There are many Torah observant Jews (aka Orthodox Jews) who consider Israel army service to be a great mitzvah, Torah commandment. I’m one of them. The State of Israel with all its many imperfections is Jewish, as Jewish as a country can be in today’s world, and it is up to every single one of us to do our best to protect it.
For those who can serve in the army, that is the greatest mitzvah, because one is risking his life and future for the Jewish People.
Hat tip: Life in Israel for the story of the Chabadnik who is going for the Israeli Air Force. When my daughters’ friends were trying out for and some getting accepted into the Air Force it was considered revolutionary that a dati leumi, national religious with kippa s’ruga, crocheted kippah would be in the Air Force. By the time my sons’ friends tried out, it was not news, but when one friend married a religious girl who was also in the Air Force that was special.
Many people like to complain about the difficulties of serving in the IDF for the religious, but like with every sort of position and all sorts of “marketing,” the more people who take it on, the easier it will be.
I’m also seeing, at least here in Shiloh, more and more young religious women serving in the IDF and not just as teachers. Those who want to volunteer in educational positions still do Sherut Le’umi, National Service. But today quite a few young women are going into fields mostly occupied by men, because they feel the need to serve on a higher level.
It’s too bad that the government is going on an aggressive track trying to rush the chareidi draft to the army. There are also too many lies, especially from the chareidi side which distort facts. One of them is that the dati Le’umi are only asked to serve seventeen months while they are being forced to serve three years. The seventeen months is the time of active service for hesder yeshivot out of their five year program. Let the chareidi also establish or join hesder yeshivot and commit to a five year program of which all of the post army part makes the students “first call” in an emergency.