The horrible results of such a divide are twofold: First, the distancing of non-religious and even traditional Jews from the holy Torah, which was given to all of Israel. Second, the distancing of God-fearing Jews from the army, for if the military command blatantly declares it is forbidden for a religious soldier to accept the words of halacha from the rabbis, it creates a conflict between guarding the Torah and serving in the army.

Libel against the Torah and its bearers is nothing new; it has been used for decades by non-religious political parties and caused severe damage. Many Jews have been alienated from their heritage because of such arguments, to the point where the future of many families within the framework of the Jewish nation hangs in doubt.

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We, the bearers of Torah, also have a share of blame in this. We closed ourselves up with questions related to our small communities while neglecting issues concerning Klal Yisrael and the society around us. Such behavior has made it all that much easier for the public to accept the anti-religious arguments.

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Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, a leader of Israel’s religious-Zionist community, is dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha and a prolific author on Jewish Law. His books “The Laws of Prayer,” “The Laws of Passover” and “Nation, Land, Army” are being translated into English. He can be contacted at yonaton@yhb.org.il.