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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Should IDF Soldiers Receive Lashes as Punishment for Forced Draft?

I’m sure this is an empty threat. No one is going to get lashes. It is just a scare tactic. Or is it?
Lashes

Well… if this doesn’t take the cake, I don’t know what does.  Perhaps the next step will be putting pressure cooker bombs in army barracks. From Arutz Sheva:

Posters appeared in Jerusalem on Thursday claiming that for every yeshiva student who is drafted into the IDF, a group calling itself “The Underground Organization Against the Draft of Hareidim in the Land of Israel” would attack an IDF soldier.

 Addressing the “military authorities,” the poster says that “you will realize that you made a mistake” in authorizing jail time for hareidi yeshiva students who refuse to join the IDF. “For every hareidi youth forced to go to prison over his refusal to join the army, the hareidim will take revenge.”

 The poster says that the “revenge” would come in the form of lashes. “For every hareidi youth imprisoned, and for each day he is imprisoned, an IDF soldier will receive 18 lashes with a whip. You have been warned,” the poster adds.

So much for calling comparisons to the Tsarneav brothers ‘over the top’. I don’t think the comparisons are that far off.

Of course there is absolutely no way in the world that this group has any support from even the most right wing rabbis of the Eida HaCharedis. I fully expect a strong condemnation of it. I would in fact be surprised if it were not forthcoming. The people behind this are truly the dregs of their society… of any society.

But as I constantly say, their motivation comes from the very same rabbinic leaders who will no doubt condemn them. What do you expect from people who constantly hear from their rabbis and newspapers – the worst possible epithets and curses about the government… often calling them Nazis and spitting on government officials… sometimes even the Charedi ones! It was not that long ago where mainstream Meah Shearim type Jews wore Holocaust prison clothing in a public protest against the government. The hateful rhetoric is there… all in place for these people to draw their inspiration from.

That said, I’m sure this is an empty threat. No one is going to get lashes. It is just a scare tactic. Or is it?If there are people who in ‘the name of the Torah’ can throw acid at joggers – or torch clothing stores… or burn dumpsters creating toxic fumes, or beat up women who sit in the wrong part of a bus… or beat a store owner to a pulp because he sold an electronic device that was video capable… can kidnapping a soldier and giving him lashes be all that unexpected?

God forbid that this should ever happen. Unfortunately it would not surprise me if it did. Why wouldn’t it? If you are constantly being told that the country you live in is an evil empire, why would you not do everything in your power to eradicate it? The IDF soldier is after all the enemy!

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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.


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