Monday, February 18

Sometimes I want to scream

I love living in Israel.  But I want Israel to be perfect.
So does everyone.
And everyone's idea of perfect is different.
But some people's idea of "perfect" makes me want to scream.

Today, when I read the front page of the Hebrew Mishpaha newspaper, that gets thrown at my door without my permission every Monday, I wanted to bop someone on the head with said newspaper.   "Risuk haTorah" - the cult leaders (aka the hareidi press) have decided that the goal of integrating Hareidi families into workplaces and the army is no less than a total "crushing of Torah".  To their mind, the Israeli army, which provides a framework for boys to learn in Yehsiva for 3 1/2 years and serve as a religious unit for 16 months,  which provides Sifrei Torah, siddurim, shofarot, arba minim; which provides not only "regular" kosher meals to all soldiers, but even "glatt kosher"; which never has training exercises on Shabbat or Yom Tov; which has an entire unit called the Rabbanut Tzvait with soldiers whose entire task is to learn Torah sources in order to give opinions to the army leadership, in additional to having a Rav for each unit and battalion; to their minds this Holy (if imperfect) Army is as destructive to Judasim as the Cossack army.  
And working for a living?  According to the many hareidi newspapers we receive, only the Satan himself would propose such a thing to a nice Hareidi boy.
So, Hadash calls out proudly, "our political leaders will agree to negotiations with Arabs over Eretz Yisrael" = they will sell out the country's security and other people's homes and lives (again! don't forget Gush Katif), will join as left-wing of a government as anyone can contrive, to maintain full-funding for the Hareidi lifestyle that is decried in Pirkei Avot, Rmabam and any Torah source older than Israeli politics.

I grew up on the edge of the Canadian Aguda world.  We davened at Aguda shuls, I attended an Aguda elementary school, and all my (BH many) siblings went to Aguda high schools.  The obsession with judging other people's level of religious observance by external criteria always bothered me.  The lack of recognition and thanks to both Hashem and His messengers for the blessing that our great-grandparents could never have dreamt of seeing always irritated me.  And being in Israel, I am pained when I see the attitude that accompanies thousands of families enjoying tax breaks, practically free education (yeah, they pay 400 sheq a month for elementary school - and the government pitches in 5 times that per kid - and Hareidi special ed is free!), security (you won't see Kiryat Sefer, Immanuel or Beitar refusing to have non-Hareidi soldiers patrol their yishuvim), health services, streets, sidewalks, parks, etc - and then saying "we won't pay taxes.  we won't serve in the army".  
No, I take it back.  
If they just said "we won't pay taxes and we won't serve in the army" it wouldn't be as bad.  
But they actually tear down Israeli flags, and leave up posters that say in three languages "Jews hate Zionists".  And they label the expectation of that quarter of Israeli population to pull their own weight in terms of security and taxes - no less than "risuk haTorah".

When I read there things, I want to scream.   I want to take away all tax-funded services from the people who create these newspapers.  Let them move to places in Eretz Yisrael that are NOT under the Zionist regime, and see how it goes.

But it isn't in my control.
The rebuilding of a nation that has been spread to all corners of the earth is a process.  Just two days ago we read in the Haftara that Shlomo built the mikdash 480 years after Yetziat MItzrayim.  It took four hundred and eighty years until the Jews who had only been in Galut for 400 years (at most), had Neviim and had  experienced all the makkot-miracles and Matan Torah, were united enough to build HaShem's house.  So, who can expect it to take less time in our generation, more than 2000 years since the first of Benei Yisrael were exiled from Mamlechet Yisrael.  BEH, we will slowly bridge these gaps too, and slowly but surely, see more of the light of the final geula במהרה בימינו.


  1. Young David served in king Shaul's army; the sons of King David served in their father army. All the Shoftim stood at the front of their recruited and led them to wars of defense. So your are right - Haredim should serve in IDF as part of their Jewish identity.

  2. I was understanding your position and enjoying your post regardless of how much I disagree with you UNTIL you put all chareidim into the same boat with very specific people who put up the anti zionist posters and tear down flags... I don't know if it is your prejudice or jealousy or whatever you want to call it but if your critiquing, possibly rightly so, make sure you know who you are talking about in the first place - please :)