Ads appear on 800 buses against Likud saying ”קדימה לשרת – נתניהו משתמט”, which loosely translated means “Kadima to serve [in the IDF] while Netanyahu dodges the draft”. This is Kadima’s response to the coalition party after being driven back into opposition due to the failures of the Plesner Committee.
The dictionary translates משתמט as one who evades responsibility. In Israel, the word משתמטי’ is used for draft evaders, and in this case, referring to chareidim.
In his response, MK (Yahadut HaTorah) Yisrael Eichler stated he rejects the use of the word משתמטים for the “hundreds of thousands of people who attended the levaya of HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv ZT”L.” Rav Eichler categorizes those who call chareidim משתמטים are “haters of HKBH and about them it is said, ה’ ילחם לכם ואתם תחרישון.”?
“HKBH will defend the lomdei torah against all those who wish them harm.” Eichler feels that if the press is a forum for those wishing to eradicate the chareidim, the guilt lies in the hands of the government that refers to them as משתמטים, draft evaders. He stresses we were here before you and will remain after you are all gone. “Most of Israeli, even chilonim and even those with home there is a dispute regarding IDF service love the torah. It is the small minority that is dragging the others along in the hate campaign against torah”.
During these 9 Days that culminated in the churban Bayis, dafka those “משתמטים” from avodas Hashem, from keeping shabbos, kiyum mitzvos, these days are calling to you, the משתמטים living in Tzion to return to the דבר ה’, for the Prophet Amos writes
הנה עיני ה’ אלוקים בממלכה החטאה והשמדתי אותה מעל האדמה
For how does HKBH promise us ?’אפס כי לא השמד אשמיד את בית יעקב נאום ה’ וכו’
בחרב ימותו כל חטאי עמי האומרים לא תגיש ותקדים בעדינו הרעה. ביום ההוא אקים את סוכת דוד הנופלת וכו’ והריסותי ואקים ובניתיה כימי עולם. ושבתי את שבות עמי ישראל וכו ולא ינתשו עוד מעל אדמתם אשר נתתי להם אמר ה’ אלוקיך.
HKBH will watch over us and protect from all our enemies. I must reiterate that most of Am Yisrael, including chilonim wants to be part of the people that studies and observes torah. So it is our prayer that even the inciters that refer to us as “משתמטים” will do tshuva and they will not be punished among those who ridicule the torah and those who learn it.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)