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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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The War on Hesder

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi during a visit to the Modiin Hesder yeshiva in 2010. Ashkenazi said, "Yeshiva students come to the IDF armed with faith and a strong desire to contribute."

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi during a visit to the Modiin Hesder yeshiva in 2010. Ashkenazi said, "Yeshiva students come to the IDF armed with faith and a strong desire to contribute."
Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger / FLASH90

It must scare the leftists to no end that more than half of the mid-level combat officers are religious, many from the Hesder system.

It must scare the leftists that a significant percent of combat soldiers are religious soldiers, dedicated to a Torah based value system which they can’t seem to eradicate or weaken.

It must scare the leftists that, unlike they’re forbears in the Kibbutz movement who actually served in combat units and ruled the army, these new leftists have not only abandoned the IDF but also attack and try to weaken the IDF, while these religious Jews that are serving today in the IDF are the ones who will be inheriting the IDF mantle and keeping it strong.

The whole situation has probably created a lot of consternation for the modern Leftist.

On one hand, they’re trying to tear the Haredim away from the Yeshiva, and hoping the army will do its part to rip away Torah from the Haredim, while on the other hand, they are scared senseless by the utter success of Hesder Torah students who have taken on such important roles within the army, and are helping reshape it – and not only remain religiously strong but ensure the army respects religious requirements (which, trust me, it didn’t always do).

So when you realize that despite an initial shorter active service (not counting the additional 3.5 years within the army system as non-active soldiers), Hesder student-soldiers are ultimately bearing more than their share of the burden, these attacks on Hesder begin to make a lot of sense – when you put them into context of the larger battle.

The Left want a weakened IDF, so they must weaken this strong core group of dedicated, religious soldiers and officers.

And as the Left sees the army as a weapon to secularize Haredim, Hesder is clearly a threat to that plan.

If the Left want their plan to destroy Haredi society via the IDF to succeed, they need to dismantle Hesder and the small but strong, healthy core of loyal, dedicated, religious soldiers, officers and citizens it creates every year.

After all, there’s nothing more dangerous in the mind of a Leftist than a religious Jew who believes in what he is doing for his nation.

H/T Rav Eliezer Melamed who provided many of the stats used in this post.

About the Author: JoeSettler blogs at The Muqata.blogspot.com and occasionally on his own blog at JoeSettler.blogspot.com.

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

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5 Responses to “The War on Hesder”

  1. Nit picking. If you have laws on serving and you serve under these laws you are doing your duty as prescribed by law. Whats the problem?

  2. Yeshiva Hesder students currently serve 16 months and not 18 months. The haredi issue is another matter. The
    Nasal haredi units consist mostly of haredi boys who are no longer in yeshiva and has Not been supported by the haredi mainstream. Almost all haredi boys remain in yeshiva util they have families. This is not sustainable on a macro level nor on a micro level. The average Israeli taxpayer is no longer willing to fund this.

  3. I think your analysis of the new left's fear of, and desire to weaken, the IDF and the Hesder movement. This attempt must be thwarted. The success of the Hesder movement makes the enlistment of Haredim more possible.

  4. Ronny Mol says:

    Laid has caused a perfect storm. The more religious soldiers, the high probality of a non vioent coup. End the anti Jew supreme court, Since leftist don't go in the army, perfect time to outlaw leftist parties with their Arab parties. What Lapid started could be a blessing in disguise.

  5. Nor leftist or rightist has the right to debate about youngsters obligation to participate in the IDF force, politicians should not put their nose to the IDF, if Huddin Desner is making a good job, let him do, Israel needs every day a very strong armed forces.

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