web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Is Going to the IDF an Evil Decree?

The implication of such statements is that anyone who serves in the army is guilty of violating a yahorog v’al ya’avor.

F120806FF03

Photo Credit: Zaka/Flash90

I can’t help but marvel at the sublime arrogance of those who ignore the value of the Israeli army. Not only to the survival of the state but to protection it provides to all the people that live within its borders.

Yet another article along these lines has appeared in the Haredi media. This one in Mishpacha Magazine by publisher Rabbi Moshe Grylak. Therein he extols the virtues of the tens of thousands of Yeshiva students learning Torah in Yeshivos and Kollelim throughout the land of Israel that he says are the ones truly protecting the country. It is the Torah they learn that provides the real protection. And he brings various proofs that is this is the case from the Gemarah and anecdotes from previous generations of Gedolim.

I am not here to dispute the value of learning Torah L’Shma. I am completely supportive of that most important Mitzvah. I even believe that the elite among them should be fully supported even beyond that which we support them today. Nor do I dispute the protective value of those who learn B’Hasmada Rabbah – great diligence.

What irks me is that Rabbi Grylak does something that is typical of his community. He implies that it is only Torah study that does that. The Israeli Defense Forces have nothing to do with it. Torah study is all that is needed to protect the masses from the fires of hell that would be unleashed by the very real enemies that surround them.

This is an arrogance that they can easily afford since the Israeli army is not going to disband any time soon. I’d like to see how many Lomdei Torah (full time Yeshiva and Kollel students) would be willing to live in an Israel that has no army. I think zero might be a fairly accurate guess. And yet in this article he completely rejects (by omission) the necessity of an IDF by virtue of his ‘proofs’ that all which is needed is the Kollel and the Yeshiva.

This, he says, is the view of all the Gedolei Yisroel. And that is why they oppose the draft. It is why, he explains there is so much vehement protest about it – using language not heard since the days of the State’s founding. Drafting of Haredim is a ‘G’zeiras HaShmad’ – a decree tantamount to an evil government requiring Jews to convert or die!

The implication of such statements is that anyone who serves in the army is guilty of violating a yahorog v’al ya’avor. The ultimate Kiddush HaShem: We should rather die than violate one of the 3 cardinal sins (idol worship, murder, and adultery). A G’zeiras HaShmad requires us to make that sacrifice even if forced to violate the smallest of sins.

I can’t imagine what a Hesder student feels like when he hears such rhetoric. And yet, Rabbi Grylak is right about how the Haredi world feels about it. This is increasingly what one hears from their circles. It is the Haredi version of “Hell no! We won’t go!” That was the mantra of the draft card burning anti Viet Nam war protesters in the late 60s and early 70s.

Another thing that Rabbi Grylak does not seem to understand is that this is not only about asserting the Torah’s protective quality. It isn’t just about countering the anti religious view that rejects the idea that the Torah has any value. A view that has a shrinking number of adherents even as the Haredi world does its level best to perpetuate that myth. Their “Hell no” attitude is a complete turn off from Judaism to any secular Jew or even religious Jew who has served or is serving in the army. The truth is that the majority of Israelis are not anti Torah. But they are becoming anti Haredi because of the very attitude represented in an article like this.
And there is another very important thing Rabbi Grylak ignores which has nothing to do with what actually protects the Jewish people. Something I have addressed here many times. The actual blood that is shed on their behalf by soldiers who have been killed in battle. Blood that no Yeshiva or Kollel student will ever have to shed.

Rabbi Grylak completely ignores the grieving mother who has lost a son in battle… or has suffered the trauma of a son seriously and permanently wounded. His argument is irrelevant to that mother. Her son’s life was extinguished or permanently altered by a severe disability. Every mother whose son serves in the IDF has that worry. When their son leaves home to do battle with the enemy, their fears about whether they will ever see their son alive again is very real. Not so the mother who sees her son leave home to go learn in the Yeshiva.

This is not only Rabbi Grylak’s view but represents the view of his entire community. To one degree or another their arrogance about the draft and the callous message that sends to every mother who has a son in the IDF is inexcusable. I do not understand how any of the rabbinic leaders do not see that. Nor do I understand why they do not see what a Gadol of the last generation saw. As I have pointed out many times Rav Chaim Shmulevitz understood the value of the IDF and said so publicly.

But I guess that there are those who disagree with Rav Shmulevitz – Rabbi Grylak among them. As do just about all the rabbinic leaders in Israel. At least that’s what he says in this article.

Shas HaShamd?! Really!?

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Is Going to the IDF an Evil Decree?”

  1. Tzvi Fishman says:

    Very interesting observations.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest Blogs Stories
paramedikit-3

“I knew that being there would allow me to protect other soldiers.”

Kerry Repeats

JoeSettler asks what could still possibly be on the negotiating table with the PA after a summer like we just had…

Kurdistan Crisis

You did not want to listen because you could not blame my Israel.

iphone

Now everyone has easy access to the culture and all of its vices, both social and intellectual.

Connect the dots, please: All of these Muslim Arab terror organizations are connected.

“…while Hamas has been weakened it has not been destroyed…”

Jewish donors bought and donated the greenhouses to the Palestinians.

This week’s podcast discusses the need for transparency in international business dealings.

The new “Begin Plan” is an impending nightmare, it rewards the Bedouins for brazen land-grabbing.

There is absolutely nothing for Israel’s security in this American document.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

Israel is fighting the war that none of the Western world has the ability or courage to fight.

Finish the job! Sayyem et a missima!סיים את המסימה!

Life after 50? You better believe it! Tips on how to prepare and enjoy life after retirement.

While I am no fan of the two-state solution, I think I have a solution for the Gaza strip. Let me make it perfectly clear that in no way do I believe a Palestinian people, nation or Arab State ever existed in the history of the world and certainly was not occupied by Israel. If […]

Hamas targeted the Erez Crossing when it knew that Gazans and Israeli Arabs would be there, out in the open…

More Articles from Harry Maryles
iphone

Now everyone has easy access to the culture and all of its vices, both social and intellectual.

A Jewish wedding.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

If feminism is mentioned at all, it is usually to condemn it as an anti Torah ideal.

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

But the real culprit is William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint

Israeli’s are a religious people; even secular Jews believe that God is active in this world.

If Hamas would simply stop firing rockets into Israel, all the carnage would stop instantly.

Inevitably when tragedies like this happen there is a sudden burst of Achdus. Tragedies unite.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/is-going-to-the-idf-an-evil-decree/2013/02/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: