Army our common denominator. Care to defend?

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    You may have seen this

    As the commenters on the main site state so eloquently, the Torah is am yisroel’s commom denominator, and substituting army for that is outrageous.

    I’m curious what some in the dati l’eumi community might say to this.

    (OK, also, I want to make more people see it.)


    R’ Aviner obviously means that it is the common denominator between the Jewish citizens of the state of Israel; religious and non-religious. He is making a political point with that statement. If others want to think that despite not significantly contributing everything will be taken care of for them, that might be fine, but from a political perspective the fact of the matter is that by doing so they alienate themselves from the rest of the citizenry. That doesn’t mean you have to care. I’m sure this political point alone is not the basis of his psak. He simply has the hashkafa of others before him, such as R’ Chanina ben Tradyon: ??? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ????? ??? ??? ?? ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???… (A.Z. 18a)


    I represent only myself and not some in the community, but I’d say two things:

    1. Rav Aviner described Tzahal not as our common denominator but as “single largest common denominator we have.” Unfortunately, Am Yisrael is in such a condition that, measured in numbers, this is true.

    2. Nowhere in the article, and nowhere at all to my knowledge, does Rav Aviner suggest that this is the situation he prefers. In fact, his decades-long record leaves no doubt that he regrets this strongly and considers Torah the true common denominator.


    Care to defend?



    OK, I suppose we shouldn’t debate what he meant, although I did read it otherwise.

    So instead I’ll address the notion the two of you are presenting, that he did not mean it is the way things should be, but that in our present state, the most likely way for us to have a common denominator is to all join the army.

    I very strongly disagree with that as well.

    Firstly, it isn’t even true. 2/3 of the worlds jews don’t even live in Israel and usually don’t join the army.

    Secondly, if we are discussing reality rather than ideals; it is more realistic that all jews will become frum than that chareidim will join the army. So he should be pushing that.

    Most importantly, the entire idea is still wrong. The only reason for all of us to have common denominators is to serve Hashem together. Having a common denominator which does not lead towards that purpose is pointless and stupid. We may as well all root for the Yankees together. I don’t see how everybody joining the army is going to lead to more avodas Hashem together; it is far more likely to lead to much less.


    PBA: Be careful how you talk here, by the way. Just because you disagree with him it doesn’t give you the right to mock or reject someone who, by all accounts that I’ve seen, is a Gadol Batorah.


    Sam2, if a Gadol strongly promotes things that are kineged HaTorah, he will, unfortunately, inevitably err, to say the least. I think PBA is very justified in respectfully pointing this out, regarding the Egel HaZahav of Zionism and its IDF. Essentially, they believe “Aileh Elohecha Yisrael Asher Heelucha MiGalus Edom/Yishmael” CH”V. Unfortunately, they are so wrong in so many ways.

    PBA is, of course, correct that the greatest common denominator we have as a Jewish people is our Torah/Yahadus, and not, lihavdil, the secular cultural indoctrination organ of the IDF which, with all due respect, can certainly NOT be the definitive “Am Yisrael” that the Rabbi claims it is.

    Finally, biMakom Chilul Hashem Ain Cholkim Kavod LaRav. I wonder if the above quote from the Rabbi qualifies.


    Since when does YWN allow for insults of gedolim? Rav Aviner is the Rosh Yeshiva of Ateret Cohanim, the author of numerous seforim, and a gadol by all accounts.


    Since when has anyone on YWN insulted gedolim?

    Respectfully pointing out what appears to be an (again, inevitable) error is not insulting to anyone.

    For example, Yehuda ben Yaakov Avinu publicly admitted his error when Tamar respectfully asked whose chosam, pesil, et al. are these, when she, of course, knew that they were Yehuda’s.

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