Would you choose army or kollel?
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- This topic has 213 replies, 42 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 10 months ago by gavra_at_work.
July 11, 2012 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #604072
Obviously we need both people learning and people fighting to have military success. But let’s be honest, if someone random had a choice between going to the army, living in really harsh conditions, leaving his family and literally putting his life in danger vs. sitting in an air conditioned Beis Medrash, living in relatively normal conditions (though this may not be true in all cases), and basically physically protected, what would the average person choose? Especially if he is told that these are both equal ways to protect the country, especially if he is told they are doing the Jewish People a bigger service by learning than fighting? How do we know who is learning because he’s supposed to be, or who is just taking the easy way out? Who would choose to go to the army? What incentive exists to fight on the front lines? The Kollel is less risk and more reward!July 11, 2012 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #886870
Talmud Torah Kneged Kulum.July 11, 2012 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #886871
It isn’t an equal choice. Talmud Torah is a much much higher level and a much higher form of protection than being armed with guns and bombs.July 11, 2012 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #886872rabbiofberlinParticipant
hr chodesh-you obvioulsy have forgotten (or never learned) the mishne about milchemes mitzvah and the halocho of it!July 11, 2012 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #886873
If an Arab Terorist stormed into the Beis Medrash ready to blow himself up
Do you pull out the sefer torah from the aron and wrap yourself in it to protect yourself, or do you pull out your Uzi and shoot him?July 11, 2012 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #886874yummy cupcakeMember
eile varechev v’eile vasusim, va’anachnu bshem Hashem nazkir. simcha613, i believe these two ways are not equal at all. of course torah is better! that’s all we would need to win. its just that because of the low levels in kedusha and emunah and bitachon that we have stooped to, we need the hishtadlus of fighting physically. but they are in no way equal. halivai we should just be able to use our tfillos and torah!July 11, 2012 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #886875
yummy- I never said they were both equal. I said you need both. Even the dor hamidbar needed soldiers.July 11, 2012 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #886876
One is not permitted to rely on miracles to save one selfJuly 11, 2012 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #886877takahmamashParticipant
Unfortunately, we made aliyah when I was already too old, but we have one child in the IDF now and one other leaning towards going in as well. (I also have one in sheerut leumi.)July 11, 2012 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #886878
Yummy Cupcake: Even the Dor Hamidbar and David Hamelech needed armies with them. We believe that T’fillos and Torah are the Ikar, but even our highest-level generations had armies as well.July 11, 2012 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #886879
Berlin: These zionistic wars are very very far away from being a milchemes mitzvah. (And that is even if the concept would have been applicable today.)July 11, 2012 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #886880yummy cupcakeMember
you wrote: “Especially if he is told that these are both equal ways to protect the country” WHY WOULD HE BE TOLD THAT IF THEY ARE IN FACT NOT EQUAL?
sam2 and simcha- i see what ur saying but something still bothers me about that. we don’t even come close to those generations.July 11, 2012 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #886881gavra_at_workParticipant
Even the Dor Hamidbar and David Hamelech needed armies with them. We believe that T’fillos and Torah are the Ikar, but even our highest-level generations had armies as well.
And Avraham threw sand at the four kings. Sancherev’s army was wiped out by Hashem directly.
The problem is not that we have an army, but that those who learn Torah for the protection of other Yidden don’t learn with enough Hasmadah to merit that sort of protection. The reason why we need an army is not because of the Arabs, but due to our own Chesronos. Just look at everone taking Bain HaZmanim! Bain Hazmanim is not to vacation, but to learn a different Limud then your normal Sedarim (famous quote from Rav Gifter), but to keep the Hasmada up. Time is wasting, and there is much work to be done!
As per the hypothetical terrorist, if Yidden would learn with enough Hasmadah, the Arab with the gun would never make it to the Beis Medrash. Hashem is perfectly capable of protecting us without an army. Furthermeore, no one would look up for their sefer when he started shooting (like it was in Kelm), but the bullets would never make it (if we deserved that level of protection).July 11, 2012 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #886882
So, again, if the prevalent opinion is that sitting in Kollel is at least as valuable as going to the army if not even more valuable (and I do believe it is more valuable), why would a person choose to risk his life and go to the army, when he could be of more help sitting in safe Kollel? Who will fight on the front lines for us?
OR should the community do something to regulate those sitting in Kollel, either by doing something to make Kollel less appealing for those who aren’t truly genuine (like by making long hours like having night seder go very late, have strict attendance policies, small stipends, uncomfortable living quarters, difficult examinations, etc…) or by simply having an acceptance policy and only accept those who are truly genuine into the kollel forcing everyone else to go to the army?July 11, 2012 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #886883yichusdikParticipant
No reason to choose one or the other. Do both. That is the Hesder model, and it works.July 11, 2012 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #886884PBTMember
I’m too old for this to have an affect on me now, but I’d try to find a way to do both. The Jewish people need both learning and being adequately armed and trained to stay safe, and staying adequately armed and trained is not a contradiction to learning. It’s another area of learning. Jews need to learn Torah and to constantly enforce our connection to Hashem by doing that. But we also can’t be claiming, in the name of our learning, that we can’t give up a town here, a religiouly significant site there — and being fully prepared to defend that down to the last Chiloni.July 11, 2012 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #886885far eastMember
“If an Arab Terorist stormed into the Beis Medrash ready to blow himself up
Do you pull out the sefer torah from the aron and wrap yourself in it to protect yourself, or do you pull out your Uzi and shoot him?”
i think people need to read this post twice and think about it…July 11, 2012 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #886886akupermaParticipant
If I wanted to be a soldier, I would join an army. Otherwise it is quite illegal to go around shooting people, no matter how justified you are. Of course there are practical problems for frum Jews – Shabbos, kashrus, whether specific acts violate halacha since its very clear that the “superior orders” defense doesn’t apply under Torah law since HaShem is always superior to your comanding officer, and issues about whether an individual soldier is responsible for averios done by other soldiers just because he’s part of the army (if an army lets you be frum, but coerces other soldiers to do things contrary to halacha, are you guilty as an accomplice).
If I wanted to learn Torah full time, I’ld join a kollel. The problem is that kollels (unlike armies) pay poorly and I wish to be middle class. While I know that learning Torah is the ikar for our survival, but being a bit hasidische I’ld say there’s room for a baal ha-bayis now and them.July 11, 2012 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #886887
If you think Torah will protect you from a Terrorist
In 1970 The Palestinians Hijacked an Airplane with Rav Hutner in itJuly 11, 2012 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #886888
Yummy: Correct. We’re not even close. So Kal V’chomer we need more Hishtadlus to save ourselves.July 11, 2012 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #886889
Seems to me similar to the question those of us not privileged to live in E”Y ask ourselves. To chutznik posters who struggle with the question of army or kollel in theory only-
Do you choose work to earn a living or kollel? And do you feel there are any parallels between your decision and the decision of those who choose between army or kollel? Or are they totally unrelated?July 11, 2012 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #886890
golfer- the difference between the question of army vs. kollel and earning a living vs. kollel is that earning living has a clear advantage over kollel- you make money. You give yourself a greater chance based on derech hateva to earn a parnassah to support your family. By learning in kollel, you are sacrificing that. Therefore, it is understandable why a person who doesn’t want to spend his life learning full time, or he doesn’t feel like he is cut out for it would choose earning a living over learning in Kollel. There are benefits and sacrifices on each side.
My question was that it doesn’t seem like there is any advantage to serving in the army over kollel. You live in worse conditions, your life is in danger, and you are doing less of a service for Klal Yisroel. Practically, even though they are both necessary, why would a person choose to go to the army over kollel? What incentives exist for him?July 11, 2012 5:41 pm at 5:41 pm #886891
If you think Torah will protect you from a Terrorist
In 1970 The Palestinians Hijacked an Airplane with Rav Hutner in it
POSTED 26 MINUTES AGO #
And Rav Hutner was saved!July 11, 2012 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #886892
The correct answer is that the Frum Yidden should protect Klal Yisroel by learning Torah while Chilonim should do so by joining the Army.
Klal Yisroel needs a strong amount of Limud Torah. The Chilonim are completely neglecting that. So the responsibility of Limud Torah is falling fully on the shoulders of the Frum Yidden. Therefore the Frum should learn Torah while the frei go to the Army.July 11, 2012 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #886893ZosHaTorahParticipant
I wonder if those who are so interested in the “integration” of the chareidim into frei culture are going to be surprised when the opposite occurs, and the secular godless masses in Israel end up being exposed to these newly inducted IDF Torah scholars, who in turn will inspire T’shuvah, thereby increasing the madrega of the average Israeli.
Hashem has a plan for all, and if in the end Hashem’s decision is that yeshiva bochurim should take time out of their Torah studies to join the IDF and learn how to kill Arabs, then that’s what for the best. And it’s time to start thinking about all the kiruv opportunities there will be in the IDF and how much Israel stands to benefit.July 11, 2012 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #886894
Honestly if i were to PAY secular students to sit in the beis midrash for 9 hours a day would they do it? would you do it?
what if its for 5 years? what if you get paid only $200 a month?
lets face realty these teens are looking for action and fun.July 11, 2012 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #886895
Simcha 613, is it really true that in the army you are “doing less of a service for Klal Yisroel”?
If we agree that earning parnassa can be done bederech hateva, then can we perhaps agree that in the IDF we might be contributing our hishtadlus to saving lives bederech hateva? (Of course we are in agreement that our hishtadlus in both areas is only our human effort, and the direct benefit or yeshua is not in our hands.)
And if we are contributing to saving even one life, isn’t that worth at least as much, I’d like to say far more, than the salary we get for working?July 11, 2012 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #886896rabbiofberlinParticipant
to “choppy’ -rav hutner was saved- by the army!!!!
to ohr chodesh; look in the rambam- any war to save jews is a michemes mitzvah!!
to all: the mishne is clear; in a milcheme mitzvah (or chovah, according to the rambam) everyone has to go defend e jewish people!!- no exceptions- not even a chosson!July 11, 2012 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #886897oomisParticipant
If all we needed to win was the Torah, then Hashem would NEVER have sent Am Yisrael into ANY battle. But he did. Time and time again.
It is naive and foolish to say that we don’t need soldiers to fight, all we need is Torah. Of course we need both. That is part of our hishtadlus. Yes, we need Torah learners, but those same Torah learners need to know how to defend themselves properly. The point that was made about if an Arab stormed a Yeshivah, would you arm yourself with a Torah or pull out an Uzi to shoot him, was an excellent one. Moshe Rabbeinu was at the forefront of every battle.July 11, 2012 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #886898
And how was the Piasetzener Rebbe saved from the Warsaw GhettoJuly 11, 2012 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #886899
Nope, Rav Hutner’s release was negotiated. No Israeli army.
And no milchemes mitzvah’s today.July 11, 2012 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #886900
golfer- I agree that serving in the army is more valuable in that regard than working. My point is, is that if a person needs a parnassah, he will choose to work. If he doesn’t need as much parnassah, and he wants to focus his time on more valuable endeavors, and he has a choice between sitting and learning or going to the army, what incentives are there to choose the army? As I said before, learning is much less risk and as much (if not more) reward. And if our nation needs soldiers, and it’s an individual’s choice to choose either the army or the Beis Medrash, where will our nation get soldiers?July 11, 2012 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #886901abba_murray_bar_popaParticipant
I would do anything in my power to make sure that someone with the caliber of hasmadah that gavra describes never has to leave the beis medrash. And for all the two bit bench warmers to lose the ability to use “learning” to cop out of service. And those categories are not hard to identify, either.July 11, 2012 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #886902
choppy- while I understand your logic, I can also understand why the Chilonim are upset with that logic. Whether it’s their fault or not, they don’t understand the value of Torah. Therefore, they can’t understand why some people get to dodge their national responsibility by learning Torah. I am not upset with Plesener or any other secular Jew who would rather see Chareidim in the army than in the Beis Medrash. They don’t understand the value of Torah, and we haven’t done a good job showing it to them. Why should they allow Charedim to do something that is in their eyes not so valuable, while their own children are risking their lives on the battlefield?July 11, 2012 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #886903
Rav Hutner was saved “by the army!!!!” ( exclamation marks yours, rabbiofberlin) ????
The planes were blown up in Jordan and the hostages eventually released.
Please explain: what exactly was the involvement of the IDF?July 11, 2012 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #886904
Just curious, but can anyone give me an actual Makor that the person learning is doing more to save lives than the soldier?July 11, 2012 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #886905
The Hijackers of TWA Flight 741 (The Plane with Rav Hutner and his son-in-law) did not give in willingly, They were attacked with force and the prisoners (including Rav Hutner and his son-in-law.
It was not the IDF who freed them, it was the Jordanians under King Hussein who wanted to eliminate Black SeptemberJuly 11, 2012 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #886906
Sam2. “Hakol kol Yaakov vehayadayim yedai Eisav.” See what various mefarshim say on that passuk in Bereishis.July 11, 2012 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #886907
The point is Rav Hutner was freed by Military MightJuly 11, 2012 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #886908working harderMember
There is an important fact which is getting brushed under over here. Forget about which is better protection Army or Torah.
Even if you say the Army and we need soldiers but what TYPE of army are you joining?
The Israli army is notorious for being VERY prust and making LAWS how the men need to stay and listen to women sing ect.July 11, 2012 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #886909gavra_at_workParticipant
The name Neturei Karta literally means “Guardians of the City” in Aramaic and comes from the gemara of the Jerusalem Talmud, Hagigah, 76c. There it is related that Rabbi Judah haNasi sent two rabbis on a tour of inspection:
In one town they asked to see the “guardians of the city” and the city guard was paraded before them. They said that these were not the guardians of the city but its destroyers, which prompted the citizens to ask who, then, could be considered the guardians. The rabbis answered, “The scribes and the scholars,” referring them to Tehillim (Psalms) Chapter 127.
Wikipedia article on “Neturei Karta”July 11, 2012 8:53 pm at 8:53 pm #886910yichusdikParticipant
Ironic that you should mention tehilim, Gavra, as it is full of references to Dovid Hamelech overcoming his enemies physically with HKBH’s help.July 11, 2012 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #886911
Ok, zahahvasdad, i think i got your point. Rav Hutner was freed by military might. Or, as you prefer, Military Might. But which military exactly? Jordanian? So how does that explain the need for the IDF? Au contraire. I think it supports the opposite position. The Istraelis stood by unable to help as the hostages were deep in Jordan. “Harbei Sh’luchim laMakom B”H”. And in this particular case the Israeli army was not chosen to be the shaliach.July 11, 2012 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #886912HealthParticipant
simcha -“Would you choose army or kollel?”
This question has no basis in reality. It’s just a question to get e/o goats here in the CR due to the political fight in Israel.
The zionists here are going to be pro-army and the Charedim aren’t.
E/o in Israel does how they were raised. Charedim aren’t raised with this option. While MO and Chilonim are. So most MO and Chilonim do go and most Charedim won’t go.
I want to point out the hypocrisy of some of the posters here. Most of the Zionists scream that all Israelis have to serve, but most of these posters are Americans. So every country needs an army including the US and Israel, esp. in times of war. The US is at war and Israel even though technically they aren’t but it’s just like they are. So why don’t these American Zionist Posters join the US Armed forces? If it’s the right thing to do then it shouldn’t matter if they draft or not. The only ones that I know in the US armed forces are Charedim. At least two from Lakewood alone. How many MO have joined up? How come you haven’t?July 11, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #886913oomisParticipant
The only way to make the army more “pure” is for pure people to join it en masse and lead by example. And I thought a milchemes mitzvah today was a milchama fought against sonim who want to eradicate Klal Yisroel. Would you not say that describes the Arab agenda pretty accurately?
I think the chilonim justifiably do not “get” why any Jew should be exempt from defending E”Y, simply because he is learning. My cousins who are ALL frum, served their time in the army in NACHAL, and the girls did sherut leumi. I would only concur that girls should not be forced into army service when they could be doing something to help their country that does not require military training.
Learning unfortunately did not save the boys who were slaughtered a few years ago in their Yeshivah. Had those bochurim all been trained militarily, perhaps the story would have had a happier outcome. At the very least, they would not have been sitting ducks. There is no dishonor in knowing how (and being prepared) to defend oneself and one’s country. Quite the contrary. And yes, the learning is also crucial for that.July 11, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm #886914
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Getzel: That Mishnah is about S’char in Olam Hazeh and Olam Habah. It’s not talking about physical protection. I’m not downplaying learning at all. I’m just curious if anyone has an actual Makor for this fairly common claim.July 12, 2012 1:44 am at 1:44 am #886916
The Gemora in Sotah (21a) tells us that the Torah protects us from pain and affliction.July 12, 2012 1:51 am at 1:51 am #886917
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is referring to that learning is more valuable than all other mitzvahs.July 12, 2012 2:11 am at 2:11 am #886918
Getzel: You’re right. I mashed those two together. It’s a long Z’man and I’m not quite on top of everything anymore. I need to catch up on sleep and relax for a bit. I can probably make it until Tishah B’av though. And I never disagreed about that or said that it was less valuable. My simple question was where is the source that it grants more physical protection than actual physical defense does.
I believe the source that is used to say that those learning in Yeshivah don’t need the army is Bava Basra 7a (or somewhere around there), “Rabannan Lo Tzrichi N’tirusa”. But if I recall correctly, if you look at the Rishonim there it shouldn’t really apply to this case.
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