear up for elections in January 2013, we’ll be hearing politicians calling for an “equal draft.”

      Meaning with the passing of the current legislation that makes it a jailable offense for Chareidi men AND women to avoid the draft this is old and out dated news. We're not talking about what used to be the goal, we are talking about what is now the reality. It seems as if you can't even be bothered to know the actual issues.

      A few posts ago you were talking about forced rape of women,
      No I didn't say rape, I said coercion. Those are two different things. Such as putting a girl on extra-duty and extra-watches so that they are sleep deprived because they refuse their superior's sexual advances. It is coercive and punishing, and it goes on quite regularly. You seem to know nothing of the realities on the ground here.

      If the army fails to provide kosher food, which it is legally obliged to, then the soldiers can go to military court about it.
      Only with the approval of their superior officer. Seriously Eddie have you looked into any of this? So the soldier complains that there is no kosher food. What happens, he's given a case of canned tuna and canned corn. So he eats canned tuna and canned corn for three meals a day. Prisoners are treated better than that. Meanwhile his unit mates get three hot meals, with reasonable variation in diet, a day. Come on Eddie, you cannot say that the Army is not punishing the soldier for being religious, and quite frankly failing to meet his nutritional needs.

      It is a scandal for Haredim to talk about men having girlfriends, when very often haredi men have boyfriends. And you seem to think it is less of a sin.
      The scandal is that Army provides it's female soldiers with three free abortions in the course of their 18mos of service.

      Get real man. Stop putting the state before Judaism.
      It is also a scandal that no competent haredi Posek has written any substantial work on military halacha in modern days. This was left to R Goren, R' Yisraeli, and the Hesder and Military Rabbanut.

  16. Even if not raped, can any woman who has served in the military reliably claim she didn't lose her virginity there or previously? In such an environment, how can our boys not be drawn in as well? (Probable exception: Nachal Haredi.)

  17. "שגזרה מלכות הרשעה שמד על ישראל שלא יעסקו בתורה, ושלא ימולו את בניהם, ושיחללו שבתות" (תלמוד בבלי, מסכת ראש השנה, דף י"ט, עמוד א')
    "פעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה שמד על ישראל שלא יביאו עצים למערכה, ושלא יביאו בכורים לירושלים, והושיבו פרוזדאות על הדרכים" (תלמוד בבלי, מסכת תענית, דף כ"ח, עמוד א')
    We see from the above that shmad doesn't just mean forced conversion.

  18. Recipients and PublicityJune 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Israel National News / Arutz Sheva:

    "MK Mozes: 'Hatred of Hareidim' Costs State Big Money

    The state is planning to cut funding for post-high school yeshiva programs. This will result in economic damage for Israel, says MK Mozes

    By David Lev

    Among the items that the state will stop funding as a result of budget cuts are programs for yeshiva students from abroad who spend a year or two learning in Israel. Doing that, says United Torah Jewry MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes, is very shortsighted and will do more harm than good.

    “The program costs the state just NIS 35 million,” Mozes said in a Knesset speech Wednesday. “But cutting it is going to end up costing us a lot more.”

    Similar to Taglit (Birthright), Na'aleh, Masa, and other Jewish Agency programs to bring college-age students to Israel, there has been a government program to help yeshivas sponsor one and two year programs for high school graduates, providing funds for programs, trips, events, and in some cases financial aid. Meanwhile, there are far more students who come to these short term yeshiva programs than who come on any of the college trips, and they spend a lot more money than the Taglit kids do, Mozes said.

    “For the pittance the government invests in the yeshiva program – NIS 35 million compared to the far larger sums invested in these other programs – the state was benefiting greatly from the money the yeshiva students spend, helping the state's GDP and supporting the local economy in many areas,” said Mozes. “They come here as tourists and bring in foreign currency. Their families come to visit them, staying in hotels and renting cars. Many of these families decide to make aliyah, purchasing homes and bringing their wealth with them. And the students themselves buy things like Passover matzos, or etrog and lulav sets on Sukkot, and bring them with them on holiday trips back home.”

    By cutting this small budget item, Mozes said, yeshivas will have a much harder time administering and running the programs for foreign students – and chances are many will close down, eliminating the great benefits that came out of the program. It's shortsightedness born of hatred of Torah, Mozes said. “It's just another in a long line of edicts against the hareidi community. They do these things without thinking, even though the damage from these edicts far outweigh the benefits. Their purpose is to ruin the hareidi way of life, and persecute the observant population. It doesn't matter if the state loses out, too,” he added."

  19. Recipients and PublicityJune 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    1 of 2:

    The Independent (UK):

    "Sorry Yair Lapid, charm and good looks alone won't get you very far in Israeli politics:

    Less than two months after taking office and after passing a controversial budget, the the career prospects of this telegenic finance minister are looking at lot less rosy

    By Alistair Dawbear
    6 June, 2013

    If a week is long time in politics, to Yair Lapid, Israel’s telegenic new finance minister, the last six months must have felt like several lifetimes. This time last year, Mr Lapid was a popular, and wealthy, TV host. In January, his new political party, Yesh Atid, won the second highest number of seats in Israel’s general election. After weeks of coalition negotiations, Mr Lapid – who has publicly stated his intention to be Israel’s next prime minister – was appointed finance minister, in wily old Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

    Arguably, the move was a masterstroke by Mr Netanyahu. A former colleague of Mr Lapid’s at Israel’s popular Channel 2 News described to The Independent recently how unsuited the former anchor was to the role. But, having campaigned on what he described as “middle class” issues or, in other words, the fiscal burden on well-to-do Israelis, the finance brief seemed appropriate.

    Less than two months after taking office and after passing a budget that included tax hikes and spending cuts aimed at taming Israel’s deficit, Mr Lapid must have realised that good looks, charm and easy rhetoric are not enough in the rough and tumble of politics.

    Thousands have since taken to the streets in Israel’s biggest city, secular Tel Aviv, which provided the rump of his support in January, to demand that the measures in the finance bill be reversed. Chanting “where has the money gone?”, demonstrators mocked Mr Lapid’s own campaign slogan. “Some people stupidly believed Yair Lapid; that he was going to change things, but as soon as he got into office he became like all the other politicians,” said one elderly demonstrator.

    Mr Lapid’s response has been in part to fall back on the second pillar of his campaign strategy; bashing orthodox Jews who largely don’t work and whose children are exempt for otherwise compulsory military service. It’s a popular strategy among the tax-paying middle classes, but the demonstrations in Tel Aviv have been mirrored in Jerusalem, with orthodox communities taking to the streets to demand that Mr Lapid stops attacking their way of life."

  20. Recipients and PublicityJune 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    2 of 2:

    "Sorry Yair Lapid, charm and good looks alone won't get you very far in Israeli politics:

    Less than two months after taking office and after passing a controversial budget, the the career prospects of this telegenic finance minister are looking at lot less rosy

    And then there was Riki Cohen. Just after taking office, Mr Lapid took to Facebook to say how he was helping the average “Riki Cohen”, an imaginary 37-year-old mother of three who together with her husband owned their own home and went abroad on holiday every two years. Mr and Mrs Cohen were said to get by on 20,000 Israeli shekels a month, which is well above the average wage: Mr Lapid’s attempt to connect with people was an immediate disaster.

    In other words, so far, Mr Lapid has let down his own electorate, created disharmony and is out of touch with difficulties faced by ordinary people. But what of the prime minister?

    Benjamin Netanyahu, who was strong-armed by Mr Lapid during the coalition negotiations to exclude many of the prime minister’s natural allies in the government, has been speaking about the existential threat posed to Israel by Iran’s supposed nuclear ambitions. He has been seen countless times with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, talking about the possibility of peace, or otherwise, with the Palestinians.

    Mr Netanyahu has been acting as a statesman, and while he would almost certainly be considered too right wing for the majority of the British electorate, it is easy to how he has out-smarted Mr Lapid.

    Many people before the election said that, much as they disliked Mr Netanyahu, they wanted him back as prime minister. He is the survivor of Israeli politics, and at this rate, he’ll survive Mr Lapid’s ambitions, too."

  21. Recipients and PublicityJune 10, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Yeshiva World News:

    "Lapid’s Son Sits In On Closed Cabinet Meeting

    June 6th, 2013

    According to a Channel 2 News report, Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday, 26 Sivan 5773 brought his son, 17-year-old Lior along to sit in on a closed session of the Housing Cabinet in the Prime Minister’s Office. Also present were Ministers Uri Ariel, Silvan Shalom, Yisrael Katz, Gideon Saar, and Amir Peretz as well as the head of the Israel Lands Administration and other senior government officials.

    While the others were surprised to see the young Lapid in attendance, it appears none objected to it and no one insisted that he leave the closed session meeting of ministers. That said, even the veterans in the group admit they do not recall a situation in the past in which a minister brought a child along to a meeting.

    To the surprise of many, the young Lapid entered without any security agents questioning who he is and if he is authorized to enter the meeting room. When contacted for a comment, officials in Lapid’s office feel nothing wrong occurred, adding “A child has a right to see his father at a day of work”.

    Lapid himself said “I hope my son will not complain to the Child Welfare Council that I bored him.”

    Yated Neeman adds that it is most interesting for most likely, if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu brought his son, either Yair of Avner to a cabinet meeting, the media would be having a field day but since it is Lapid, it seems to pass without criticism.

    (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)"

  22. "MK Mozes: 'Hatred of Hareidim' Costs State Big Money"
    They're not interested in the economy nearly as much as they're interested in crushing the Haredim.
    Much of the money brought in by the Yeshiva bochrim and their families goes to Haredim and if they come on aliya, then it's more hated Haredim to deal with.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.