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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nahal Haredi’

IDF Creates 2 Haredi Battalions Ahead of New Draft Law

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The IDF has been taking steps to accommodate the anticipated growth in incoming Haredi recruits following the future draft law, currently in committee. The committee, chaired by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, is in broad agreement on the principle of “equal burden,” requiring Haredi young men and women to contribute to the state in which they live. There is, however, serious dispute between the two coalition factions most invested in the new legislation over the issue of enforcement.

Jewish Home favors economic sanctions against Haredim who fail to enlist, while Yesh Atid mistrusts the effectiveness of such measures, insisting instead on criminal charges.

Another Yesh Atid argument is that economic sanctions directed only at one part of the population would constitute a violation of their civil rights and could be shot down by the High Court.

Even if the current legislation passes all its hurdles, it is believed that the Haredi draft will not begin in earnest before 2017, when the first full batch of Haredi recruits will be required legally to enlist.

Nevertheless, the IDF is not waiting for 2017, and has already moved to accommodate the new arrivals. According to Haaretz, the army is planning to add a second Haredi infantry battalion in 2014, and a third battalion, designated to serve in the Home Front Command, in 2015.

Some 2,000 Haredim enlisted in 2013, and the army is expecting to enlist 2,300 in 2014 and 2,600 the following year. These figures match the original ones as proposed by the Perry Committee at an earlier legislative phase. They may be adjusted later, according to the ratified version of the law.

In addition to assignments within the infantry and in civilian rescue function, the IDF is also preparing for a wave of older Haredi recruits, mostly married men ages 22-23. They are expected to be integrated into technological and logistical units.

Generally, the IDF prefers its recruits younger, before they get married and have their first few children. Older Haredi recruits will be earning the equivalent salary of entry level professional servicemen, close to $18,000 a year.

The IDF is planning to create a separate recruitment center for Haredim, without female soldiers, as well as a Haredi boot camp, also without women.

That part could also meet legal challenges by various interested parties.

Outrage over Radical Haredi Mob Attack on Haredi Soldier

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Jerusalem police Tuesday rescued a uniformed Haredi soldier from a mob of more than 100  rock-throwing Haredi attackers in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood, where four people were arrested.

Haredi soldiers have increasingly been attacked by other Haredim – those who are anti-Zionist – but the ferocity of Tuesday’s ambush was unprecedented and drew wall-to-wall condemnation from Israeli politicians.

Of course, there were exceptions to the outrage. Haredi Knesset Members were silent, except for Shas.

A coalition of government ministers from the Likud, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid and other parties expressed disgust at the assault on the Haredi soldier, who hid into a nearby building to escape the assault. Riot police, also under attack by rock throwers, took him out of danger. The soldier, who is from metropolitan Tel Aviv and was visiting a relative, was not injured.

“Any attempt to physically or spiritually harm soldiers should be dealt with harsh penalties by the State,” said Yesh Atid Minister Yaakov Peri, chairman of the  Knesset Committee for Promoting Equal Share of the Burden Chairman. He urged Haredi community leaders “to take responsibility before a disaster occurs,” and called the incident an “attempted lynch.”

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who campaigned in the last election on a platform of eliminating deferment to Haredim, called the attack “appalling.”

A new bill to eliminate Haredi deferments was overwhelming approved by a ministerial committee Sunday and is to be voted on by the Knesset.

Three rabbis of the Nahal Haredi army unit also condemned the attack, which they said was an “embarrassment and a disgrace” to the Haredi community in Mea Shearim.

Aryeh Deri, leader of the Shas party went so far as to say that the attack by “extremist and delinquent youth” violates Torah sages’ teaching that a Jew who harms another Jew is “evil.”

The attack was reported overseas and given headline coverage by Fox News, giving Israel a royal black eye.

12 Good Reasons Why Secular Israelis Reject Haredim

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Rabbi Dovid Bloch is the official spokesman for the Nahal Haredi, the Netzah Yehuda IDF battalion, was among its founders, and is the spiritual guide (mashgiach ruchani) of its recruits. This part of his record is impeccable, as far as secular Israelis are concerned. Rabbi Bloch studied at Yeshivat Ponivez and for many years served as Rosh Yeshiva of the Midrashia in Pardes Hanah. He currently is a Ram (Rosh Metivta) in Nahora Yeshiva High School and a Rosh Kollel in Jerusalem. That makes his record impeccable for Haredim. This means that his opinion carries a great deal of weight in both camps, and that should give all of us reason to hope for a good resolution of the Equal Burden issue which has been troubling coalition talks these past three weeks.

Now, I ask the reader not to take away from the following text the position that the Haredim are the only ones to blame for the severe gap on so many levels between the two societies inside Israel. But it’s refreshing to read a respected Haredi source with a clear eyed view of the Haredi contribution to the problem.

In an article titled “Maybe the Secular Are Right?” that was published this winter in the Haredi Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Bloch asks: “Why is it so common for Haredi pundits and public figures to pin the motives for secular hatred against Haredim only on the formers’ bad qualities, their emptiness, anti-Semitism and the ignorant man’s hatred for the scholar? And another question we should ask ourselves is whether, in some cases, the value benefits from this conduct or another are worth the consequent heavy price of hilul Hashem (desecration of the Holy Name).

Rabbi Bloch then poses 12 questions which he encourages his Haredi readers to ponder.

1. We’ve chosen, for understandable educational reasons, to withdraw and live in exclusively Haredi cities and neighborhoods, avoiding as much as possible any social contact with the secular.

This is legitimate and understandable, but as a result they don’t really know us, amd so they naturally view us as bizarre, in our manner of dress, our behavior, and our language. This creates aversion and alienation. Why, then, we are angry at them for treating us this way?

2. We chose, for educational reasons—although some of us really believe it—to teach our children that all secular Israelis are sinners, vacuous, with no values, and corrupt.

This could possibly be a legitimate view, but, then, why are we shocked when the secular, in return, teach their own children that the Haredim are all primitive, with outdated and despicable values?

3. We have chosen, for the sake of the preservation of Torah in Israel, to prevent our sons from participating in carrying the heavy burden of security, and instead tasked them with learning Torah.

Of course we could not give that up, but why are we outraged and offended when the secular, who do not recognize nor understand this need—or rather most of them are familiar with the issue, but argue that there should be quotas—see us as immoral, and some despise us as a result?

4. We chose for our sons who do not belong, by their personal inclination or learning skills to the group of Torah scholars (Yeshiva bums and worse), to also evade enlistment—including into perfectly kosher army units. And when it comes to the individuals who have joined the Haredi Nahal, we do not praise them, but despise them instead, and we certainly show them no gratitude, while the Haredi press ignores them—in the best case.

Why, then, are we outraged when the secular don’t believe our argument, that the purpose of keeping yeshiva students from enlisting, is to maintain Torah study and not simply the Haredim’s unwillingness to bear the burden?

5. We chose to teach our children not to work for a living, and to devote all their time to Torah study. Clear enough, but, then, why are we shocked when the secular—who do not consider Torah study an all encompassing value—feel that we are an economic burden on their necks, as a mere 38% of us take part in the labor force, and they hate us for it.

6. We chose not to teach our children any labor skills, and we condemn those who do pursue a profession. As a result our kolelim include all of those who do not belong among the scholars and still prefer not to work for a living.

Haredim Can Do Anything

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Two Haredi men ride a camel on the Mount of Olives.

The Knesset committee tasked with crafting an alternative to the Tal Law for haredi service in Israel is reportedly almost done drafting its proposal.

According to the plan, Haredi men would perform two years of national or military service (in contrast to the three years mandated for male soldiers in the IDF), and the state would offer Haredim a variety of recruitment options to choose from, like additional “Nahal Haredi” units and special tracks within the Police force and the Prison Services.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/haredim-can-be-trained-to-do-anything/2012/06/28/

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