Reply To: Shmad in Israel?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Shmad in Israel? Reply To: Shmad in Israel?


Let’s not let the super Zionists and Neturei Karta hijack this discussion into whether Zionism is a treif avodah zara, or the culmination of Jewish dreams.

The conversation in this thread is whether or not the IDF is shmad. We don’t have to come to an agreement regarding Zionism as an ideology in order to properly evaluate the threats and benefits coming from IDF service. For example, Bedouin Arabs are not zionist (obviously), but many of them serve in the IDF for their interests. Alternatively, many Zionist inclined, but G-d fearing Israelis do not send their kids to the Army, to avoid OTD.

So lets focus on the IDF. The argument for going to the army is to take part in the general society, to share their burdens, as well as placate our secular brothers who demand that we take our part. The arguments against it, is that it will take Jews away from learning, and overall it will force Jewish boys in an culture that deprioritizes Jewish values, while normalizing secular ones.

It’s obvious to me that the threats outweigh the benefits. We have no obligation to placate people who want to destroy us (spiritually or physically). If they are unhappy with us, it’s their anti-Semitism (hatred of Judaism is just as anti-Semitic as hatred of Jews) speaking, and we may never comply. Sharing the burden may be a good midah in general, but every middah should be evaluated. Charity is also an important middah, but you wouldn’t give 10k to charity if your children can’t afford clothes.

The IDF does not need haredim because of any manpower losses. It’s true, there is a manpower shortage in the IDF — but there is also an overabundance of manpower. The answer to this riddle, is that high quality combat troops are in short supply, however low quality people who can’t be relied on are everywhere. Now what kind of soldiers would Yeshiva Boys, or even Shababnik at risk boys become? How many yeshiva boys run even 5k? Enlisting haredim will not solve any IDF manpower problems, and the service limit will still have to be extended to keep the combat troops in uniform.

So why do Israeli elites want to enlist the haredim? They say it themselves, to “integrate” charedim into society, meaning to make them non-frum. Simcha said:

The army is not trying to destroy religion. In fact, over the past few decades, the army has become more and more Torah friendly. I believe they make sure to have minyanim available for soldiers who want it (at least in the more religious units). They have a mehadrin level of kashrus (as opposed to regular rabanut).

It’s true there is kosher food and minyanim in the army, but being frum is not just about kosher food and tefillin. The fundamental of being a frum Jew, is declaring that Hashem’s word is of highest importance in your value system. As an IDF soldier, can you say that you will only follow your commands as long as they don’t contradict Hashem’s Torah? No, you may not. If your commander orders you to do something prohibited by the Torah, you must do it. For an example, see the officers cadets who were expelled because they refused to listen to women singing. (however if your commander orders you to do something against international human rights, not only can you refuse, but you must refuse such an order. shows you what their values really are)

Final note, as I already mentioned in other discussions on this topic, personally — all of my friends went to the Army, and almost all came in frum, and came out OTD. I’ve seen too many of these cases. This is not an acceptable supposition. Even if the IDF needed us, this price of losing your entire olam haba, and bringing asonot on Am Israel is just too high.