Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

I would also point out that even though Nachal and Shachar were designed to give Charedim a service alternative that would enable them to honorably serve their country without sacrificing their ideals, and then join the workforce… mainstream Charedim are not the ones taking advantage of it. Shachar founder, Rabbi Betzalel Cohen put it this way a couple pf weeks ago in Mishpacha Magazine:

(H)ow can you take an 18 year old out of Yeshiva? It’s unconscionable, even for those who aren’t the biggest learners. But for 21 year olds who aren’t so into the full-time learning anymore? Then were talking about basic Yiddishkeit.

Let’s not fool ourselves about the current Charedi military programs. In no way is it seen by any Charedi rabbinic leader as any kind of mainstream way of serving in the military. It’ a Kiruv program for at risk Charedim.

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Nonetheless accommodating Charedi sensibilities is the intent of the government and Lapid’s programs… and Nachal Charedi and Shachar should serve as the structural model of service for future Charedi inductees.

What about the extremists that are ruining even the small progress Charedim have made on their own? They have to be fought tooth and nail. Law breakers should be thrown in jail (How many times have I said that before?)

Other than that, progress sometimes means taking two steps back in order to move one step forward. That seems to be what is happening now – in the short term. But in the long term – perhaps we can eventually have it all… a vibrant Charedi community that continues to live a Torah L’Shma lifestyle and yet is able to fulfill its commitments to serve honorably alongside their Dati and secular counterparts – albeit in specialized units geared to their way of life. And perhaps finally they will also be able to get the basic education required in this world so that there will be no Charedi left behind in the workplace.

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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.

11 COMMENTS

  1. So, you have your own version of the Westboro Baptist (sic) Church. We here in the U.S. have a group of bikers , who ride motorcycles to events where these evil people are and these bikers form a human shield to protect the events.

  2. As a Jew, a Jew who was lucky enough to have grown up in a warm and loving home, who went to a warm and loving synagogue, who could never understand the idea of any god(s), only the relentless pursuit of truth and justice, this, this whole thing is just so socially embarrassing to me. If they didn’t shield their youth (who eventually become adults of course), they would of course see the inhuman and horrific behaviors of Israel’s neighbors. Is it not fair to think that from such observations that they too are following and living the same fanaticism? Would they then Not curtail their teachings in the name of what they praise most which is the torah and the teachings of it. Nevermind the Talmud! Again, this is just so embarrassing to me and to so many other decent Jews.

  3. “…who could never understand the idea of any god(s)…” Did he really say that? How could someone claim a Jewish identity, and yet believe that way? Without G_d, there is no Judaism. All that would be left are customs and traditions, which by themselves would mean nothing without G_d.

  4. The damage is done by the Media who blows things out of proportion to ridiculous levels. You will find delinquents in every society. The media is insisting on putting these few unfortunate individuals on the front page at every possible opportunity. The crime the are guilty of is completely insignificant in the Western Society, where prisons are overcrowded with murderers and rapists, where the levels of teenage pregnancies, abortions and suicide have reached crisis proportions. Your society brags 1 out of every 3 girls are abused by the age of 16. Yet the western media, fed by liars like Dov Lipman and WOW are obsessing with these minor misdemeanors as a smoke screen of the real problems.

  5. you want only the secular Jews be respected surely you hate the Haredim and promote hate. You all declaired war on the Haredim. The woman of the wall are not peaceful protesters – you should done your homework – they do not respect the Haredim.

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