Monday, March 17, 2014

The Ultimate Irony

At the end of the charedi anti-draft rally in New York, the organizers offered effusive thanks and praise to the New York City Police Department for ensuring the safety and security of everyone present.

They can thank the NYPD, but not the IDF?!

And why did all these Torah scholars need protection anyway?

56 comments:


  1. At the end of the rally in Israel they thanked the POlice too!!!!
    yes!!!! they thanked the Israeli police for everything to protect them.
    When will you stop just bashing for bashing sake

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  2. Um, that merely shows that my post is applicable to Israel as well as NY. They can thank the police but never the IDF?

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  3. For the umpteenth time..... We don't have a problem with the IDF .Its only with drafting Torah Learners.if you didn't notice even Mercaz Harav was there,and many other groups of DL would've gone if not for the crazy last minute pressure they were under from our "Brother"
    If all you want to do is contuinue saying this until people believe you that is fine.but I think even you know that you are just out to bash them for NO reason (Besides revenge for the way (some )chreidim treated you)

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  4. This post is not about the issue of the draft. (Though with regard to your claim, it's simply not true that charedim believe in drafting boys who are not in yeshivah.) This post is about the absence of hakaras hatov to the IDF in the charedi world.

    Perhaps you would like to explain why charedim don't say a Misheberach for Tzahal?

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  5. Clarity, virtually no dati-leumi types even planned to attend. The only ones who did were chardali types who are (as their name indicates) half charedi anyway. At the last minute, virtually all (if not all) of even those decided that the charedim had gone too far, especially in attacking their own leaders, and didn't show. And so about 300,000 people came to a "million man march." (Another reason for the flop was the failure of any non-charedi Shas voters to show.) The fact that the chief rabbis came out only goes to prove how indebted to the charedim they personally are.

    As to "don't have a problem with the IDF," that's nonsense. That's how Anglo charedim rationalize this to themselves and others, but it's certainly not true for most Israeli charedim, and probably not true for many of the others.

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  6. The reason we don't say a mi shabeirach is the same reason You don't say one for all the farmers and grocers and doctors out there. Yes!!! they do provide a vital service but they are NOT an institution that would become part of our prayers SERVICE. but of course we have Hakaras hatov to all of them. so too, do we have to the butchers and bakers and hatzalah mambers and doctors etc. that save lives and protect us.

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  7. to Nachum:
    Where do you get your numbers from??? the Jerusalem Post? Every newspaper including the not religious ones had at least 5000000 besides the JP

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  8. The farmers and grocers and doctors are not putting their lives on the line to help us.

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  9. How about the elecetric wokers or the workers in the gas refineries there are many jobs that risk their lives for their job.plus doctors save many lives. Why is mishebeirach defined by risking a life

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  10. Good grief. If you think that there is any comparison between electricity workers and soldiers then you are simply clueless.

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  11. Yes, we all recognize that your personal Middos are so much more refined than those of the Gedolei Yisrael,Talmidei Chachamim, Avreichim, Yeshiva Bachurim and stam amcha of the charedi world you consistently mock and ridicule, and we will now rush to follow your example.

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  12. Wow, great comeback! You could have saved time and just used this right at the start: "We are Charedi and therefore it is impossible that we have any shortcomings." It works against all criticisms of charedi society, not just that regarding the lack of hakaras hatov to the IDF.

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  13. Clarity,

    We don't have a problem with the IDF .Its only with drafting Torah Learners.... but of course we have Hakaras hatov to all of them

    Why is it then that in many bastions of Torah, someone who *volunteers* for the army is considered at least a nebach, second-class, failure-of-a-frum-Yid, and at worst is treated like a traitor, a persona non grata, and sometimes even subject to ridicule, heckling, threats, etc.?

    Somehow I'm not seeing the love!

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  14. Actually, I was referring just to your own personal character.

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    1. Nice middos, if we are the bad guys, and you are the mentsch. I have a question, did you send a letter to the Hamodia and the chareidi newspapers which were bashing the dati leumi rabbonim, insulting them. By the way if you are so perfect Chareidi, which Charedi rabbi gave you an heter to be on the web, because i assume that it's not your parnassa, you learn Torah full time, don't you?

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  15. Clarity said...
    For the umpteenth time..... We don't have a problem with the IDF .Its only with drafting Torah Learners.

    Did anyone notice the tremendous revisionism here? Torah learners, not Torah scholars!
    There are an awful lot of responsible, serious, dedicated Torah learners in the army who are repulsed by the idea that they should be exempt from responsibility to their people for just doing what they are expected to
    (just as Moshe Rabbenu was repulsed by the thought that some shevatim would want exemption and those shevatim cried that Moshe would have such a thought).

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  16. Clarity: We don't have a problem with the IDF.

    I hear this regularly from my Chareidi friends. Why is there zero Chareidi public hakarat hatov for the soldiers who are protecting the country day and night? Why don't they say tehillim after shul for the IDF if they are unwilling to change the nusach hatfilla?

    How come the bnei yeshivot aren't learning in shifts like the IDF -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with equal learning coverage at night to protect the soldiers and the country?

    Publicly saying "Thank you" for those who are putting their lives on the line 24 hours a day seems to be too difficult for the Chareidi leadership. Its so much easier to slam Bennet and call him Amalek.

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    1. How come the bnei yeshivot aren't learning in shifts like the IDF -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with equal learning coverage at night to protect the soldiers and the country?

      Just imagine what would happen to our country if all of our chayalim took off for bein hazmanim.

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  17. The next time somebody tells me that I must know better than So and So, and I will respond. Correct, I know better, and so should you!

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  18. The reason some Chareidim don't make a Mi Shebeirach for Tzahal has nothing to do with a lack of hakoras hatov but rather with a shitah of lack of authority of people in this generation to compose Tefillos that are incorperated in our davening. You're much too quick ro judge chareidim unfavoribly.

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  19. So they don't need to do a Misheberach. It can be Tehillim recited after davenning. You know, just like yeshivos here did for victory in the Beit Shemesh elections.

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  20. @Pinchas

    One could be glacially slow, and by now one would still be finding fault with Charedim. Not saying a Mi Sheberach for reasons of not changing the Nusach is a cop-out, and a really poor one at that. We aren't talking about changing existing Tefilot. We are talking about adding a short paragraph said by one person.

    Charedim believe they know better than CHaZaL when it suits them (See learning as being the end-all of existence) but when it comes to Derech Eretz they suddenly can't do anything new or different. Av Harachamim and parts of Hodu were added as late as the Middle Ages, but a simple Mi Sheberach that is said when most people are shmoozing with their friends is suddenly too innovative.

    It's not hard to understand why some people would start to hate.

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  21. Perhaps someone out there who is familiar with Haredi thinking could clarify this for me but my understanding of why Haredim vehemently oppose saying a misheberach for the soldiers and who opposed serving in the IDF has nothing to do with "it being assur to create new misheberachs" or supposedly taking people away from learning....as I understand it, all of this flows from the "austritt" (separationist) philosophy created by Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch which states that any Jewish organization or philosophy outside of the officially permitted Haredi framework is inherently illegitimate and has no spiritual validity and it is forbidden for a loyal Jew to associate with it or anyone affiliated with it in any way. (Please correct me if I am wrong).
    The fear is that if any recognition whatsoever is granted to these organizations or people affiliated with them, then good Jews may get confused and think that they represent an authentic form of Judaism and the Haredi communtiy will end up losing its young people. Thus, to say a misheberach for IDF soldiers is possibly granting the IDF some sort of spiritual legitimacy even though many of them aren't even religious, and so the next step is for those saying the misheberach might end up thinking that one doesn't even have to be religiously observant if one serves.

    This also answers the question about thanking the NYPD. They are not Jews and so no one is going to be "confused" and think there is something Jewishly valid about them.

    Regardin Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky's grandchildren, I know one personally who served in the IDF and at least one other (whom I don't know personally) who also served.

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  22. "This also answers the question about thanking the NYPD. They are not Jews and so no one is going to be "confused" and think there is something Jewishly valid about them."

    And the Jeruslem Police also aren't Jews?

    It's plain and simple. They hate Israel.

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  23. Pinchas: Can you please provide an example of regular hakaras hatov for the IDF by Chareidim?

    One would think that 24 hour a day pikuach nefesh would elicit tehillim? I was disappointed that at the demonstration in Israel there was no tehillim said or any expression of appreciation for those are actively protecting the country 24 hours a day in the IDF.

    Why isn't there learning being done 24 hours a day in shifts to match the effort being done by those in Am Yisrael in the IDF?

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  24. I have lived in haredi communities for all my adult life, both in EY and the US, and have NEVER heard a haredi shul or yeshiva say that one should daven for the soldiers, even during war time.

    Rather, what one hears is that we should daven for "the matzav."

    Never, ever is it expressly said that we should daven for the soldiers or tzahal. Those words are NEVER mentioned.

    And when it comes time to give thanks, it is ONLY to the KB"H and NEVER to the soldiers, unlike in the linked video that thanks the NYPD.

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  25. You make an interesting point about the irony.

    What's also ironic is the OTHER guy (in addition to R. Hoffman) attacking you on cross currents, Yakov Menken. As usual, he spends all his time telling everyone they have to listen to Gedolim, and the Gedolim said this about the rally, so who is anyone to argue, etc ad nauseum. Meanwhile, after his own Gedolim in Lakewood put up a sign forbidding anyone to watch "Megillas Lester", Menken goes right ahead and writes a blurb gushing with excitement over it. When someone pointed out the problem, he responded blithely that their talmidim shouldn't watch it, but everyone else can have fun.

    Got that? When its convenient to Menken, everyone should listen to his self-appointed Gedolim. But when its inconvenient, you can make your own decision.

    Now THATS the ultimate irony!

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  26. RNS said "Perhaps you would like to explain why charedim don't say a Misheberach for Tzahal?"

    Dovid said...
    "I have lived in haredi communities for all my adult life, both in EY and the US, and have NEVER heard a haredi shul or yeshiva say that one should daven for the soldiers, even during war time."

    I have also lived in charedi communities all my life and have OFTEN heard people,including the rav of my shul -- who is a major talmid chacham -- say we should say Tehillim for the soldiers, especially during war time or times of military activity (like Operation Cast Lead in Gaza). My rav also makes a mi sheberach for the Israeli soldiers every Shabbos.

    I have OFTEN heard charedim express private hakaras hatov to the soldiers who defend Jews in E"Y but there is no special feeling for Tzahal as an institution. That goes back to the whole history of the Israeli army, which was consciously used as an instrument of socialization into "the new Israeli Man." Even today some religious soldiers -- depending where they are stationed -- experience intense pressure to secularize, both from their officers and fellow soldiers.

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  27. Rabbi Slifkin,
    Electrical-related fatalities in the workplace from 1991 through 2010 varied between 1 and 13 per year. https://www.osh.org.il/uploadfiles/SAFETY%20ELECTRICAL1.pdf
    The data on victims of terrorist attacks can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_casualties_of_war.
    I haven't the time to sort through the numbers, but I believe the vast majority of casualties in terrorist attacks have been civilians. There are far more soldiers than electricians in Israel so it seems quite reasonable that electricians face far greater danger than soldiers on an individual basis.
    Aside from this, I would argue that the maintenance of power grids and backup generators that power hospitals (this is actually the only thing that many technicians do) actually has a more direct impact on the sustaining of human life than do soldiering duties.
    Ultimately, there are work hazards in every profession. The least intelligent question to ask, "What is the risk level at which point we modify our prayers to Daven for you?" (an aesthetic one for religionists to debate); the more intelligent question is "Does a person owe a debt of gratitude for a service performed on his behalf but which he does not value?" and the most important question, shedding the aesthetics altogether, would be "Can a person be forced to pay for a service does not want, and can a financial contract be executed unilaterally, and is a contract valid without the consent of an included party?"
    The answer to the last question would bring into the conversation a discussion of the validity not only of the State of Israel, but government in general.
    Now, the Haredim, on this issue alone, are in the company of Murray Rothbard and David Friedman. But the relevant question is a challenge to all who would use the state to enforce their opinions.

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  28. Y. Ben-David, exactly, although I don't even think it extends as far as "...and then we'll lose our kids to it." I think it's just "Not charedi= treif, period."

    Wow! *Two* attacks on R' Slifkin on C-C, and no response from him. Doesn't sound too "cross" currents, eh?

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  29. Toby - Might I guess that the shul and Rabbi you refer to are neither in NY nor EY -- and that those who daven there are not of the strictly "We must follow Da'as Torah" variety?

    My experience has been in shuls and communities in NY and EY that express absolute allegiance to litvishe Da'as Torah and where many of the mispalleilim are in chinuch.

    I repeat: I have NEVER heard an announcement to daven for the welfare of the soldiers, nor any expression of gratitude, nor any acknowledgement that they played any role in anything we need be grateful for.

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  30. Brooklyn Refugee SheygitzMarch 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    questions for "clarity":

    1) does your shul still say an aramaic "mi shebeyrach" for the chachmei bavel even though there are no longer any chachmei bavel? for the reish galusa, whose position hasn't existed in over 900 years (and in today's world has been efectively supplanted by the government of Israel)? do you think that when "evil" roshei galusa were holding he title (read the iggeres of rav sherira gaon for more on those) that they stopped saying that mi shabeyrach for the resh galusa?

    2) have you ever davned in a shul in chutz laartez which said the prayer for the welfare of the sovereign (in Russia historically it was the czar - who was often an oppresive ruler to the Jews and an anti-semite; today in the UK it is Queen Elizbeth and Prince Charles and in the USA it is the President and the Vice President)? can you think of a reason why such a prayer couldn't be said for the government of Israel - even if there are parts of the rabbanut harashit's "official" Avinu Shebashamayionm version which might have theological connotations you don't feel comfortable with?

    3) have you ever davened in a shul which said the mi sheberach for those who don' speak during davening? this mi shabeyrach is not printed in most siddurim yet is still said by some shuls

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  31. Ameteur said...
    The next time somebody tells me that I must know better than So and So, and I will respond. Correct, I know better, and so should you!

    That's right! Haredim often think and debate in terms of daas Torah. They will say "Perhaps you know better than Maran HaRav HaGadol HaDor xxxx shlita?" My response is always polite: we don't all hold by that rabbi. Lots of us hold by other rabbis who don't poskin the same. Your rabbi is not my rabbi.

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  32. Moshe Dick writes:
    Having experienced being censored by the thin-skinned,self-righteous writers on cross-currents (and elsewhere), I am happy that Rabbi Slifkin, at leats, allows comments from both sides. In this case, I think that most people ignore the big elephant in the room, namely the authority of the "Gedolim" and, more inportantly, their assumed prescience. In his piece , Rabbi Menken echoes the chareidi view in saying that these Gedolim are 'einiei ho-eidah" and no one can argue with them. They see everything much more clearly than we, mere mortals. Unfortunately, we don't have to look very far to see how wrong this view is. Pre-holocaust- the Gedolim of Europe vehemently were against emigrating ,even as the Nazi danger came into focus. As a result, millions of (chareidi) Jews perished. I am not- chas vecholilo- accuse them of causing the Holocaust but is evident that they are NOT "einiei ho-eidah"They CANNOT see everything. They also were opposed to the establishment of the state of Israel. Can you imagine how Jews in Israle would have fared today under Moslem rule? This is,afewtr all, what would have been the result if the state of Israel would not have been founded. Gedolim are not infallibe nor are they omniscient- and we do not have the duty to follow them blindly.

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  33. Toby Katz, many in the Orthodox world pay respects to Israel's soldiers and the IDF through prayers. Many others too go out of their way to avoid or proscribe them. Surely you know this. In any event, such blessings and thanksgivings were conspicuously absent during the recent marches, whereas public attacks on Israel's government, references to its decisions as "evil decrees" and even a recitation of tehillim typically reserved for evil governments were, shamefully, quite prominent.

    David Freedman, yes, and truck drivers have very risky jobs too, and food sector workers keep us all from starving. Nevertheless, electricians, truck drivers and others go into decently remunerated occupations voluntarily and knowingly, whereas conscripted soldiers perform poorly-paid duties on behalf of their nation and its people, never knowing whether they'll finish their service in boredom or be returned in a body bag. Ultimately, no matter how important or risky other occupations are, without the self-sacrifice of the soldier who keeps enemies at bay, none of them would be possible.

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  34. Unlike all the others, the job of a soldier is to risk his life. Period. No one else really does that, apart perhaps from policemen.

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  35. Just so that my last paragraph is more clear, it should read:

    I have NEVER heard a public announcement to daven for the welfare of the soldiers, nor any public expression of gratitude, nor any public acknowledgement that Israeli soldiers played any role in anything we need be grateful for.

    On a private, individual level gratitude and concern are expressed by many, but never (in my experience) in any public pronouncement.

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  36. "Others go into decently remunerated occupations voluntarily and knowingly, whereas conscripted soldiers perform poorly-paid duties on behalf of their nation and its people."
    Temujin: It is interesting, telling, and completely dishonest that you contrast "go into...voluntarily" with "perform." Actually, the opposite of "go into voluntarily" is "be forced into involuntarily."
    Maybe you would chance a go at the question of whether a person who is forced with the ultimate threat of violence (the state's only means of negotiation) deserves thanks for his "efforts?" Or whether anyone, or any group of people, has the moral right to initiate physical coercion against anyone else?
    Your linguistic tricks continue to your last sentence where you reference the "self-sacrifice" of the soldiers. Doubtless many have been indoctrinated to cheerlead for the state but a "draft" constitutes the use of force, whether Useful Idiots recognize it or not, and prisoners in "correctional facilities" would apparently win the same praise from you for their "self-sacrifice." No, it is not laudable to be victimized by the use of force; it is tragic and sorrowful.
    With regards to your last contention that I need an army to defend me, I ask you to refrain from projecting your needs onto me, and ask also that, if you are truly interested in my safety, you stop funding the entity that restricts (and certainly claims the moral right to restrict) my ability to defend myself.
    Good will from the land of voluntaryism and self-ownership (and wishing the people in your neck of the woods would stop exchanging one master for another),
    David Friedman

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  37. The total number of Israeli soldiers and security forces killed in the course of duty is over 30,000, and there are over 100,000 disabled. I don't think that the number of killed and wounded electricity workers comes remotely close.

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  38. You've made this point many times over. Just one who learns Torah provides more protection than he would have, had he been fighting, doesn't mean no more protection is necessary.

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  39. Brooklyn Refugee SheygitzMarch 17, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Since this post is about hakarat hatov I thought we should also mention that haredi yeshivot in Israel which take money from the government do a terrible job at instilling a sense of hakarat hatov for this fact. The funding of non for private institutions is now a matter of public record. It turns our that the single largest source of funds for the mirrer yeshiva which is the largest yeshiva in Israel, is the government of the state of Israel. Yet instead of honoring the finance minister or the economics minister at the annual dinner the yeshiva world subscribed to propaganda tactics which vilify them. Without the IDF there would be no state of Israel. Without the state the mirrer yeshiva would not have most of its annual budget. Just a simple element of hakarat hatov which is expressed in the mi shebeyrach recited every Shabbat on behalf of all those who on engage in the public welfare dictates that every yeshiva that takes even a shekel in funds from the state of Israel should say some form of public prayer specifically for the soldiers of the idf and for the state. Anything less is pure selfishness.

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    1. And dont forget the person who saved the Mirrer yeshiva was Zerach Warhaftig, the Dutch talmid of telze yeshiva, who together with sugihara discovered / devised the 'Curacao route that led to Shanghai, etc.

      Zera ch Warhaftig later became "Sar HaDatot " (= religious affairs minister) of the hated "Medina". Did they express hakarat hatov tohim? (I recall they honored Sugihara ar a dinnwr a few years ago.)

      MiMedinat HaYam

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  40. Moshe Dick writes:
    To David Friedman (and others) : OK- your learning protects you. Now, go ahead, drive over the border into Syria and let's see how much your learning will help you.Or try to walk before an oncoming truck.
    The absurdity of the chareidi position has been proven extensively by many of the posters. The ONLY reason why they can strut their stuff and claim that their learning prtoects them is BECAUSE there is a tsahal to defend them. It is becoming nauseating to see how the chareidi view is so self-serving.

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  41. A PRAYER FOR THE IDF SOLDIERS.
    He who grants deliverance to kings, and dominion to princes, His kingship is a kingship of all worlds; He who rescued David, His servant, from the evil sword, Who put a road through the sea, and a path amid the mighty waters; may He continue to bless, preserve, and guard, help, exalt, and make great, and raise high the IDF soldiers. May the Supreme King of Kings in His mercy, continue to sustain them in life and preserve them; and from all distress, sorrow, and hurt, may He save them. May the Supreme King of Kings in His mercy, continue to instill in them great physical power, moral and intellectual power, supply them with great resources, and superiority over our enemies.
    In their days and in ours, may Judah be delivered and Israel dwell in security, and the Redeemer come to Zion. May this be His will and let us say, Amein.

    It's as simple as that, none of the charedim should have any excuses. A few heartfelt words with sincere gratitude is all that is required.
    o

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  42. It's beyond absurd to compare young soldiers who put their lives on the line to any other individual. Someone who can suggest otherwise should take a step back from these holy wars and regroup.

    As for the appalling lack of gratitude in the charedi world - please, the pathetic defenses ring so hollow. The charedim know very well how to show appreciation to gvirim or rosh yeshivas they want to honor. They're ingrates, and there's no pischon peh to say anything on their behalf, period.

    That's the power of the tongue. Had the Charedim merely shown some semblance of basic hakaras ha-tov and simple decent respect for soldiers that even a schoolboy knows to do, there would have been no Lapid, and no need for marches and protests. Everything happening now is a result of the complete and total failure of their leadership on a simple matter - not of today, but of the past 40 years. For shame.

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  43. Irony indeed!

    And to Clarity and all those who are trying to defend the indefensible...it is not ALL Chareidim who would be required to serve, it would be those who are not the Torah prodigies who are sincerely needed to study full-time. As many have pointed out, it is true that Torah study is important, but even many of our sages also worked for a living, and certainly there are many "learners" who would do better by working and learning part-time. In other words, a small percentage of learners is probably what was intended, but certainly not the number which resist military service now.

    Clarity, you are raising irrelevant issues when you ask, "Why don't Israelis say a Mi Shebeirach for farmers, grocers, doctors, etc.?" There is no comparison between those professions and the IDF. The IDF is what allows you to continue to study full-time. I believe that there are some Charedim who are abusing what was intended, in Ben-Gurion's day, to preserve some full-time study activity along with full-time work. I do not believe that this was intended to exempt the vast majority of Charedim from full- or part-time work (or the IDF or national service).

    Now, I have a great deal of respect for those who do learn full-time. However, it is not for everyone. As I said before, there are plenty of famous sages who also worked.

    Natan, keep fighting against such ill-advised reasoning. Yes, Israel is not the Jewish state the religious might have wanted, but as long as they live there, they have obligations to share the duties of citizenship, and I don't think the remainder of the country begrudges some exemptions for Torah study, but if the Charedim are granted some exemptions they should not complain when it appears that this exemption is being flagrantly abused.

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  44. The irony is that the so-called Chareidim should thank Hashem that there are secular Jews and religious Zionists who are willing and eager to join the IDF to protect all the Jews in Israel, including the Chareidm and all the American yeshiva boys who go there to learn for a year or more. And what about those black hatters that go to live in Israel but won't make official aliyah so they can exempt themselves and their kids from military service and other obligations that an Israeli citizen would have? If the chareidim truly believe that sitting and "learning" in the Beis Medrash is their way of contributing to the safety of Israel and the Jewish people, then why was it necessary to protest in downtown Manhattan and in Israel and waste valuable learning time? One must assume that when the Torah speaks of an army and the mandatory enlistment for men over 20, that those mitzvos were for the non-frum Jews in the Chumash! Wait a minute, I didn't know there were secular Jews in the time of the Chumash! I just had an "aha!" moment!!!

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  45. Moshe Dick:
    I am not Haredi, and I don't believe that learning protects anyone. I also don't believe that the state protects anyone, and telling me "you should be thankful" misses the point that a thanks is a debt, and no debt can possibly be owed without being obligated by a consenting transaction. In other words, if I don't want your protection, I have the right not to pay for it.
    In this regard, IDF soldiers are quite properly compared to the indigent windshield-cleaners who used to operate on the streets of Manhattan. They "create" a debt after rendering a "service" that their victim never asked for.
    As for "driving into Syria," I have no need to expose myself to imminent danger. Though were I to do so, my chances of survival would be best left in my own hands, not in the hands of your Government Heroes whose first exposure to firearms comes typically at age 18. Interesting how the free market operates more effectively than government, isn't it?

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  46. DF:
    "It's beyond absurd to compare young soldiers who put their lives on the line to any other individual. Someone who can suggest otherwise should take a step back from these holy wars and regroup."
    Again, it is not the soldiers who put their lives on the line, but the politicians who put the soldiers' lives on the line. Get the difference? It is beyond absurd to compare Bar Kokhba and Mordechai Anilewicz to coerced conscripts. The former is a hero, the latter are victims.
    Your condemnation of holy wars is commendable. Now will you take the brave step of condemning actual wars, and their only sponsors- governments?
    David Friedman

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  47. DB- the point is not the parity in number but the relative danger of each position. There are currently over 600,000 soldiers, including active and reserve. There have been millions of IDF soldiers.
    There are comparatively extremely few high-voltage electricians, and these guys die on the job in Israel all the time (13 in 1997 alone). These men are directly responsible for keeping electricity running in hospitals. Do you know what happens in a power-out when a backup generator fails to fire? Take a guess.
    But let's pursue your line of reasoning for a minute. What is the magic number where your occupation's hazard gets you into the prayer book? 2% fatality rate? .8% fatality rate? Responses like Rabbi Slifkin's "if you think there is a comparison you are simply clueless" or DF's "it is beyond absurd to compare" are completely subjective judgments and do not specify numbers (which would just be a better way to quantify that subjective judgment, anyway).
    Are you familiar with the Talmud
    dictum of "Natata D'varecha LaShiurin?"
    Regardless, as I have shown, it does appear more dangerous to work as a high-voltage electrician, and the comparison is certainly not "crazy."

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  48. Moshe Dick writes:

    I delved into the gemoro Baba basra 7b and 8a, concerning the protection of the Torah for talmidei chachomim and also the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch who do codify this as an halacha. I hav two questins of fact and one of plain common sence. In the same way that talmidei chachomim are exempt from contributing to the defense of a city (walls, ect) they are, however, obligated to contribute to the building of roads (albeit not personal labor). The logical explanation is that they use the roads and therefore must contribute to its upkeep. I am perplexed as to the difference. The second uestion is simple: what are talmidie chacomim in this context? every person who learns? who decides who is a talmid chochom?
    Lastly, I am totally at loss to understand this gemoro. Does that mean that a talmid hcochom can go into an area of danger nd say, 'the Torah protects me" ? Can he walk on the main road and not worry about cars and trucks? The sheer absurdity of this case perplexes me.

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  49. Brooklyn Refugee-
    Your comment abuot the generous fnding the state, (i.e. the non-Haredi taxpayer) gives the haredi yeshivot points out an odd fact...that often being generous with someone can sometimes cause resentment and humiliation in the recipient. What may be happening here is that the Haredi had a negative attitude towards Zionism long before the state arose, and it is a fact that the Zionist "Establishment", (i.e. the political Left in Israel) was quite anti-religious in the early years of the state. So when the state turns around and becomes frienlier and more supportive, many people may end up feeling "see, the Zionist state isn't so bad" and might be willing to integrate more fully into Israeli society. Extremists may find this an even bigger threat since the formerly hostile state Establishment wasn't so attractive to the Haredi rank-and-file. Thus, today the state and larger Israeli society can be viewed as even more threatening since it is more tempting and so must be demonized all the more, so that the "unsuspecting might not fall into its trap". The so-called "New Haredim" who are integrating more into the workforce and who were interested in IDF service are a manifestation of this perceived threat.

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  50. "Anonymous Nachum said...
    Unlike all the others, the job of a soldier is to risk his life. Period. No one else really does that, apart perhaps from policemen."

    Don't forget firefighters. Oh also, anyone who walks into a Haredi area with an Israeli flag.

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  51. Mr Friedman's pacifist, anarchist or anarcho-pacifist reply to Temujin deserves notice for its thematic originality:

    "Temujin: It is interesting, telling, and completely dishonest that you contrast "go into...voluntarily" with "perform." (A ruddy shocker of a surprise as well, one might add.)

    [...]

    Your linguistic tricks continue to your last sentence where you reference the "self-sacrifice" of the soldiers... (There were only two sentences but, yes, one does his best.)

    [...]

    ...I ask you to refrain from projecting your needs onto me, and ask also that, if you are truly interested in my safety, you stop funding the entity that restricts (and certainly claims the moral right to restrict) my ability to defend myself.... (Gulp! Consider it done, old boy.)


    Goodness, Friedman, one's little post on March 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM generated that and more?

    Temujin stands by his every word, but cannot make heads or tails of your, er, critique to be able to properly respond. So, he graciously concedes the battle grounds to you (apologies for the bellicose terminology); smiles, breaks eye contact, gently backs away and moves on. All the best.

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  52. David Friedman, I’m curious. Are you one of those people who believe that they can defend themselves with their personal collection of guns?

    Against your neighbors, maybe. Against a government-backed military? Not a chance. The armor on a modern main battle tank can stop a HEAT round. A bullet won’t even scratch it.

    Now, I suppose you can argue that citizens should be allowed to buy military-grade weapons, so you can have your own tanks and missiles and fighters. But an F22 costs 150 million dollars, and that’s after the billions of dollars it took to develop. An aircraft carrier costs over four billion dollars. How to raise the money to pay for them? Perhaps we can all get together and pool our money, and we’ll have some people, let’s call them “soldiers,” whose job it will be to maintain and use these weapons on our behalf. We can set up programs to train them, so that even if their “first exposure to firearms comes typically at age 18” they can learn to use them better than the hobbyist who’s been handling guns since he was a kid.

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  53. ROY: At 2:05 Instructions to say mi sheberach every monday and thursday.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OZOxcyvKrE

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