The Killing of Nahal Haredi Soldiers and the Anti Draft Protests

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    I think the juxtaposition of the lastest “anti-draft” protests and the tragic deaths of two Nahal Charedi soldiers is stunning and to be sure, disgusting. I think that the protesters owe apologies to these boys’ familiies or at least acknowledgment that these soldiers died in their stead. (True — i have a sensitivity to this issue as my son just finished service in Nahal Haredi. Of course, i feel lucky/blessed that he came out unharmed from the service). And while, i believe that there is room for the government to make political deals with the Charedim with respect to army service, at very least, there should be an acknowledgment by the Charedi leadership, the lay people and the yeshiva boys themselves that they belong serving – and to the extent that they are exempt, they should be grateful and humble.


    The Chareidi boys serve in the Yeshiva. The soldiers should be grateful for them.

    Avi K

    Absolutely. They claim that they are learning for the soldiers but refuse to say the “misheberach’. They also refuse to say the prayer for the government even though it is a mitzva from a Navi.


    “The Chareidi boys serve in the Yeshiva. The soldiers should be grateful for them.”

    How so? If you are going to tell me that their learning protects the soldiers — I am willing to accept that if — you sign a pledge not to go to a doctor if you are ill. Meaning — if it is just learning that works to protect — then the same should go for health. (The Mishnah is clear, as you know, that it is a combination of actual fighting with prayer). When these boys do NOT serve — someone is putting their life on the line for them. Learning in Yeshiva is the same? There is a danger? There is sacrifice other than perhaps financial? Again, i am not even saying that all of them should serve, I am just saying that the community should be grateful that others are literally giving of their lives — for them.


    If you are going to tell me that soldiers protect the country — I am willing to accept that if — you sign a pledge not to go to a doctor if you are ill.


    It’s disgusting.




    Brisker mathematics: Eating your cake.

    I shouldnt but i will. What does that even mean.

    Shopping613 🌠


    Learning is not putting your life on the line, but real learning is hard and doing the hardest work Hashem wants from a Jew, to work on himself. What more can you ask for?! Those bochurim are doing what Hashem created them to do, exactly his will. How can you compete?

    In the times of the tanach thw soldiers had to be big talmudi chachamim, not just anyone who decided to put his life on the line.

    New Yorker at heart

    Learning Torah is what keeps the world going and it holds the world up,

    If there is more Torah being learnt there will be less need or no need of a army,

    All zionists think the army protects the ppl learning Torah,
    They can’t be more wrong,
    The Torah of the ppl sitting and learning protects the soldiers,

    Avi K

    Shoppin, who says? If so, then the yeshiva boys should be the first ones drafted.

    1. Rav Ovadia said that without the army there would be no yeshivot.
    2. Actually unity is the key. None of Achav’s soldiers were killed in battle because they were united. Unfortunately, part of the Chareidi world has formed its own separate nation. It does not take part in Am Yisrael’s celebration (Yom haAtzmaut) or sorrow (Yom haZicharon). Rambam says that such a person has no place in the next world even if he has Torah and good deeds.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    Well the only positive thing to be said here is that SarahLevine outed herself as an MO, anti-frum extremist. They’re all the same, people. Blaming Yeshiva bochrim for soldiers being murdered… They have absolutely no shame, nothing even close to shame.

    Notice how no threads were started by Chareidim blaming the soldiers or saying, “that’s what they get for being in the IDF,” or whatever you meshuges think we say. I’m glad they let this through, and I do hope you keep it up because I know it drives you mad that the world recognizes your Zionist camp as the extremists instead of us. It drives you bonkers that you can’t pull the rug over everyone’s eyes and claim to be “the moderates.”


    “Well the only positive thing to be said here is that SarahLevine outed herself as an MO, anti-frum extremist. They’re all the same, people. Blaming Yeshiva bochrim for soldiers being murdered… They have absolutely no shame, nothing even close to shame.”

    1. I dont think that i am anti frum extremist — even though i am “modern” orthodox — whatever that particularly means in this context. I dont think that my son in law (in kollel) and my daughter in a charedi town in Israel consider me an anti-frum extremist. I think they like me. At least thats what they tell me. To that end — my son in law did NOT serve in the army. He got his deferment — legal and all. He didnt protest. He supports the army. He acts approrpriately. I dont agree with all his politics — and him mine. Thats fine with me.

    2. I didnt blame the yeshiva boys for murdering the soldiers. (I looked back at what i wrote — and i didnt come close to saying that). That would be ridiculous. I complained, and continue to complain — that while the soldiers were dying while others were protesting. I looked at the juxtapostion of the protests and the funerals. I even said that i am not against the deferrments — if that is what the government wants to do — but i think there should be an acknowledgment of the good that is being done. (I wonder about how the state/army will function when the country is a majority or close to a majority charedi — but thats for another day).

    Shopping613 🌠

    @Avi K. We need both army and learning. So when half the chilonim go learn, I’ll let half the chareidim go fight. Also if I
    ll respect your Rav, you need to respect mine. My Rabbi doesn’t agree with the idea of any joe shmoe deciding to make a holiday, or anyone less than the sanhedrin. He is of the opinion we should be happy with our freedom to act as Jews and live in Eretz Yisroel every day. In addition Hashem commands us to be besimicha, we cannot just pick a day to decide to mourn. In any case, I’ll respect your decision to go along with those days, but you need to respect US too.

    @MrsSarahLevin613 I should hope that even if they disagreed with you they can like you and have a good relationship with you. When will chilonim start acknowledging the good that learning does?

    Navi Sheker

    Perhaps we should dedicate the protests leiluy nishmas the slain soldiers, HY”D. Recognize that we all mean to do the right thing.


    Mrs Sarah Levin

    without even knowing you i pray for you and your family and all jews daily,
    Without Torah as a backbone, our kids do not stand a chance, not in Greek times not today.

    i now can’t help but pray even harder for you that your grandkids and great grandkids remain Jewish.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Horrified- were do you come off making such a nasty comment? You disagree with someone’s hashgofos so you think they’re fair game? Considering one of your only 2 threads ever is asking people to be dan lkaf zchus I would say you really are out of line.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    I have to disagree with Syag for once.

    I don’t think anything Horrified said was out of line at all, unless something else was taken down. When the OP is essentially “yeshiva bochrim should have to publicly apologize to the holy Zionists every time a terrorist murders a soldier,” I don’t see how “I’ll pray for you” is crossing the line.

    Yes, I know in this context it was meant in a sort of condescending way. Frankly, the phrase “I’ll pray for you” is almost exclusively used in a condescending way. But, to be blunt, Sarah had it coming. What did she expect to get from this thread? An apology from us for terrorists? A promise from us to enroll bochrim in the IDF so that it can do it does best and secularize them?


    Neville Chamberlain – Please, tell me, who gave you the right to arrogate exclusive use of the word “frum”? For generations the word has meant “observant”. It has encompassed the entire spectrum of halachic Jewish practice. Yeshiva bochrim – frum. many, many soldiers in the IDF, frum. Mrs. Sara Levine, frum. You, frum. Me, frum. students at BMG, frum. Students at YU, frum. Students at Bais Yaakov, frum. Students at Frisch, Moriah, or BPY, frum. chasidim -frum. dati-tzioni-frum.

    To paraphrase a line from a children’s movie from many years ago ” I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Language is elastic. when one twists it to promote or achieve one’s own ends, it eventually reverts back to its original shape and meaning. Frum is frum, and beyond that we are all still responsible for one another even beyond the definitions of observance. Responsible for the ol of learning torah, and responsible for the ol of defending am yisrael physically as HKBH has made possible and essential. And shockingly, the two responsibilities are NOT mutually exclusive. hundreds of thousands of FRUM Jews have done both for longer than the medina has even existed.

    And every single one of us, every Jew, should have Hakoras Hatov for the fallen, HYD, who demonstrated this, every day of their service.

    Shopping613 🌠


    The question is, who defines how we’re supposed to show that hakaras hatov?

    It becomes a sticky situation when I get yelled at for not caring because I don’t do their ideas of hakaras hatov. Because I don’t say a special prayer in my shmoneh esrei for soldiers and I don’t observe yom hazikaron I am not showing hakaros hatov. Because they get to define it for me.

    Yes we are all responsible, for the Torah and the physical fighting. But when half the population is only doing half the work, we are forced to do the other half. Like I said before, if chilonim were going to study Torah 8 hours a day, I’d feel more comfortable sending my son out to to do physical army work 8 hours a day.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    Language evolves. Get over it. Do you have another word you would prefer I use that won’t trigger you?

    Avi K

    Horrified, does your shul say the “misheberach” for the soldiers?

    Neville, Sarah wrote either an apology or an acknowledgement of the soldiers’ contribution. Considering the treatment Chareidi soldiers receive in Chareidi neighborhoods with no one protesting shows a complete lack of hakkarat tova. Do these alleged “bnei Torah” learn at all? If so they should stop immediately and completely. The Gra says in Even Sheleima 1:11 that Torah is compared to rain because it makes everything grow. Someone with innate bad middot who learns will become even worse. Rav Aviner adds that he will even find
    “Torah “rationalizations for his actions thus magnifying the chillul Hashem.


    This whole discussion is pointless IMHO
    I live here and absolutely NO ONE has brought ANYTTHING that I skimmmed thru here
    The boys who are drafted are not regular Yeshiva guys and some of thise in the Netsach Yehuda Brigade are barely FRUM (if at all for some – I know as a fact)
    I am not a follower of the Peleg but I know plenty who are – but even if u look at the protests (which most Peleg memebers DONT participate in!!!!!) NO ONE has EVER spoken against the fact that a soldier who dies because he is a Jew has died on Kiddush Hashem
    I wish all u people living out of the country should just underestand that YOU REALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND
    And BTW – thus whole conversation is IMHO in bad taste as all of u live in Chutsa LaArets and don’t have to deal with ANY of the dangers here – so pls just be quiet and DAVEN ad realise u Just D-O-N-T- K-N-O-W!!)


    “outed” “MO” “anti-frum” “extremist”
    Neville, its not the precision or clarity I’m seeking that has been triggered. Clearly something she said triggered YOU, otherwise you wouldn’t have used these provocative and contextually negative terms.
    Language evolves. Facts don’t. That which generations have deemed to be frum practice remains so, thus using the term to describe something different isn’t evolution, it’s falsehood. As some might say these days, its Fake News. Now, I don’t know if you intended it with arrogance, or innocence, or ignorance. Or all three. I assumed innocence, so I wrote questioningly but not confrontationally above. If you’d like to disabuse me of my being don l’kaf zchus, please, continue with the sarcasm.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    Avi: Would you like his shul to say a misheberach that the soldiers should come back onto the derech? I do get a kick out of this latest argument that the Gra would hold that it’s assur for frum yidden to learn today. We should start a Shailos U’Teshuvos of Avi K sefer soon. Anyway, you stick by your weird old, Kahanist guns, and people will either love it or hate it, so I have no desire to really argue with you. My concern here is that of Sarah being dishonestly represented as moderate/compassionate due to clever writing style as American MO’s often tend to pull off.

    She wrote:
    “I think the juxtaposition of the lastest “anti-draft” protests and the tragic deaths of two Nahal Charedi soldiers is stunning and to be sure, disgusting.”
    She’s clearly implying a correlation. Any sensible human being can see that one thing has nothing to due with the other. She will, as expected, refuse to say that she’s implying a correlation because that would ruin the disingenuous nature of her point, which is to criticize the frum world and bring up a national tragedy in the same breath and then skirt all responsibility for making the extreme analogy.
    She then says:
    “acknowledgment that these soldiers died in their stead.”
    This is explicitly saying that if charedim served, they would be dying instead (or at least also). Again, she won’t admit this, but she is clearly presenting this as the preferable alternative.
    “at very least, there should be an acknowledgment by the Charedi leadership, the lay people and the yeshiva boys themselves that they belong serving ”
    As usual, presenting an extreme statement as thought it’s moderate: “ALL I’m asking, at the very least, is that the Charedim cave on their entire stance and admit that us pro-IDF folks are abjectly right about everyone having a duty to serve.”

    Alles is Kartofol

    Avi K wrote,
    “Unfortunately, part of the Chareidi world has formed its own separate nation. It does not take part in Am Yisrael’s celebration (Yom haAtzmaut) or sorrow (Yom haZicharon).”

    Can there be any reasoning with an individual who writes the above words? Is attempting to engage him in conversation anything more than an exercise in futility?

    I will merely point to what the overwhelming consensus of /gedolei Yisroel/ have said on the matter. Their words, which are on the record and can be found by those who are /m’vakshei emes/, speak for themselves. The words of the Hazon Ish and the Brisker Rov, /zichronam livrocho/, immediatedly come to mind. To say nothing of those of the Satmar Rav, ZT”L, whose signature masterpiece of scholarship, /VaYoel Moshe/, remains completely unrivaled on the topics it covers.

    Only to the /sonei H’/ and /sonei Am H’/ can the 5th day of /Iyyar/ be considered one of celebration. (That is not to brand all who regard it as such as ‘reshoim’; many, alas, simply do not know any better.)

    Alles is Kartofol

    As an addendum to my previous post, I will note the following.

    There are individuals alive today who lived in Eretz Yisroel before the establishment of the Zionist State who distinctly recall having no need to fear their Arab neighbors, whom they lived together with peaceably. The late principal of Beis Yaakov of Borough Park, Rabbi Boruch Kaplan, ZT”L, lived through the infamous Chevron massacre of 1929. In a recorded public speech that he delivered, Rabbi Kaplan testified that the Arabs, far from being originally inclined toward hostility to the Jews of Chevron, had been good and peaceful neighbors. Rav Kaplan emphatically stated that he wished to set the record straight concerning the truth of the tragic events of that time and place. Specifically, Rav Kaplan stated explicitly and unequivocally that the violent actions on the part of the Arabs of Chevron at that time were a direct /response/ to what had been the utterly gratuitous and chauvinistic /provocations/ of the Zionists. [1]

    The argument that has been articulated by the Zionists in this thread, concerning an asserted need for Jews in the Holy Land to take-up arms in self-defense, sounds essentially the same as the one that the Zioist leader Ben-Gurion is said to have challenged the Hazon Ish (l’havdil; z’khuso yagein aleinu) with. As the redoubtable Hazon Ish is reported to have responded, to the extent there truly is such a need now, it would only be as /a direct result of the reckless behavior and deeds of the Zionists/.

    [1] According to Rav Kaplan’s recounting, the Zionists had put-on a spectacle in which they declared, “Shema Yisroel, HaKosel Kosleinu [sic], HaKosel [sic] Echad”. In the /shumess/, Rav Kaplan goes considerably farther in his denounciations of the Zionists, including the late Menachem Begin. Rav Kaplan emphatically chastised those Orthodox Jews who embraced and praised Begin, an individual whom Rav Kaplan minced no words in condemning.

    Unfortunately, I am unable at this point to provide more specific info concerning where the recording of this speech of the late Rabbi Kaplan’s can be found. I believe, however, that I have provided sufficient information in order to enable those who are determined to find the recording to do so. I can add, though, that a friend of mine who knows two of Rav Kaplan’s sons, told me that at least one of them confirmed that the sentiments attributed to their father that I have articulated above are consistent with said son’s knowledge and familiarity with his father.

    Avram in MD


    While it may be convenient to your argument to frame the charedi position towards army service as “we prefer to learn and not lift the burden with you”, it is simply not a correct representation. The army historically and currently has been perceived by all sides as serving two purposes: the primary being protection of the nation, and the secondary being a vehicle for acculturation and assimilation. It is this secondary purpose that chareidim oppose. While Avi K may be a full-throated supporter of both aims, chareidim value their mesora and culture, and do not wish their lifestyle to be destroyed.

    So to reframe the debate – if the Israeli government really wants chareidim to serve and want to serve, why are they unwilling to make accommodations? Or, for the cases when accommodations are not possible, why not accept and respect, as the U.S. military does, that there are some who are conscientious objectors, and provide an alternate means of service?

    Avram in MD

    Avi K,



    “claim that they are learning for the soldiers but refuse to say the “misheberach’.”

    The more common practice is to say tehillim. Also there is “acheinu kol beis Yisroel” said after leining on Mondays and Thursdays. Why are you demanding the addition of a specific tefilla into Shabbos davening?

    “They also refuse to say the prayer for the government even though it is a mitzva from a Navi.”

    There is no mitzva “from” (?) a Navi to say a specific and new prayer at a specific time that also contains an assertion that not everyone fully agrees with.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “Language evolves. Facts don’t. That which generations have deemed to be frum practice remains so”

    We aren’t talking about practices, we’re talking about the definition of a word. I’ve already talked about this on other threads, which is why I didn’t really want to rehash it all here. Whether you like it or not, there has come to be a trend of using the word “frum” specifically to NOT include the MO. This isn’t meant in a derogatory way, as is evidenced by the fact that MO people do it themselves and say stuff like “I’m just a normal, observant guy; I’m not ‘frum,'” or, “that community is a bit too frummy for us, we want something more modern.”

    As I’ve also said elsewhere, the only community I’ve noticed that uses the word to refer to anyone even slightly observant (like Conservative Jews who actually keep kosherish) is Chabad. I’m not sure this is a dialect difference so much as an overly-sensitive, PC kind of trend. Regardless, it shows there are some people/places that use it more loosely, which seems to be what you’re used to. I really don’t want to have to go through this again as I really don’t find these vocab discussions that interesting. Being upset by others points/ideology is one thing and is pretty par for the course in the CR. But, of all the things to react to on this thread, you reacted to an issue purely of semantics. How is your reaction any different than someone getting upset when a person uses the word “black” when he would rather him have said “African-American?”

    And, by the way, as for you not providing a word to use instead: I would have no problem describing us as Charedi if the Zionists and chilonim hadn’t purposely and maliciously succeeded in turning that into a pejorative.


    “Frummy” and “frum” don’t mean the same thing either.


    Frummie is a girls name.

    Avi K

    1. The story about Chevron is a fake story. Actually te Zionists sent emissaries to the rabbanim offering armed protection. the rabbanim said that it would inflame the Arabs and that they had good relations with local arab leaders who would prevent a pogrom.
    2. The story about The CI and BG is also a fake story. Actually, the CI said “Our camel carries a greater load so it should go first”. BG said “Ours also carries a heavy load”. BTW, the CI also said that someone who is not really learning full-time should be reported to the IDF authorities.

    Avi K

    Avram, FYI Yirmiahu (29:7) directs us to pray for the peace and prosperity of the city. Chazal say (Pirkei Avot 3:2) that we should pray for the government as without it people would swallow each other alive. How can anyone object to the prayer for thק state of Israel. Even if they object to ראשית צמיחת גאולתינו they can leave it out.

    אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם,צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ,בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, רֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ. הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ,וּפְרֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ,וּשְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וַאֲמִתְּךָ לְרָאשֶׁיהָ, שָׂרֶיהָ וְיוֹעֲצֶיהָ, וְתַקְּנֵם בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ.חַזֵּק אֶת יְדֵי מְגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ קׇדְשֵׁנוּ,וְהַנְחִילֵם אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְשׁוּעָה וַעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן תְּעַטְּרֵם, וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ, וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְיוֹשְׁבֶיהָ. וְאֶת אַחֵינוּ כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, פְּקׇד נָא בְּכָל אַרְצוֹת פְּזוּרֵיהֶם,
    וְתוֹלִיכֵם מְהֵרָה קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְצִיּוֹן עִירֶךָ וְלִירוּשָׁלַיִם מִשְׁכַּן שְׁמֶךָ, כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה עַבְדֶּךְ (דברים ל,ד-ו): “אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם, מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ. וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ. וּמָל יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ,
    לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכׇל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכׇל נַפְשְׁךָ, לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ.” וְיַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ,
    וְלִשְׁמֹר אֶת כׇּל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָתֶךָ, וּשְׁלַח לָנוּ מְהֵרָה בֶּן דָּוִד מְשִׁיחַ צִדְקֶךָ, לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ.
    הוֹפַע בַּהֲדַר גְּאוֹן עֻזֶּךָ עַל כׇּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵּבֵל אַרְצֶךָ, וְיֹאמַר כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נְשָׁמָה בְּאַפּוֹ: “יְיָ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֶלֶךְ,
    וּמַלְכוּתוֹ בַּכֹּל מָשָׁלָה!”אָמֵן סֶלָה.

    Avi K

    Neville, Rav Kook said that we should not use either as those words prevent teshuva. People with the label “secular” think that as a religious term it does not apply to them whereas those with the label “frum” think that they do not need to do teshuva. <National Review recently ran an article blasting liberals for excusing black antisemites like Alice Walker. It seems to me that certain people excuse “frum” fraudsters and even those who do much more serious crimes.


    I would like to point out that it was Mr. Sarah Levine commenting- a he not a she (there was a post on another thread that explained how he opened his own account so as not to hijack his wife’s account)
    Also, there are several posters here who do live in E”Y and are posting from their various perspectives.
    Carry on now…

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “It seems to me that certain people excuse “frum” fraudsters and even those who do much more serious crimes.”

    I agree with your basis, but it’s just silly to ask people not to use labels. I know it sounds nice and idealistic to bring it up, but it’s not at all realistic; it would make it virtually impossible to talk about anything.


    To all the eminent commenters (Avi K. and others) who continually cite marei mekomos that purport to disprove that Chareidi hashkafa.
    For the umpteenth time — there is NOT any passuk, midrash, gemara, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, Zohar, or anything else that you know, that the gedolei harabbanim don’t know. I know you will respond saying, “there are other gedolei rabbanim who differ with the Chareidi rabbanim. Let’s get this straight, once and for all: you are all free to follow anyone you like. But, if you think anyone holds a candle to, say, Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s knowledge, well, I’ll say it politely, you are way, way off base. You have no inkling of the extent of their knowledge. You presist in citing rabbanim whose opinions do not carry much, if any, weight among most Chareidim. The Chareidi tzibbur is not forcing you to listen to them. By the same token, don’t think that you will somehow convince the Chareidi tzibbur to abandon the opinions of those rabbanim whom they recognize as authentic da’as Torah. You are futilely tiring your typing fingers. We cannot force you to accept the da’as Torah of our gedolei harabbonim. You cannot force us to accept your rabbanim’s opinions.

    Avi K

    AY, I have news for you. They are already abandoning it. More and more young Chareidim are joining the IDF, getting secular educations and going out into the general job market. The fact of the matter is that the Chareidi innovation was only a horaat sha’ah for two generations from the get-go.
    As for Rav Kanievsky, his grandson controls who sees him and what he hears. He himself wrote that he signs any proclamation his rabbis (courtiers) tell him to sign.


    “…….:But, if you think anyone holds a candle to, say, Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s knowledge, well, I’ll say it politely, you are way, way off base…..”

    I’m not commenting on R’Kanievsky who’s a great rav , but in a more general way.
    Your argument , which implies utter deference to who’s greater in Torah knowledge , and I’ve noticed it’s a yeshivish argument also, is not necessarily a good one.
    Yehoshua was chosen by Hashem not because he was the greatest scholar in that Dor Hamidmar… Quite contrary, there were bigger talmidei chachomim than he. The final psak in a machlokes in Chazal is not necessarily determined by the greatness of a Maan D’omer’s knowledge, as you well know.
    Some of the malachei Yisroel were extraordinary talmidei chachomim.

    “…..You have no inkling of the extent of their knowledge. …”
    Same applies to you, unless you fahrhedt them…. They also have your side’s mareh mekomot, psukim. midrashim, pshetlach, psiktas , yet may interpret them differently .

    “…..don’t think that you will somehow convince the Chareidi tzibbur to abandon the opinions of those rabbanim whom they recognize as authentic da’as Torah. ….”
    Translation : As opposed to the rabbanim with whom you disagree , as IN-authentic Daas Torah.

    Just to keep in mind that the Meraglim were such great gedolim, that both Yehoshua ( by Moshe himself) & Calev ( davened at Mearat Hamachpeila) needed special blessings not to be swayed by them because they had awesome, ingenius, Torah knowledge…. which went horribly wrong.
    Your comment was a polite but thinly veiled condescension…” Carrying weight” as you put it, is not necessarily a measure of anything except numbers.


    Neville, I’m not addressing the other elements of the issue posted about because though I am confident in my perspective on the IDF and the participation of eligible draftees, I don’t feel it is necessary or useful to try to convince others on this issue that I am right and they are wrong. I respect most of the opinions I have seen in this thread even though I disagree with several.

    You seem to think that its just semantics, that these words are defined by their anecdotal occasional usage, and “whether I like it or not” there has come to be a trend to define modern orthodox out of the definition of “frum”.

    Well, the modern orthodox aren’t doing so. In almost 50 years of being in and around Orthodox communities ranging from chassidish to yeshivish to modern orthodox, I have never encountered a single individual who said I am observant but not frum. Further, nothing in the massive surveys by Pew in 2013 and Nishma in 2017 indicates that MO self define as specifically “not frum”. Even the smaller proportion moving left in the surveys maintain their self identification. And the use of the phrase, “too frummie” doesn’t just suggest but actually means that it is a different point on the spectrum THAT THEY ARE IN that is being described as less desired.

    There has come to be a trend? Perhaps a trend among those who prefer to be vocally judgmental about others and insist on a definition that incorporates unzer and andere thinking. But not a trend among those, as you said including chabad, for whom achdus and building on common interests are paramount considerations.

    Orwell warned about the misuse, abuse, and abduction of language. It’s something that those in or seeking power, especially totalitarian regimes do to covertly shape opinion and assert supremacy. It is disheartening to see it being done within our community without (I hope) nefarious ends but similar disregard for truth and clarity.

    Shopping613 🌠

    @Avi K Why do you assume studying and getting a job in the general market or joining the IDF are things that chareidim cannot do?


    Well said!

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    ” that these words are defined by their anecdotal occasional usage”
    They absolutely are. When we randomly through yiddish words into English, it’s a form of slang, so it’s pretty subject to arbitrary colloquial trends. The best example of this is a certain yiddish word that has become so accepted by goyim that they say it as a child-appropriate insult, because they have no idea of its actual translation (I hope you realize what word I’m talking about; I’m worried they won’t let it through). So, you could either climb up on a soap box and proclaim to the goyim that they’re actually saying a very inappropriate word, or you could chill out and admit that colloquialisms change in rather weird ways sometimes.

    “Well, the modern orthodox aren’t doing so.”
    I don’t know what you want me to tell you; I’ve heard MO people use it my way, you’ve heard it your way. It might depend on locality. Some very Zionistic MO communities are rather anti-yiddish and wish to dissociate with the language and any community that uses it. Of course it’s all anecdotal, it always is with slang. My evidence is anecdotal and your’s is too. I don’t have any problem with you using it your way. It’s you trying to do the censoring here.

    I’m not totally tone-deaf to the fact that this isn’t just about disagreeing on the definition of a word. This bothers you because if “frum” excludes MO, that could be seen as an insult/delegitimization of the MO. I concede that you’re right in this sense. But, the MO has consistently used the word “Charedi” in a negative way, they have made it ambiguous as to what one means if he just says the word “Orthodox” alone, and obviously you would be equally offended if we called ourselves something like “real Orthodox.” So, yeah, “you win some you lose some.”


    Neville –

    Thank you for your clear response. I’ll agree that rhetorically, my anecdotals and yours balance or cancel each other out; but I’ve also looked at and referred to the two most important studies on Orthodox Jewish identity in the past two decades, maybe ever, and I haven’t found evidence to bear out what you are saying, while finding evidence that even when an individual’s level of observance is lessening, he still identifies as observant.

    I don’t agree that usage immediately adapts definition. If I accept that the shifting usage is not deliberate and self serving , it still fits into several of the categories of Blank’s typology for semantic change. I’m not a linguist, so I can’t get more specific; I couldn’t say with confidence which is likeliest; but one of the things that is accepted across the board is that the change is almost always an evolutionary process, one which does not happen in the space of a few years. Your example using the word that has now entered the common lexicon has taken over 100 years since it came into less parochial use.

    As for your assertion about how the Modern Orthodox (who as you know are not monolithic in their views) use the term chareidi, Yes, I have encountered it used negatively, but I have encountered that in centrist orthodox contexts too. Importantly, it is uncommon, in my experience. For myself, I think all of these subsets are ridiculous. One is observant or one is not. One may be stricter in one’s obervance, or less so. One may be more inclined to follow or adhere to the worldview and practice of one manhig or another, but that is more precisely defined, in my opinion, as a function of identity rather than observance. Which leads back to my point that when the word “frum” has been conflated with other variables which give it rather more meaning than a description of a standard of halachic practice, it doesn’t reflect anything more than the preferences and prejudices of the user, even if these are unconscious.

    As for offense: I know who I am, where I came from, and who I’ll have to give account to in the future. I’m neither threatened nor offended by what you call yourself. You can call yourself an angel or a broomstick if it makes you happy. Not my business. What you call others? Well, if your sense of self identity depends on how you define others rather than how you define yourself, you’ve got bigger issues than my concerns with linguistic precision to deal with.

    Avi K

    Shopping, Rav Shteinman said that one cannot go to college, even a Chareidi college, and still be Chareidi. Therefore those who go to college either disagree with him or no longer want to be Chareidi.

    Shopping613 🌠

    @Avi K you do realize there are more opinions on the topic?

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “I haven’t found evidence to bear out what you are saying, while finding evidence that even when an individual’s level of observance is lessening, he still identifies as observant.”
    Unless a poll asked, “do you use the word frum to describe yourself,” it really doesn’t have any relevance. Frum does not directly translate at “observant.” I think it means “burdened” technically. I’m not saying people like SarahLevine are not observant. It carries a certain connotation by virtue of the fact that it’s yiddish. Case and point, I bet Avi K could never use it to describe himself as much of his CR career has consisted of criticizing Yiddish and Ashkenazi pronunciation.

    Like I said to Avi earlier, the point about not having labels for subsets might sound nice to a lot of people, but it carries no water logically speaking. There is a camp that will enlist in the IDF, and there’s a camp that won’t. The differences between the MO and Charedim today are not a fine line like people might like. It’s usually more than obvious. So, it’s only natural that there would be words to identify this difference.

    I’m not sure what you were going for in the last paragraph. You seem to imply that I called others something derogatory or that I’m concerned with how to label others, which is dishonest. I did not call the MO anything other than MO. It was how I chose to label myself that caused your reaction. We all draw the point somewhere. Even the Conservative Jew who drives to shul on Shabbos thinks he’s being religious, but we know he’s not. There were accepted norms on where to draw that line for a long time, and the MO came in to upset and change those norms in the name of progress and survival in the modern era. That was their agenda, and it’s their right to believe in it, but I do not agree with it nor have I ever pretended to. And, I’m not going to change the way I talk to mesh with an agenda with which I don’t agree.


    To all:

    I considered answering each of the comments in turn but — I concluded that would not make for a great read and would, at best, appear disjointed. However, as i read through the comments — i would like a shot to answer some of them. So…in no particular order…and with answering only the arguments I remember, here goes.

    As an initial matter — and on a personal note — i have been (binge) listening to a podcast on the History of World War II. It is excellent, although — at 225 plus episodes, it feels longer than the war. It was while listening to the podcast that i finally understood the moniker Neville Chaim Berlin. So — i have been responding to NCB for a while and never got it. On that basis alone, you would be correct in assuming I am not among the best and brightest.

    1. By way of introduction — quick introduction — I am from a non-orthodox home. I did not go to yeshiva hs. i am a YU grad. I am an ivy league graduate school grad. Among my children is a charedi daughter (and SIL), modern orthodox son (who served in Netzach) and DIL, and neo-Chasidic son who will be serving in army — in Hesder. There are others too.

    2. To answer NCB, I dont want anyone to die. I was literally nauseous during my son’s service. It is obvious, that if the charedi boys dont serve — someone has to. I said — and will say again — that if the government wants to do a deal and allow deferments thats fine with me. I am always surprised that people dont agree that there should be a shared responsibility to serve in the army. And while i know that people disagree with me — i dont believe that that responsibility is fulfilled by learning. (Nonetheless, I agree that there is room to have exemptions for some to learn, study, etc. They give exemptions for sports — I dont see why learning is different. But for all? — I am not so sure.)

    3. My son served in Netzach. It is true that not all the boys in this particular unit are religious. Most of the non religious ones came into the army that way. They are from religious homes but had long gone away from observance. Sometimes there parents required them to go to Netzach — while others did not feel comfortable going elsewhere even though they were no longer religious. On the other hand, a good amount mature and become part of the community as a result of the army. I saw that with my son’s friends. Most are religious and regular young men. They are part of the Kfir unit — the work is hard and dangerous.

    4. I read above — by Horrified — that he/she is praying for me and my children. And me for him/her. Is there a particular reason that he/she is concerned about my children/grandchildren “not being Jewish.” I worry about it too.

    5. In another thread — i wondered aloud which was the better (or worse) type of OTD (no longer orthodox). Was it what we seem to see more in the yeshiva community — with drugs, alcohol — but less than what we see in the MO community where kids just becoming non-religious professionals? There was a very interesting study on the modern orthodox community — that concluded that in the OO community — the kids were less religious than the parents. I assume that there is a large percentage from our MO community that leave than from the Yeshiva (not including Chasidishe) community.

    6. Finally, I think that talk of Tziyonim is tired and dated. The days of true secular zionism are over — and in many ways has hurt Israel. But nonetheless, this canard that there is a majority out to destroy Torah in israel is just false. Yossi Klein HaLevi — author of Like Dreamers — argues that after the Six Day War the nature of the country became religious. I think that is true. Again — it is not a majority religious country (yet) but the attitude is far removed from the start of the state. Even small things — like soccer games which used to be all on Sat afternoon — are mostly Sat night, Sunday and Monday. Jerusalem Beitar does not play any game (home or away) on Shabbat. To point to some non existent Zionist boogey-man who is cutting of peyos — demonstrates the weakness of the argument.


    PS I didnt proof read this. Also — I have no ill will toward anyone — especially those who take the time to post here.

    Avi K

    Shopping, yes but they are obviously keeping quiet about it. Or the press is not reporting their opinions.

    MrSarahLevine613 (just out of curiosity, are you a Mr or a Mrs?), I do not know what the OTD percentages are for different sectors. I do know that in the RZ sector an effort is made to keep them in the community even if they are personally observant in order to limit damage and hopefully bring them or their children back. In the Chareidi community children who do not tow the line 100% are often kicked out or move to the RZ sector. There is also a very serious problem of OTD kids hanging around in Chareidi communities and getting into various levels of trouble. I myself, when I lived in Bene Beraq (in a mixed RZ-secular area) once went for a stroll on Shabbat night and had t run away from a certain corner because of a rumble between the shabbab Charieid, as they are called, and the tzeniut patrol. The next day posters went up warning people to stay away from that corner.

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