The Draft and Mattos-Masei

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  • #609970

    Bamidbar 31:4

    “Li’chol mattos Yisrael tishlichu la’tzava.” (From every tribe of Israel, you should send to the army.)

    #966918

    HaKatan
    Participant

    I haven’t seen a Torah that mentions a chiyuv to join, lihavdil, the State of Israel’s “Tzava”. Maybe the Zionists have a different Torah than the one from Moshe Rabbeinu?

    Also, the people who were sent to the tzava were great tzaddikim and Moshe had a way of ascertaining that. We have neither Moshe nor a way of knowing who are “anshei chayil”, etc.

    Moreover, we don’t know who is from what shevet, other than kohanim/leviim who know their yichus, so we can’t knos who is from which “Mattos Yisrael”.

    Finally, our modern-day Torah sages (Yiftach biDoro kiShmuel biDoro, for ROB) already forbade entering that den of shmad and tumah that is the IDF.

    And if that’s not good enough for you, read the stories of people who were spiritually destroyed, them and their families, after going to the “chareidi” units of the IDF, and listen to the Rabbis who are in charge of sending kids to those IDF programs who readily admit that even the chareidi units are not a place for a frum kid.

    #966919

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    From every tribe of Israel, you should send to the army.

    So you have a choice.

    Either you say there were not only chareidim, in which case obviously the non-chareidim were sent.

    Or you can say everyone then was chareidim. Which is what I think. If you concede that, then we’ll discuss the army.

    #966920

    pixelate
    Member

    Another one:

    Moshe says to Gad ad Re’uven: You want to stay here while your brothers are in battle?

    #966921

    Josh31
    Participant

    As the Parsha reading began yesterday, the following question rang thru my mind about this war: Were the “full time learners”, or in this case the tribe of Levi (whom many who learn full time model themselves after) drafted for this war?

    According to Rashi who brings down the Sifre the answer is yes.

    However, this specific war may have been unique???

    Perhaps they were exempted from other wars.

    As a practical matter, we do need to have some modern day “Leviim” exempt from battle to keep the knowledge of our Torah Law intact.

    In the USA, sitting judges are exempted from military service even during wartime for similar reasons.

    The big question is how many?

    Ratio in desert was about one Levi for every 40 Yisraelim (Jews from the 12 tribes). As there were about 600,000 Yisraelim from age 20 and up and about 23,000 Leviim from one month and up.

    #966922

    Sam2
    Participant

    You are ignoring the incredibly low percentage of soldiers. These P’sukim are not a Ra’aya either way for this debate.

    #966923

    Toi
    Participant

    This is ridiculous. to suggest that the fact that klal yisroel fought milchamos in the midbar means that people are michuyav to join the IDF demonstrates a severe level of amaratzus. vayiftach Hashem ess pi ha’ason.

    #966924

    einfal
    Member

    Rabbi Nissan Kaplan shlita spoke about it this week, and i quote

    In this week’s parashah, Hakadosh Baruch Hu tells Moshe Rabbeinu to send Klal Yisrael to war with Midian, and He instructs Moshe Rabbeinu to send one thousand soldiers from every shevet to fight the war:

    ????? ????????? ????? ????????? ????? ??????? ?????????? ??????????? ????????.

    The word matteh or mattos is repeated three times in this passuk, and the Midrash Rabbah teaches that this repetition tells us that every shevet actually sent up 3,000 people: one thousand to fight, one thousand to guard the keilim, and one thousand to daven. Altogether, then, there were 12,000 soldiers fighting, 12,000 guarding the keilim, and 12,000 davening.

    Why, asks R’ Chatzkel Levenstein, do we need a designated corps of people davening? Moshe Rabbeinu and Klal Yisrael were undoubtedly davening when the army went out to war. What was the point of having an extra 12,000 people sitting in the beis midrash while the others were fighting?

    R’ Chatzkel answered with the following vort. If Klal Yisrael would just daven at home, by themselves, then when they won the war there would be a sense of kochi v’otzem yadi: our soldiers are so strong, our army is special, the Jewish kup has prevailed. We want it to be clear that no, the victory comes through limud haTorah. That’s why there had to be the same number of soldiers sitting and davening as there were soldiers in the battlefield.

    An Army of Chofetz Chaims

    Who were these soldiers, the ones we’re afraid would attribute their victory to kochi v’otzem yadi?

    Chazal describe to us what used to happen when the Jewish army went out to a milchemes mitzvah:

    First, the kohen gadol would announce that anyone who has built a new house but has not yet inaugurated it should return home. Then he would announce that anyone who has planted a vineyard but has not yet redeemed it should return home. Then he would announce that anyone who has betrothed a woman but has not yet married her should return home.

    Finally, he would announce that anyone who was frightened or fainthearted should return home. The Gemara explains that this was a reference to people who were frightened because of sins they had transgressed. What kind of sins are we talking about? If a person as much as spoke out between laying tefillin shel yad and tefillin shel rosh, he would return from the battlefield.

    The soldiers that remained were the tzaddikim, who had no aveiros to be afraid of.

    A famous story is told about a play performed by a troupe of maskilim, in the days of R’ Chaim Ozer Grodzensky. The play depicted the Jewish army going to war at the time of Moshiach and the beis hamikdash.

    The actors were big, strong fellows brandishing sticks and glass bottles, screaming and ready to go out to war. But then, someone dressed as the kohen gadol came onstage and called out, “Anyone who has built a new house but has not yet inaugurated it should return home.” About five percent of the soldier-actors exited the stage. Then, he called out, “Anyone who has planted a vineyard but has not yet redeemed it should return home.” Another five percent of the soldiers left. Then, he called out, “Anyone who has betrothed a woman but has not yet married her should return home,” and another few soldiers left.

    Finally, when all the remaining soldiers were itching to rush out to war, the “kohen gadol” called out, “Anyone who is scared or fainthearted should return home.”

    “We’re not afraid!” the soldiers yelled. “We’re ready to go fight.”

    “Wait!” said the kohen gadol. “I’m talking about people who are have sinned.”

    A hush fell over the stage, and the soldiers slowly packed out. The stage became emptier and emptier, until the only person left was a short old man with a white beard. The audience could see that on this man were written the words, “I am the Chofetz Chaim.”

    After everyone else left, the old man went over to the kohen gadol and said, “I’m ready to go fight!”

    With that, the curtain fell, and the play was over.

    When people told R’ Chaim Ozer about this parody, he said, “Reshaim! Why didn’t they show the end of the story, where the old man goes to war and wins?”

    The Jewish army of old was composed of soldiers of this caliber. Even so, however, an equal number of people had to be davening and learning in the beis midrash, for fear that the army would be infected with the attitude of kochi v’otzem yadi asah li es hachayil hazeh.

    The Source of the Army’s Power

    This idea is particularly important to remember at a time like this, when the drafting of yeshiva bochurim to the army has become a burning issue. Even if a completely kosher army – one that keeps tznius, kashrus, Shabbos – could be created (and I don’t know if that’s at all possible), we have to remember that the real reason we don’t go out of the beis midrash to fight is because we believe that the Torah gives Klal Yisrael its power and its very right to Eretz Yisrael.

    The zechus haTorah is what saves Klal Yisrael, not the army. Because the soldiers fight to protect the yeshivos, they have the koach to win their battles. But if the yeshivos are closed down, from where will the army draw its power?

    Some people will say, “Yes, but it’s not fair, because the ones who are learning never die, and the ones who fight do die.”

    We know, however, that the foot soldiers on the battlefield are not the principal players in the war. The real war is fought in the back rooms, where the strategies and battle plans are built. This is especially true today, when wars are fought mainly on the computer.

    “But it’s not fair!” people might argue. “The computer guys never die! Let’s take them and put them at the front.”

    The fallacy of that argument is blatantly obvious. We need the computer guy more than we need the foot soldier! Putting him on the battlefield would jeopardize the entire army.

    When Klal Yisrael fought against Amalek, they drew their koach from Moshe Rabbeinu sitting and holding up his hands. Today, we, the yeshivaleit, are the computer guys. By sitting and learning, we are fighting the main part of the war.

    We see from our parashah that even if the army is composed entirely of tzaddikim, we need to have at least as many people sitting in the beis midrash as there are fighting on the battlefield, to ensure that there is no feeling of kochi v’otzem yadi.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have nearly as many people in the beis midrash as there are soldiers in the army, so what we really should be doing is taking soldiers off the battlefield and placing them in the beis midrash. Maybe then we’d merit the siyatta diShmaya that we so desperately need.

    #966925

    Josh31
    Participant

    This draft of 1000 per tribe fell most heavily on Levi, the smallest tribe.

    #966926

    Avi K
    Participant

    Josh,

    1. See Rambam Hilchot Melachim 5:1 and 7:7 that in a defensive war EVERYBODY goes.

    2. What about all those who are registered but not learning full time (unless you count coffee makers, Internet cafes, libraries and wandering the streets).

    #966927

    Popa- Why couldn’t here have been a mixed of “chareidim” and “non-charedim” in the general population as well as a mixed of those two denominations being sent into the army?

    #966928

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Popa- Why couldn’t here have been a mixed of “chareidim” and “non-charedim” in the general population as well as a mixed of those two denominations being sent into the army?

    Well, my point was that you cannot then prove which people went. So maybe it was all only chilonim.

    #966929

    If you can’t prove, then you need to assume a general distrbution. If it was only “chilonim” it would have been mentioned as such.

    #966930

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Of course you don’t assume a normal distribution. You assume a normal distribution only if the people were selected randomly. But why would they select randomly, if there are good bases for selection.

    For example, do you assume they randomly selected the good fighters and bad fighters? Why would you assume that? But you don’t have proof to the contrary.

    Look, you’re the one who brought a ridiculous argument about current events from a story in the midbar. So you need to live with it.

    #966931

    WIY
    Member

    SecularFrummy

    There were no chilonim in the midbar. Any “chilonim” or rather people who rebelled against Hashem died in mageifos.

    #966932

    Also, it says every tribe, Yishachar and Zevulin included.

    #966933

    Health
    Participant

    einfal – You can scream basic Judaism from today to tomorrow to these Zionists, even the so-called Religious ones -they ain’t listening!

    I’ve been fighting with these guys for years and they still believe their propaganda, no matter what logic against them you present. They quote Pesukim from the Torah just like the Tzidokim, without the understanding of Chazal.

    And btw, you never see them quote the Posuk of “Im Bechukosi”, where the Torah says clearly that you’ll never need to fight and thereby need an army if the Klal learns and keeps the Torah!

    #966934

    writersoul
    Member

    PBA: I’m not saying there’s a comparison with the IDF, but just from the Torah standpoint, if the kohen mashuach milchamam told the “yarei verach leivav” to leave, then that would leave the tzaddikim, who are probably (if you really want to use modern terminology, which I don’t think is the best idea) closer to the chareidim.

    Most people left because of the whole “aras isha…”, “nata kerem…”, “banah bayis” thing as well as “yarei verach leivav” – this would logically create a very finely selected troop of talmidei chachamim.

    #966935

    Popa- Are you saying one can’t learn something about current events from the parshas hashavua?

    #966936

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Yes.

    #966937

    benignuman
    Participant

    You can, however, see things in the parsha that support positions you already hold (and dismiss the things that are contrary to your positions).

    #966938

    HaKatan
    Participant

    einfal, thank you. Although I suspect that Health is correct that those who need most to read it will not be changed by these words, I still wish to commend you for this post, with all due humility.

    #966939

    akuperma
    Participant

    We can learn from Humash, that the conscription of the Jews, as well as the killing of the Arabs (and lets be honest, with modern warfare, all war involves killing old people, women and children – this has been routine since they invented gunpowder in the time of the early achronim or late rishonim), REQUIRES A NAVI such as Moshe Rabeinu, or consultation with a Kohen Gadol and Urim v’Tumin, and direct communication from Ha-Shem. Without authorization from Ha-Shem, killing people in order to take their land would be murder, and a Jewish soldier would have to give up his life rather than transgress.

    Someone, Bennett, Lapid, Netanyahu and Yachimovich really aren’t in the same league of Moshe Rabeinu. Indeed, anyone who mistakes the Kenesset for a bunch of Naviim, or confuses the “Kol Yisrael” (Israel Broadcast Authority) for a “Bas Kol” is either deranged or an apikores.

    #966940

    MCP
    Member

    Apukerma, you can feel free to wait for a Navi or Bas Kol while people around you are targeted by the Arabs to be shot or blown up. This is not a milchemes rishus. This is self defense.

    #966941

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    akuperma- I don’t bother to comment on your outlandish postings but what you just wrote is so far outside of Jewish thought and tradition that I had to show how wrong you are. All you have to do is look at gemoro sottah and rambam hilchos melochim to see hoe outrageously false your comments are. Israeli soldiers guilty of murder? You are truly proving yourself to be delusional. There was no bais hamikdosh in bar Kochba’s time either , yet the chachomim considered him Moshiach for a long while! Your comments are the fruit of perverse thinking.

    #966942

    About Time
    Participant

    First and foremost they fought their internal enemies…

    which is what the chareidim are doing

    #966943

    About Time
    Participant

    To sing the praises of the israeli army for protecting the jewish people is akin to praising of hard snow (e.g. to build an shelter) for saving one from the freezing cold

    cf. Chazon Ish to mr. Ben Gurion.

    That is only for the minority who have the correct intentions. For the rest, their misguided potential,

    as RBerel Soloveitchik put it, ispigul`

    #966944

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Israeli soldiers guilty of murder?”

    Yeah, one doesn’t have to go to the Arab sites to find vitriol directed towards Jews. And on Rosh Chodesh Av.

    #966945

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    About Time: you do realize that the more these outrageous statements are made by the chareidi leadership, the more hateful the chareidim become in the eyes of others, including many good Jews like myself?

    #966946

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    the more hateful the chareidim become in the eyes of others, including many good Jews like myself?

    Thank you for admitting that you hate chareidim. It always seemed so, but I never wanted to accuse you of it.

    #966947

    akuperma
    Participant

    Why are those outraged as the prospect of a halachic analysis that suggests the war is unnecessary, a view held by many gedolim, and recognized by some secular scholars as well (since had the Jews of Eretz Yisrael settled for autonomy rather than demanding the expulsion or subjucation of the Arabs, there would have been no war) so insistent on emptying the yeshivos and forcing students whose ideology they can’t stand to be in their army. If they feel that the Israel was against the Muslims is a righteous war of self-defense , and that it is a mitzvah, they should be quite content to limit the army to those who wish to do the mitzvah.

    Do we conscript people for other mitzvos? Do we drag people off the street and make them learen gemara? Do we raid the nightclubs and other place of disrepute to make women light candles on Shabbos? Do we have an “aktion” against treff restaurants and force-feed kosher food to the customers? If you believe it is a mitzvah to schecht Arabs, why do you need to conscript anyone for your mitzvah?

    Or perhaps it is that many secular Israelis have growing doubts at the wisdom of provoking the Muslims into a war by attempting to rule over them against their will, and then seizing their land and “doing to them” as they had been “doing to us”. That certainlyu explains the massive draft dodging (evasion, not refusal) of secular Israelis

    #966948

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    popa: so, you agree with the statmenet that those Israeli soldiers that died in the wars- protecting chareidim,by the way- is “pigul”?

    #966949

    truthsharer
    Member

    I guess R’ Berlin, R’ Yitzchok Elchonon Spektor and other gedolim would not be considered gedolim bu akuperma and others.

    PBA, he never said he hates charedim, he said the charedim are becoming more hateful in his eyes. Big difference.

    #966950

    Naftush
    Member

    Akuperma, for my edification — please quote one Zionist who “demanded the expulsion or subjucation [sic] of the Arabs.” As for your crack about “doing to them” as they had been “doing to us,” that accusation is common fare on BDS and antisemitic sites, but what has it got to do with the “halachic analysis” that you say you’re promoting?

    #966951

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    truthsharer: If you (or anyone else on this site) would ever meet me, you’d consider me the classical chareidi- in dress, background, present affiliation ,children,etc. So, no (Popa) I do not -g-d forbid-hate the chareidim. I am one of them. However, to hear the outlandish statements made by so many chareidim in reaction to the present situation (see some of the statements made recently by Agudah leaders,for example)is so outrageous and so insulting to many jews that,indeed, the ugly side of some chareidim is shown. When you read about “shmad”, “destroying Torah”,”dragging bochurim from their shtenders”, “pigul”, and many other statements that are so over-the-top , you start thinking- “zu torah, vezu sechoro?” is this what the Torah truly teaches us? And then, when you look at the sources and clearly see that halacha,gemoro, rishonim and history is in total contrast to what is being preached now, you scratch your head and you posit, what is this all about? sureyl not Torah, nor tradition,as both of these are and will be well protected by any new law? And then you think, is it money? is it crass self-interest? and you come away with a very uneasy feeling about your chareidi brothers.

    #966952

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    popa: so, you agree with the statmenet that those Israeli soldiers that died in the wars- protecting chareidim,by the way- is “pigul”?

    ??? I neither said nor implied that. I have no idea what you are even referring to.

    PBA, he never said he hates charedim, he said the charedim are becoming more hateful in his eyes. Big difference.

    You mean, that he already hated them, and they’re just becoming more hated. I see.

    Note also that he didn’t deny it now–only you denied it for him.

    #966953

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    When you read about “shmad”, “destroying Torah”,”dragging bochurim from their shtenders”, “pigul”, and many other statements that are so over-the-top , you start thinking- “zu torah, vezu sechoro?”

    But that is exactly what they are; statements with no meaning. To paraphrase the famous line, “They say Shmad like you say Apikores”.

    #966954

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    popa-you should read the postings more carefully. The statement that you mention coming from me , you took out of its context.I was responding to the words of “About Time’ quoting R”Berel Soloveichik that the sacrifice (read death) of israeli soldiers is “pigul” if they don’t have the right “Kavonoh”. This is a hateful statement- calling jews who gave their lives to protect R”berel Soloveichik and his talmidim from the clutches of our enemies “pigul”.

    #966955

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    gavra= you say tomato-we say tomahto?

    #966956

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin – more like Al Gore’s claim that he invented the internet. These things are not meant to be taken at face value.

    #966957

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    gavra- but the “low information” people do take it at face value and hence make any compromise impossible. Maybe this is what they want but remember, the financial aspects of this new law will be far reaching and will bring abject poverty to many chareidi families, based on a total fallacy! yet, the so-called manhigim will continue to live in luxury while their unsuspecting underlings will pay the price of their obstinacy.

    #966958

    truthsharer
    Member

    It can be taken at face value when there are people out there who are ready to act upon those statements.

    #966959

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    but the “low information” people do take it at face value and hence make any compromise impossible.

    You make the assumption that either side is interested in compromise. I can assure you that the Briskers are not. I’m not sure about Lapid.

    #966960

    Health
    Participant

    Naftush -“Akuperma, for my edification — please quote one Zionist who “demanded the expulsion or subjucation [sic] of the Arabs.””

    Ever hear of the Kach Party or whatever they call themselves now due to the outlawing of Kach?

    #966961

    Health
    Participant

    MCP -“Apukerma, you can feel free to wait for a Navi or Bas Kol while people around you are targeted by the Arabs to be shot or blown up. This is not a milchemes rishus. This is self defense.”

    Even if we would grant you that it’s self defense, why should Charedim have to be drafted? The Zionists started and want a Medina, so let them fight for it. Why should the Charedim have to defend it along with them? Those that started it -should defend it. All of a sudden we are in the same boat -so we must “Share the burden”. We didn’t join this boat because we wanted to.

    And even if we would have done this willingly -we still wouldn’t have to go to the army because the Torah says that those who keep the Torah have Sholom. So the reason there is No Sholom with the Goyim is because Jews don’t keep the Torah – Namely the Chilonim!

    #966962

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The statement that you mention coming from me , you took out of its context.

    I took nothing out of context. You said it makes people like you hate chareidim.

    #966964

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    popa- again- do you agree with the statement that israeli soldeirs who died in war to defend the medina and its inhabitants-including chareidim- are “pigul” if they don’t have the right “kavonoh”? such a statememt is normal?

    #966965

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    health- I have a very easy solution to you and the ones who espouse your views: move to another country who does not require you to ‘share’ in any burden. I am sure that the israeli government will be very sympathetic to you moving to, say, albania.

    #966966

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    popa- again- do you agree with the statement that israeli soldeirs who died in war to defend the medina and its inhabitants-including chareidim- are “pigul” if they don’t have the right “kavonoh”? such a statememt is normal?

    You’re not denying that you hate chareidim, you’re trying to justify it?

    The fact that you wear a chareidi costume doesn’t change anything.

    #966967

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    popa- again- do you agree with the statement that israeli soldeirs who died in war to defend the medina and its inhabitants-including chareidim- are “pigul” if they don’t have the right “kavonoh”? such a statememt is normal?

    Heh? How is that relevant to whether you hate chareidim?

    And again, I have no opinion, because I have no idea what you are referencing.

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