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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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Religious Zionists Are Amalek? Just Shoot Me Now!

The rhetoric that has accompanied the proposed legislation to subject Charedim the draft seems to be bordering on hysteria.

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Yeshivat Merkaz Harav - Yeshiva of Amalek?

Yeshivat Merkaz Harav - Yeshiva of Amalek?



And what are they protesting? If one listens to their ‘Shmad’ rhetoric  and compares it to the actual proposed legislation you have to wonder if the leadership has any clue about what they are protesting. From the Jewish Press:

The new law divides Haredi society into three age groups:

If passed, the law will immediate allow Haredim ages 22 and up to enter the workforce if they wish, and never have to worry about being drafted again. They will receive a permanent exemption. They can also sit and learn forever, if they so choose.

Next, the law will allow Haredim ages 18-22 to defer their draft until they reach age 24, and then, at age 24, they may decide if they want to serve in the army, do national service, go to work, or stay in kollel and learn forever. In other words, to this age group the law guarantees temporary exemptions until they may receive a permanent exemption. But, once again, they would be able to legally join the workforce in 4 to 6 years.

The third age group are Haredim who will turn 18 in the year 2017.

Out of this group, 1,800 will receive exemptions to sit and learn Torah, for the first time effectively sanctioning Torah study in the Jewish State as the full equivalent of military service. The fate of rest of those who turn 18 in 2017 will depend in some way on what today’s 18-22 age group does over the next 4 years.

The government intends to set a draft quota of 5,200 Haredim out of the approximately 8,000 who will reach 18 in 2017. Out of that quota, 3,000 will enlist in the IDF, 2,200 will do National Service—most likely in their own communities. The remaining 2,800 will receive permanent exemptions.

But, if the full 5,200 quota isn’t met, then the envisioned 2,800 exemptions will be automatically reduced to 1,800.

And moderate Charedi columnists walk in lockstep with the Charedi leaders who so badly mischaracterize what is really happening? This is Shmad?!

And where is the outrage about the implication that Hesder boys, the vast majority of whom are Religious Zioinists – are Amalek?!

The only explanation of the moderate Charedi columnist disconnect between reality and the fantasy of ‘Shmad’ is their fealty to Daas Torah. If I had to pick one thing that defines Charedi Hashkafa it would be that. Right is left and left is right – if Charedi Gedolim say it is. Because it couldn’t possibility be rational thought and objective analysis that they base their columns on.

And thus we descend further into the abyss of discord and disharmony – not because of legitimate disagreement to reasonable legislation, but because of the complete mischaracterization of reality and the extreme and condemning rhetoric of their leadership.

Harry Maryles

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.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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