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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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Shas HaShmad or Kiddush HaShem?

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Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Although Rabbi Yitzchak Bar-Chaim too is opposed to the draft, it is quite obvious from his statement that he does not consider army service Shas HaShmad. He obviously views these Charedi recruits with pride. This is how every single Charedi in Israel – including rabbinic leaders – should look at it.

But instead some of the more radical ones cry bloody murder at the mere mention of the draft. They threaten all kinds of terrible repercussions if Charedim are subjected to the ‘Shmad’ of army service! Isn’t it time for some sanity on this issue from that segment of the Charedi leadership that realizes this is not a Shas Shamd? Why are there no voices in opposition to the vicious screams of Shamd and the like that one hears all the time?

I agree with Religious Zionist rabbis on this issue. They encourage their students to serve. They consider it an obligation and even a Kiddush HaShem. Do Charedi rabbis consider that Religious Zionist rabbis are guilty of Shmad too?

The Charedi world is alone on this issue. The rest of Orthodoxy does not agree with them and they are perplexed by that. They say that Charedim have always fought for the rights of Religious Zionists. Why don’t they now reciprocate and fight for the rights of the Charedim?

Isn’t the answer obvious? They are in profound disagreement with them. Not to mention the fact that Religious Zionist students serve, fight, and die for their country while Charedi students instead sit and learn. And how many of them actually do that the way they are supposed to?

I think that every single Charedi leader ought to attend the next Charedi swearing in ceremony. And in the future, instead of yelling and screaming that forced army service is a Shas Shmad, they ought to be yelling and screaming at those who vilify Charedim that serve. That would be a pleasant change in the right direction.

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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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