“We don’t need your Molech army!” they say. “Torah is all we need! The Torah will protect us, not your airplanes and tanks!”
Rubbish! Nonsense! Stupidity! The Torah didn’t protect the devout holy Jews who had their throats slit open during the pogroms of yesterday, just as the Torah didn’t protect all of the millions of devout holy Jews from Nazi firing squads and gas chambers.
Dear friends, let me assure you. The devout holy Jews at the rally this morning don’t love the Torah more than I do. Yet I served in the Molech Israeli Army. My sons serve in the Molech Israeli Army. All of the Jews in the Holy Land today can live here in the Holy Land precisely because the Holy One Blessed Be He has enabled us to have our own Jewish army after being slaughtered helplessly for 2000 years in galut at the whims of the goyim.
When Moshe led the war against Amalek, he didn’t just pray on the mountain – he sent Yehoshua to lead the soldiers of the Molech Israelite Army to fight in hand-to-hand combat down below on the battlefield. Yehoshua didn’t merely blow shofars in conquering the Land, he cut off the heads of the enemy. King David, who knew a little himself about reciting Tehillim, didn’t rely on Tehillim alone when he set forth to battle, he took up his sword, flung his mini-Torah over his shoulder, and rushed forth with great joy until he had sliced all of Israel’s enemies in half! And who was a greater scholar than Rabbi Akiva? To defend the Land of Israel from the Romans, he closed his Gemorah, rushed to the battlefield, picked up Bar Kochva’s weapons himself and accompanied him into battle!!
So don’t give me the Hasidic song and dance that I’ve heard so many times, “We don’t need your Zionist army! The Torah will protect us, not your airplanes and tanks!”
Nonsense! It simply isn’t true. That isn’t Torah. That isn’t Judaism. Yes, the Torah protects us – when we study, and when we pray, and when we arm ourselves with rifles and tanks and go out to destroy the enemy!
I wholeheartedly agree that the Government of Israel must make certain that the army is revamped to meet the special needs of all of its new holy recruits. No women in their platoons and army camps. Glatt kosher food. Adequate time to pray. Regular daily Torah study.
Once all of that is in place, yalla boys! It’s a mitzvah to serve in the Israeli army! Instead of weeping in sack cloth, get up and serve Hashem with simcha! Not only is serving the army a mitzvah, it is a gigantic mitzvah of Clal Yisrael! Personally, I never felt holier than when I was wearing the green khaki uniform of Tzahal. When you are in the Israeli Army, you attach yourself to all of Clal Yisrael, to all of the Nation. Instead being a private individual person, you become a giant guardian of the Clal, cleaving to the traits of HaKodesh Baruch Hu, the Guardian of Israel, Shomer Yisrael.
Yes, dear friends, it is a very great mitzvah indeed to serve in the armies of Israel. A mitzvah from the Torah itself! That’s right. If the occasion demands, the Torah commands us to go forth to battle, to fight what is called a “Milchemet Mitzvah,” the mitzvah of war, as clearly set forth by both the Rambam and the Ramban (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 5:1-2; Ramban, Supplement to the Sefer HaMitzvot, Positive Command 4.)
Don’t be deceived by cries of “Gevalt!” and all kinds of holy curses. The armies of Tzahal, the Israel Defense Forces – what some devout holy Jews in Mea Shaarim call Molech – is a precept of the Torah! Not only a precept – it is a double precept – in enabling us to conquer and maintain Jewish control over Eretz Yisrael, and in saving Jewish lives from enemies who rise up to kill us.
True, within the army there are many problems that need to be corrected to insure that our camp remains holy, but serving in the armies of Israel is a mitzvah of the Torah, especially now, when millions of enemies surround us, yearning to wipe Mea Shaarim off the map.
About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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