Monday, December 14, 2009

Updates and responses to Barak's removal of Yeshiva Har Bracha from the Hesder program can be found at this JoeSettler post.

In the meantime, more than 60 active combat reservists, including officers and commanders have already signed a letter that if Yeshiva Har Bracha is out, then so are they.

In their letter to General Ashkenazi and Ehud Barach they write (rough translation):
Many of us have fought in Lebanon and Gaza fulfilling every mission – even if it meant giving our lives.

We learned this fighting spirit from our Rabbis, and from our Hesder Yeshivas we absorbed the message to fight and give our all.

But if the Hesder Yeshivas are kicked out then the message we receive is that the army doesn’t want us either and is forcing us out.

It is because of our Yeshiva education that we did our army service and do our reserve duty. But if the army is kicking our Yeshivas out, then it is with a heavy heart that we must complete the job for the army.

And if there is war, unfortunately we won’t be able to see ourselves on the frontlines in the army that pushed us out.

This is just the beginning. Who is going to be left to fight Barak's upcoming wars with Gaza and Lebanon?

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17 comments:

jonathan becker said...

"Who is going to be left to fight Barak's upcoming wars with Gaza and Lebanon?

the other two thirds of the officer corps and the vast majority of conscripts. who are you kidding?

annie said...

To JB above, 2/3 of the officer corps is not enough for a relatively small army like the IDF. Plus, I think you'll find that the officer corps consists of a lot more than 1/3 religious boys.

Dr. Rona Michelson said...

Many years ago when my son and I were both looking for a place to buy a home, we traveled with a group to four yishuvim in the Har Bracha area-- Itamar, Har Bracha, Elon Moreh, and one other whose name escapes me. While a Har Bracha, Rabbi Melamed spoke to our group. At the end of the day, we decided that for us the area was too remote, but our one regret was not being able to be in a community with a rabbi who was so kind and sensitive and concerned not only with miztvot, but also with the people in his community and what their day to day life was like-- how their interpersonal relationships would be.

As a family therapist, I often tell people that the reason they are not solving the problem is because they are asking the wrong questions. Here the question is not whether or not the soldiers should follow orders; it is whether the people issuing the orders have thought of the implications of their actions and if so, how will they deal with them.

JoeSettler said...

JB - Religious soldiers make up a significant percentage of IDF COMBAT soldiers and officers. Almost half (if not more than half already) of the midlevel combat officers are religious.

These guys are the backbone of the fighters.

Anonymous said...

There is certainly room for R' Melamed to interpret Torah law to forbid his (and his students) participation in such activities and for them to pay the price exacted by the IDF (I don't know what exactly that is in specific, apparently it is in aggregate being dropped from the hesder program). There is certainly room for others to determine that they can not participate in the IDF (look at certain secular and chareidi wings).

As an outsider (who will have to give a very poor explanation upon giving his final din vcheshbon) I only have one question, has R' Melamed said that the possible end of the third commonwealth is worth the price of not following the decisions of the government? Or is he convinced that refusal will not be a big enough issue?

KT
Joel Rich

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shalom Joel:

At what point do you draw the line as a religious soldier.

Take the following situation: A religious soldier is told he needs to dismantle an "illegal" outpost settlement...on Shabbat.

Forgetting the issue of whether the IDF should be dismantling outposts at all (and left to the police), can a religious soldier be expected NOT to disobey an order, which clearly has nothing to do with pikuach nefesh? If an order like this is given, and a Rosh Yeshivat Hesder says one must listen to hilchot shabbat -- how should one act?

By the way -- the above question is far from theoretical, and has unfortunately, happened on Shabbat already.

Is it worth "the possible end of the 3rd commonwealth" -- and instead one should be michalel shabbat?

Food for thought...

Regards,

Jameel

Olah Chadasha said...

Jameel, since the the building freeze was issued, I have been saying that this will start a civil war. While there some that say that civil unrest is an acceptable price to pay in light of the possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb. I understand and agree with that, but how will the country survive in the long run if it's ripped apart from the inside? We shouldn't have to be sacrificing one aspect of survival for another in order to gain support to fight an existential threat to the lives of 6 million people. I thought Obama was all about community... I guess his organizing doesn't apply to Jews.
-OC

Anonymous said...

Jameel,
I recognize that life is complex. My point is that there are macro and micro issues involved here and in the system of RY having an answer for every question, they must take ultimate responsibility for the outcomes both on a micro and macro basis. I was wondering if the macro was ever discussed (e.g. yes, even if the army becomes much less effective because of refusal, that is a price we are willing to pay). I'm not arguing with the right to do so.

BTW in Tanach do we ever see such cases?

KT
Joel Rich

jonathan becker said...

"in Tanach do we ever see such cases?"

in tanach a soldier is excused from duty if he's planted a vinyard. the settlers have planted a vinyard. still, they serve with mesiros nefesh. should they also be expected to assist in the uprooting of the vinyard?

jonathan becker said...

btw, if r. melamed et. al haven't thought of that one yet, its copyright 2009 j.b. etc. :)

jonathan becker said...

jk, torah is for everyone.

Neshama said...

Maybe someone (Joe Settler?) should present to your readers the portion of the Torah that discusses Milhemet Mitzva, and the other categories of war, (i believe there are 3) their duties and halachos involved. Why isn't there an educated posting on this issue?

It is vital for the protection of the people of Israel, and for the functioning of a sovereign govt. to have warriors for protection and defense.

Does the Israeli establishment really know these categories and their halachos? This could make for a few blog posts and commentary.

NormanF said...

Certainly not the Left. The silver lining in the cloud is Barak is going to be short of manpower to evict the residents of Yesha from their communities. The IDF has enough trouble just enforcing the "freeze" on the Jews.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Neshama: One needs to take into context that the majority of Israel is not religious, but masorati.

Torah law cannot be simply imposed on them (or the government).

Its a step in the right direction what we have so far -- but we need more religious Jews moving here to Israel if we're ever going to change the framework of our lives to be significantly more religious.

Anonymous said...

So it helps to make the framework of life in Israel more religious by advocating mutiny by soldiers and now we have a policewoman severly injured by settlers. are you sure that you're not acting like Arabs rather than Jews?

Term Papers said...
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Term Papers said...

Nice post. Keep it up.
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