Eretz Yisrael Time

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Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tomorrow is a big day. The various rabbis and leaders of the Hesder system are meeting to decide on a unified position to take (or to split apart). Many have already declared their positions, and sided with Torah and morality, while a few are unfortunately equivocating and, in my opinion, taking positions that don't do justice to their positions are Torah leaders.

This argument is not about whether soldiers should be allowed to protest or not. It never was.

This argument is the fundamental argument between Right and Left, Religious and Secular.

Should soldiers be forced to follow orders that are against the Torah (and immoral) from any lowlife, corrupt political hack who manages to take control - just because he is in control - or do our Yeshivas teach Torah values and morals that are meant to be expressed in every aspect of our lives - including when related to orders in the army - and we are never meant to be mindless automatons?

Will each of the Hesder Rabbis be willing to stand up and say his talmidim should not kick their fellow Jews out of their homes - that it is an immoral order and an anti-Torah order? Or will they leave it with the more pareve statement such as 'the army should not be used for political purposes like Barak is shamelessly and tyrannically doing and abusing'?

The Yeshiva teaches a path, and if the Rabbis of a particular Yeshiva aren't willing to stand up to this tyrannical use of the people's army against its own civilians, against Jews in a Jewish State no less, against this immorality - and calling it what it is, then that Yeshiva isn't teaching any values that will last - because when push comes to shove, in that single moment when the opportunity is there to define your very self, for them it's all just empty words.

It's very easy to put this argument in perspective, imagine your son came home and told you that he was given orders to kick you out of your home and asked you what should he do, would you tell him to follow these orders or not?

Any normal person would say absolutely not, so, then why would you think for a second it's OK for him to kick your Jewish neighbors in the town next door out of their home. They aren't the enemy - they are your fellow citizens, fellow Jews, and no different than you.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you think that the Hesder Rabbis should go ahead with their threat to delay the drafting of their students? Won't that damage the army?

Anonymous said...

I don't have the answer Anonymous, however here is a possible response.

Yes, it will weaken the IDF in the short-run, however it could also force the government to change their policies and thus strengthen the IDF.

JoeSettler said...

The use of soldiers for political missions damages the army.

The Disengagement, the Peace Process, and operating against Jews confused the army as to what their primary mission was, and as a result, for years training and operational missions were redefined, and the poor performance in the Second Lebanon War was the direct result.

Barak believes he holds all the cards. Barak believes that there will be no possible backlash from his political actions. Barak believes he can crush the religious enemy to his will and rebuild his political fortune at the same time (sort of like how he destroyed his own Labor party).

But the Hesder Yeshivas (not to mention the one-year premilitary yeshivas) supply the army with thousands of motivated combat soldiers.

Draftees are within their legal rights to demand a delay of their draft up to the age of 22.

The army knows this, and cannot afford to lose a draft season or two (or years) of it's best fighters.

The Rabbis don't want to do this either, but the alternative is too dangerous to allow.

Barak, for personal political gain, is pushing everyone into a corner with his cynical abuse of his power.

But his actions are hurting the entire country, not just the specific sectors that he dislikes and has marked as his enemy.

Whether they like it or now, the Prime Minister and the heads of the army are going to have to take a stand, because ultimately, and as much as they want to avoid admitting it, Barak has also painted them into that same corner.

The army is already weakened by its politicization and discarding of Jewish values.

Do you really want to be defended by a soldier who only knows he must absolutely follow orders by someone who actually believes he is above the law? Where does that end? With tyranny? Certainly with severe damage to democracy and morality.

The strength of Israel's army has always come from the people. The people know they are fighting for good, for right, for survival, for family, for their fellow Jew.

Take out the Torah from the army, and you take out the very core morality that strengthens and unites us.

Anonymous said...

After revelation of Barak's secret plan, we understand why he was so insistent on pushing Rav Melamed against the wall

JoeSettler said...

What a disappointingly weak response from the Hesder rabbis. They back Rabbi Melamed, and will take all the steps required to get his Yeshiva reinstated, they say that the army has no place for civilian missions, and there is no room for protest in the army.

Congratulations. Ehud Barak won.

The Rabbis were afraid to say that soldiers should refuse orders to kick Jews out. The Rabbis were afraid to threaten delaying conscription of their students until Rabbi Melamed's yeshiva was reinstated.

Now Barak can go step on the Yeshivas and the religious some more - because he knows they are afraid to even threaten to hurt the army no matter how bad it gets.

I guess one couldn't expect more for so many reasons.

There are those that say the Rabbis chose the best road, because threatening action would have ripped the army apart.

Well isn't that's the same excuse that helped push the Expulsion through?

Maybe if the Rabbis had stood up now, Barak would have been forced to back down. But now we'll never know that.

They only thing we can hope for is that the rumors about Netanyahu are true - that Netanyahu was shocked to the core at Barak's secret plans which he learned of this morning, and Barak will be out of the coalition in a few months time once all the current crisises are over.

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