Moshe’s argument to the tribes of Reuven and Gad – “Shall your brothers go out to battle while you sit here?” (Num. 32:6) – resonates today with those who see the imbalance of the current situation. Israelis who serve in the IDF harbor feelings of anger and resentment toward their coreligionists who do not. Many are also upset by the government’s financial support of haredi yeshivot and institutions, whose beneficiaries do not serve. What’s missing is a sense of equality, a sense of shared responsibility, and a sense of shared destiny.
The Tal Law is set to expire on July 31. The current situation has become untenable. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said he is committed to “a more egalitarian and just law” to replace the status quo. His promise is not just good politics in an election year – it’s what Jewish law requires.
Rabbi Shimshon Nadel lives in Jerusalem, where he teaches Torah. His forthcoming book is “Return Again: The Argument for Aliyah.”