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IDF Looking to Double Chareidi Enlistment Numbers

nachal chreidi.jpgIDF Human Resources Branch officials are working towards doubling the number of chareidi inductees, to bring the number up from 500 to 1,000.

At present, the majority of chareidi soldiers are serving in two units, the infantry’s Nachal Chareidi Battalion, known officially as Netzach Yehuda and the Shachar program of the air force. (Shachar is an acronym for “chareidim joining the blue”.

According to reports, some 50,000 members of the chareidi-Orthodox community are receiving deferments from service annually as they opt to remain in a beis medrash (Torah study halls) instead of serving.

The Nachal Chareidi program began eight years ago, and some 400 new inductees enlist in the army annually. The Shachar program began a year ago, accepting 40 recruits who were trained for air force technical and logistical support positions. In the latter program, the inductees begin with classes intended to improve their level of mathematics, English and computers, while living in a Torani framework permitting them to maintain their Torah lifestyle. All personnel and instructors dealing with the group are male.

In return for three years of service, they receive another perk, a choice of pre-discharge training of six months in one of a number of fields in the hope of preparing them for civilian life. This six-month training takes place during the last half year of the three-year service.

In a meeting called by Air Force Commander Major-General Eliezer Shkedy, officers reported a high level of satisfaction from their new chareidi soldiers, prompting the decision to increase their numbers to 150 in the coming year, labeling the program a major success.

Interestingly, and perhaps ironically, while the head of Human Resources Division Major-General Elazar Stern is working to attract large numbers of the chareidi sector, he is simultaneously working to shut down the hesder yeshivas which provide a Torani framework for many members of the Dati Leumi (National Religious) camp.

This move appears tied to the calls for refusing orders during the Disengagement from Gaza in 2005 with the realization that the backbone of the IDF combat units today comes from the Dati Leumi camp, a reality that led to concerns during the expulsion from Gaza and is still a bone of contention to some. Despite most Dati Leumi soldiers and officers being politically right-wing, they did indeed comply with orders and the instances of insubordination during the disengagement were marginal, proving their loyalty to the military framework event at the cost of contradicting their political or perhaps even their Torah values.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

12 Responses

  1. There is no excuse for someone not in yeshiva not to join nachal chareidi.. I see “chareidi” kids bumming around town.. what knowledge are they gaining by hanging out at stores etc..?

    Nachal chareidi will teach them discipline, responsibility and alot of other stuff.

    Let them by the yissachar’s here for the zevulun’s that learn.

  2. 1 – They are adhering to their Rabbonim who have made it clear in no uncertain terms to stay away from the army regardless of this unit.

    And they are to be highly commended for following their Rabbonim’s shita that any association with the army is assur.

  3. It’s such a terrible system for just about everyone the way it is. How the secular army loses out is obvious. Less obvious is what happens to thousands of chareidim who want to work but because they’re not allowed by their Rabbonim from serving in tzahal they have to get a deferment by officially learning full time. They have to play this game with the state until about age 30 (someone please correct me if I’m wrong.)

    So to recap:

    1) people that cannot afford not to work are forced to do just that
    2) the state loses out and chareidim continue to be perceived as unproductive and a drain on society

  4. lesschumras – It is not I who maintains that it is assur to join any of the various units of the IDF, but rather it is choshiva Rabbonim and Gedolim. My point is not that all Rabbonim take this stance, but rather that the talmidim of the Rabbonim that do are to be commended for following their Rabbonim’s shita (even if they have to go to jail to uphold the Torah.)

    As far as Israeli government funds, my kehila refuses to accept any such money as a matter of principle.

  5. great. start with the kids bumming around ben yehudah. Better yet go to the bars where some of the “off derech but still calling themselves frum” kids hang out. I’m a fan. Yes, anyone not sitting and learning should be fighting.

  6. As someone who lived with a total of 7 enlisted nachal chareidi soldiers as they were in the army (not at the same time) I can not possibaly understand how anyone could be against it.

    From a total of 400 a year.. I personally know at least 25.. my old roomate is a captain there now.. wears a suit and black hat on shabbos, trimmed beard..

    Not everyone is willing or fit to sit and learn..

    You rather these kids bum out by ben yehuda smoking weed and drinking with girls ?

    What all in the name of evil zionism.. c’v we cant serve in the army ? but zionist money is good enough to pay yeshivot..

    What twisted logic.. these kids will learn alot of good.. they will learn discipline.. and be mikadesh shem shamayim..

    Sorry but soldiers are still protecting am yisrael and eretz yisrael.

    So nect time a chareidi yungerman is talking to some secular guy who is screaming about chareidi draft dodgers and he pulls out his combat card and says “gib a kuk”.. well THATS a kidush hashem.

    You can find 1000 guys in a snap that are not in yeshiva and are just buming around..

  7. When the state was founded there was obviously a big debate within the frum community about how to deal with it on a hashkafic and practical level.

    Being a chossid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I want to recount the Rebbe’s very simple logic on this matter. He basically said that if there is a state run by Jews than lehoira it will help protect Jewish lives. In that case it would be a positive development. This was always the reason why Chabad was (and continues) to be for shleimus haaretz. Because giving away land is a matter of endangering Jewish lives. That this goal happened to coincide with the daati leumi crowd is merely practical and has nothing to do with any inherent kedusha of the state.

    Now however, that not only has the state given away sinai, but parts of Eretz Yisroel itself, people need to start rethinking how useful the state really is in terms of protecting Jewish life.

  8. Moshiachnow,
    You need to learn kuntres umayan. The Rebbe did not argue against the Rebbe Rashab. The medinah was formed by kofrim is run by kofrim and would like to make everybody kofrim. Bidiavad, it has a din of Jewish yishuv (like any yishuv would have in chutz la’aretz) and the dinim in siman 329 apply. To praise the state that seeks to destroy Torah Judaism was never on the Rebbe lips. There is letter in sha’arei orah about ischalta d’geula, if the Rebbe’s signature did not appear on it you would have thought that the Satmar Rav wrote it. If Jews were shomer torah like they were supposed to be, the army could pack up and go home. The problem is people think we have an army and they forget that we have G-d that’s alot bigger than an army. As in the exodus from Egypt, The victory of Sancheriv, the salvation of Purim, the victory of Chanukah, etc. Al tivtichu bnidivim, bven adom she’ain lo tshua. The kofrim that run the state only endanger it and everybody in it by provking Hashem’s wrath daily.

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