Eida Ravaad: They Won’t Succeed in Drafting Us

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shternbRavaad Eida Chareidis HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita on Tuesday morning 8 Nissan 5773 published a letter addressing the new administration’s agenda, the drafting of bnei Torah into the IDF.

“The goal is not only intended to single out lomdei Torah chas v’sholom, but to uproot and change religion and those who safeguard it in Eretz Yisrael. As they have announced, they wish to become involved in the education system that we built, our courts, and to assimilate among us converts who do not accept adherence to a life of Torah and Mitzvos. According to Halacha, they are total goyim and increase public chilul Shabbos in our cities. There are other gezeiros and they wish to harm the Torah world in its entirety.

“According to Halacha, they may not be drafted for they are Hashem’s army and every generation there were those studying, Shevet Levi, those accepting the Yoke of Torah upon themselves. They will not be drafted. They will protect Am Yisrael as is taught in the Rambam at the end of the Halachos of Shmitah and Yovel.”

The rav adds that those seeking to minimize the number of lomdei Torah places all of Am Yisrael in danger. “I view the effort to draft chareidim as part of their effort to uproot chareidim from their lifestyle.”

“Eretz Yisrael is a Holy Land and many came to live a life of purity…In all nations of the world it is understood that those studying Torah are exempt from military service. Here they are trying to force upon the chareidim to change, to educate their children contrary to their pure desires.”

The rav adds he views these efforts as part of the agenda to distance chareidim from their religious lifestyle, insisting they will not succeed, not even with their fines and punishments. “They will not succeed in distancing us from our life and the Holy Torah”.

“It is worthy of publishing that the government which speaks of Freedom of Religion in essence is working to force one to distance oneself from his religion. This is the only place that persecutes Jews for their beliefs, here in Eretz Yisrael. We hope they will feel shame before the nations of the world and leave us alone and save the inhabitants of the land.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)



19 COMMENTS

  1. Interestingly, the one group who the whole “share the burden” discussion will not affect at all is Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita and the Eidah. All of the incentives proposed have been regarding increasing and decreasing funding, which the Eidah already doesn’t take.

  2. Gedolei Yisrael must start by fighting discrimination against chareidim who will be conscripted or penalized while Arabs will continue getting support and benefits from the government even though they will not be drafted.

  3. #2, Wouldn’t a campaign of ahavas yisroel afa al pi chen be more in keeping with what we expect from Gedolim? Wouldn’t it be wise if we were reminded of being don lkaf zechus even in worse times, rather than calling our brothers and sisters amalek? Wouldn’t it be appropriate for the Gedolim to reiterate to the “ehrliche” veldt that the disrespect they perceive now from the rest of the observant Jews in Israel could be the result of the ehrliche community’s own shortcomings in respecting their brothers? Midoh Kneged Midoh is a Torah concept, after all.

  4. “people who dont serve would not be able to work legally under the new gezeira.”

    That would ruin the whole point of getting Charaidim off the dole. As such, I doubt highly that you are correct.

  5. He is quoted as saying: “In all nations of the world it is understood that those studying Torah are exempt from military service.” I think that’s inaccurate. The nations of the world will exempt those who are studying for the rabbinate, but not those who are learning lishmah for the unlimited future. They don’t understand the whole concept of lishmah. And – like Yichusdik – I think that’s the sort of thing that we ought to be trying to teach them.

  6. #3- As it is Hareidim who look to the Eidah Hareidis as their kehillah do not work outside fo the frum community, so any ban on employment will (continue to be) ineffective.

    One should remember that the Eidah is the remnant of the pre-zionist kehillah that opposed the state, and favored peace and cooperation with the Arabs. They consider the government to be illegal to begin with. And they don’t accept zionist money, so they are largely immune to threats other than physical ones.
    They never lived off of the zionists, so they lose nothing by resisting.

    The question is whether the “hareidim” who have been very comfortable with the medinah are also willing to resist. For them it will mean giving up something they have depended on. They will have to choose between being zionist or being Jewish – for the Eidah, it never was an issue which they were.

  7. “According to Halacha, they are total goyim and increase public chilul Shabbos in our cities.”

    If a conversion is invalid, and the potential convert is considered a “total goy”, then there is no chilul Shabbos at all.

    Just one small logical lapse. But don’t let that get in the way of the broader lack of hakoras hatov.

  8. #4: Reaching out with love has not worked and is, at this point, counter-productive. It’s time for Gedolim, AND THE REST OF THE CHAREIDIM, to stand firm in their emunah and do battle against those who want to tear down the edifice of Torah and Mitzvos. MAKE NO MISTAKE, the secular want to do just that, tear down our Holy TOrah.

  9. 11 – Yussel, I am sure the kanoim in the time of bayis shaini thought they were as justified as you. Look where that got us.

    7- no he didn’t but others among the “spokespeople” of the chareidi oilem have.

  10. #12- The Six Day War was not a miracle. As the Satmar Rebbe said, the reason the Israelis won was that the Arabs weren’t very good soldiers. They declared war and did nothing. For all purposes, they bluffed. Their armies were not even properly mobilized. Their officers took “tea” during battles. Seven years later they improved the quality of their soldiering, and Israel suffered greatly and won only at a high price.

    The only miracle is that Ha-Shem hasn’t destroyed the Israelis for opposing Torah and steering millions of Jews off the derekh, and killing hundred of thousands of healthy unborn Jewish babies. Some would say that miracle is in the zechus of the handful who are loyal and diligenet in Torah and Mitsvos. Others would say Ha-Shem is just being patient and giving them time to do tseuvah before …

  11. “The Six Day War was not a miracle. As the Satmar Rebbe said, the reason the Israelis won was that the Arabs weren’t very good soldiers.”

    And of course, if the Satmar Rebbe in his daas yachid said that the 6 Day War wasn’t a miracle then it must be true. He was also an expert on military strategy.

    “Seven years later they improved the quality of their soldiering, and Israel suffered greatly and won only at a high price.”

    Yup, that must be it. The problem is that no one who has actually studied the events of ’73 says that.

    “Some would say that miracle is in the zechus of the handful who are loyal and diligenet in Torah and Mitsvos.”

    Perhaps, and so B’H for our holy students in the Hesder yeshivos.

    “Others would say Ha-Shem is just being patient and giving them time to do tseuvah before …”

    akuperma hears way too many voices in his head. But of course, someone who favors coalitions with the Arab would love to see the “before” happen ‘sooner than later.’

  12. Dr. Norman Lamm once stated (in jest) that only a Yid can be a goy gamur (ever hear anyone refer to a goy as a goy gamur?). Therefore, if they are considered “total goyim” (goyim gamurim), they must be Yidden.

  13. # 10 & 18: My guess is R’ Shternbuch was referring to mechallelei shabbos befarhesya who have a din of a goy regarding yayin nesech, etc. (Even though it says, “total goyim”– have to check the hebrew or yiddish original to see how he really said it.)