web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Letters To The Editor


Letters-logo

Torah Study And Military Service

Bravo to Rabbis Jeremy Gimpel (“Torah Study and the Defense Of Israel”) and Nachman Kahana (“King David Drafted Torah Scholars Into His Army,” March 21). At last someone had the courage to clear the air and set forth the true Da’at Torah on this painful subject.

Rabbi Gimpel is correct; it is difficult to find in Tanach or in the Talmud a case where Jews refused to join their brethren to defend Eretz Yisrael against its enemies.

To the contrary: It is written that when Moshe Rabbeinu asked the tribes of Gad and Reuven to join their brethren in conquering the land, they replied enthusiastically that not only would they join the battle, they would be in the front lines ahead of everyone else (Bamidbar 32:6-27).

The tribes of Gad and Reuven did not suggest to Moshe that they be permitted to stay home and study Torah. There was no such concept.

Further, the Torah lists four exemptions from war duty: one who’s built a house but hasn’t dedicated it; one who planted a vineyard but hasn’t partaken of its fruit; one who’s a newlywed; and one who’s fearful or softhearted (Devarim 20:5).

Torah scholars are not on that list. In fact, our sages tell us that those the Torah refers to as fearful are afraid because of their sins. In other words, those who were burdened with sin were sent home. Those going to war were a select group consisting of strictly observant Jews, tzaddikim, and Torah scholars. There were no exemptions for yeshiva students and kollel yungeleit.

Bezalel Fixler
Kew Gardens, NY

Plenty Of Chutzpah To Go Around

As the crisis in Crimea unfolds, we are seeing the ripple effects of failed diplomacy. President Obama was soft on Russia’s ally Syria, so Putin took this as an invitation to invade Ukraine. Now that’s chutzpah!

Not to be outdone, Secretary of State Kerry displayed some chutzpah of his own. In attempting to come to a diplomatic agreement with Russia, Kerry reached out to Russian-born Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. First Kerry fails to break Israel, then he comes crawling back when he needs Israel. Chutzpah!

Howard Jay Meyer
Brooklyn, NY

Needed: More Rav Kamenetskys And Rav Pams

I applaud Dov Shurin’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek March 21 column but I wish he hadn’t felt the need, for reasons of political correctness, to downplay his true feelings. I myself have often wondered why certain gedolim have not advocated for causes that do not directly involve the functions of their yeshivas.

Mr. Shurin’s grandfather, the great Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, was able to state forthright that Rav Kook was a tzaddik shalem because Rav Kamenetsky was more than a tzaddik or a gadol. He was what is referred to as a yashar – a person who continuously rejoices in the portion Hashem gave him and would never consider deviating from the straight and true path.

Rav Avraham Pam, zt”l, was also such a person. He reportedly once sent his rebbetzin back to a local store the day after a purchase to ensure that she had not received any special treatment from the proprietor.

Rav Kamenetsky and Rav Pam were as completely removed from self-interest as they were from insincerity and falsehood, but unfortunately not everyone is on that level.

As long as self-interest, politics, and angry sentiments pervade the yeshiva world, the response to the new draft legislation in Israel will be less than candid. And it should be clear that no persecution complex, however subjectively justified, can be allowed to color the truth when we are talking about matters that pertain to the viability and sustenance of the Jewish state.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Letters To The Editor”

  1. To Mr. Gerald Jacobs: Re your comments praising Rabbi Steven Pruzansky's sc athing "Exchange with an OLd Haredi Friend." Rabbi Pruzansky continually criticizes, vilifies and ridicules positions that Israelis take. Virtually all of them are none of his business as a non-citizen, non-resident of Israel. When is he going to put his money where his mouth is and come join us here in Israel. Then, at least he will be able to vote in elections and make his convictions known.

    Avi Sussman, Beit Shemesh, Israel

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kenji Goto Execution
ISIS Beheads Kenji Goto
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-295/2014/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: