Sunday, July 13, 2014

Controversial "Black Dome" Units Desert Posts

Did any of you see the news reports about the Israeli units that deserted their posts?

From Yeshivishe Velt News:

"While the "Iron Dome" units have proved universally effective and popular, the "Black Dome" units have been a source of controversy from the outset. Those soldiers staffing the Black Dome units insist that they are as least as essential to Israel's security as the Iron Dome units, if not more so. They claim that those manning Black Dome units do not need protection, and that they extend their protective shield to those around them. But others have expressed doubt as to their efficacy. The very nature of the protective effect of the Black Dome units remains nebulous, and scant precedent for implementing such a notion can be found; claims regarding such precedents invariably turn out to be misrepresentations or otherwise inapplicable to present circumstances.

"Lately, the controversy regarding the Black Dome units has taken a new twist. Following orders from the Black Dome commander, the soldiers manning the Black Dome units have abandoned their posts in the south of Israel. Contrary to their declared ethos, they apparently believe that Black Dome units do indeed require protection. They fled to safer places such as Bnei Brak and Modiin Illit, where they would not be bothered by the rockets fired by Hamas. Here, their leaders claimed that the Black Dome units would render these towns safe from harm. But it remains unclear why such protective power would not be given to the places that need it most - especially since the excuse given as to why Black Dome forces do not join the regular IDF units is that they are providing a more important form of protection.

"Meanwhile, the "White Dome" units - comprised of people who will later be staffing regular IDF forces - remain in the South, providing moral and spiritual support to the beleaguered residents."

28 comments:

  1. Much has been said on both sides about the issue of (charedim) serving in the army. However, there is one point that I have never seen mentioned, so here is as good a place as any to bring it up. One of the strong arguments of the pro-army side is the Rambam who says that a milchemes mitzvah includes ועזרת ישראל מיד צר שבא עליהם and the halacha is that for a milchemes mitzvah הכל יוצאין ואפילו חתן מחדרו וכלה מחופתה. However, R' Soloveitchik writes in "בענין מלחמת מצוה" that there is a chiluk between this type of milchemes mitzvah and other types. He is mechadesh (based on a kashya) that this type of war does not have the chalos din of a milchemes mitzvah in that automatically everyone is obligated to fight, rather the King has the power if he so chooses, to force everyone to go.

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    1. Moshe Dick writes:
      So, according to this new logic, when attacked by an enemy, you just sit back in a lounge chair, waiting for the king to call you? This is preposterous. Maybe you can apply this to milchemes amolek and shiva amamim (not relevant today) because it requires an army and organization, but to protect yourself from the enemy, you jst wait around for a call? I wish that these so-called "chidushim" would pass the logic test.

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    2. "So, according to this new logic, when attacked by an enemy, you just sit back in a lounge chair, waiting for the king to call you? This is preposterous." I don't recall saying anything of the sort. I was just applying this to a situation where there is already an army and we are trying to force others to join the army because of the din of milchemes mitzvah. Now as for the lomdus behind it: he has a kashya why the Rambam says that the Kohen reads the pesukim by a milchemes mitzvah if everyone is obligated to stay and fight. He suggests that in terms of the chalos din of the milchama they are not necessarily obligated but there is the individual chiyuv of eradicating Amalek and the seven nations which obligate everyone to go. But the pesukim are dependent on the chalos din of the milchama so they are read even by a milchemes mitzvah. He then points out the problem that the Rambam says that עזרת ישראל מיד צר שבא עליהם is also a milchemes mitzvah and that obligation would seem to be via the chalos din of the milchama since here is no specific mitzvas aseh on the individual in this case. Which would then leave us back at square one with the question of why the Kohen reads the pesukim. To answer this, R' Soloveitchik suggests that the obligation is not via the chalos din of the milchama, but rather that the King has the right to force anyone to go fight. (At least this is how I understood the piece. Feel free to provide me with an alternate understanding.)

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  2. Black Dome Units are often jointly funded by the Israeli government and US citizens of the Black Dome persuasion. However, they are ingrates who insist they are entitled to their funding by the Israeli government and should not be expected to perform in return or even prove they are showing up for duty. This is leading many other Israelis to call for the defunding of this ineffective weapon system.

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  3. Ha!

    This is especially apropos considering the disgusting statement of the (American) Agudah, which goes on and on about how great the United States is for providing the Iron Dome, on and on about how success is ultimately due to Hashem (also true), and then sort of peters out, leaving you with the feeling that something's missing...can't say for sure...

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    1. Nachum, that is just Avi Shafran again, looking desperately to find some way to praise Obama. He's infatuated with him and his administration. I guess he's looking for
      the praise of the New York Times that he's always writing letters to.

      But yes, it is repugnant to speak obsequiously of the United States, while never thanking the Israeli army, the ones who actually lay their lives on the line. The Agudah has repeatedly embarrassed itself in the past few weeks, both by what it has said, and what it has not said.

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    2. Incredible! At almost the same time I was posting the above comment about Shafran's July 11 letter, he wrote yet another letter, posted today on Cross Currents. It says " We express our deep appreciation to President Obama for his strong support of Israel during this difficult and desperate time."

      This stuff makes me ill. Good diplomatic relations is understood, but Shafran totally overdoes it. He has actually written that anyone who opposes Obama, including the orthodox community, are racists. Now he personalizes his thank you peons to the cult of Obama, rather than thanking the actual "United States", which is what he should be doing.

      That he's afraid from any comments or feedback is an embarrassment, and revealing...



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  4. I would like to make a plea that at this time of war and following the tragedy of the three boys, all of which came in the wake of a very bitter internal conflict in which religious people were figuratively at each other's throats, that we tone down the discussions. I strongly identify with Rav Slifkin's Rationalist philosophy, but recent history has shown that every time there is a major internal Jewish conflict over religious issues, a major disaster to the country comes a short time later. Ideological discussions are legitimate but I request that these do NOT become personal nor should entire sectors of society be attacked and smeared.
    No country can surivive without at strong national ethos...i.e. a strong sense of belonging and shared fate with one's fellow citizens. In spite of all the arguing Jews are prone to engage in, Israel has a very strong national ethos. It could not have survived without it considering the ongoing existential threats the country faces which no other country has had to confront. Just look at what happens to countries like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt that don't have this. Even in Europe, centrifugal forces have plagued countires like the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Belgium, even the UK. Considering that Israel was made of a large number of refugees from all over the world that spoke different languages, had different values and culture and had extreme differences of opinion regarding their Jewish religous past, but which all shared a vague appreciation for the TANACH and certain Jewish rituals, Israel's founders, as anti-religious as they may have been, succeeded in creating this strong national ethos and internal cohesion that is VITAL for us. Thus, we need to focus on what unites us, and, particularly at times of crisis like this, to keep divisive issues in perspective, and not let them dominate us.

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    1. you know what? if only your piety would be shown every time a haredi leader talks trash about non-haredim, then I might be inclined not to puke when I read your comment.
      funny how it's never OK (for one reason or another) to criticize the holy black-domers.

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    2. YBD, we thrive at fighting with each other when under external pressure.

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    3. It's not okay when they do it, and it's not okay when we do it. We have no control over the actions of others - only over our own. We do what we do, and they do what they do. They are allowed to think we are wrong, and we are allowed to think they are wrong. But if we believe our way is the right way, which we obviously do, then we shouldn't need snide and insinuative blog posts like this one to convince ourselves we have claim to the moral high ground. Mockery and name-calling (even implied) are never okay - nothing but pure love and compassion for our Jewish brothers and sisters, no matter how misguided we believe them to be. "But they do it too!" is never any sort of excuse. Your mother never fell for it, and Hashem doesn't either. I follow this blog regularly, and I do enjoy when Rabbi Slifkin can bring up important issues in a neutral and respectful manner. This post was a disappointment.

      ~E. G. Edelson

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    4. EG E, the post critiques their lack of unity with klal yisrael, unity which would be useful at a time like this. You and ybd must not have a probleem with that kind of critique because you directed the same critique at R Slifkin.

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    5. Actually, "they do it, too" is a perfectly good excuse. We live in the real world, buddy. People who sling insults better expect to get it back. If you wrote the exact same type of comments to the Agudah every time one of their leaders said something that offended your holy sensitivity, you might have some credibility.

      As it happens, the mizrachi and non-charedim already exercise a LOT of restraint concerning charedim and their rabbis. Too much restraint, in truth.

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    6. Student V, I have no problem with the critique itself - only the way in which it was written.

      Observers, I don't follow the Agudah as intensely as I follow this blog, but you're right - I ought to be writing letters when I do come across something like this from their end. Thank you for that mussar.

      That said, I stand by my assertion that negative actions ought not be met with more negative actions. The "real world" is the one in which Hashem commanded us to refrain from harmful and offensive speech and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.He didn't rescind that for some of us just because others might not think it applies to them.

      ~E. G. Edelson

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  5. See my post here for one of the news reports http://jewishworker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/charedi-yeshivas-are-again-running-away.html

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  6. It really bothers me that Charedi leaders give no credit to the Army and defense establishment for the low casualty count. Here is a quote from the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe:
    "מה שראינו השבוע – שרוב הטילים לא פגעו בנפש, ברוך ה׳, כשאנו רואים בחוש את השגחותיו של ה' יתברך בכל צעד ושעל, וכל ההצלחה והשמירה – זהו הכל השגחת הבורא יתברך שמו, ולא ממקום אחר.

    אל תתפתו לרגע לחשוב שיש משהו אחר"
    What we saw that most of the missiles didn't hurt anyone, thank Hashem that we are witnessing his providence in everything that happens. Don't think for a second that there is anything else.

    And what about Iron Dome? That has no part in this?


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    1. Part of this is the inherent contradiction permeating through and through all of charedi Jewry. As one teeny example, they give "credit" (others would say "blame" is more appropriate) for the increase in yeshivahs and kolelim to their gedolim. But if everything is all divine providence, how can anyone get credit for anything, ever?

      To a small degree this duality can be found in any believing man, who must balance trust in God with personal effort. It is just more glaring with charedim, with their characteristic exaggerations and lack of understatement.

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    2. Yes, this is a question that really bothers me in general. For example you work hard do a good job and therefore get a raise. According to today's Charedi hashkafa your hard work etc. had nothing to do with the raise, it is simply from God. As R' Dessler says, everything is just a test.

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  7. I'm generally a fan, but I don't like this post.

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  8. http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/245437/rav-kanievsky-shlita-dont-leave-the-south.html

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  9. If we defund the black dome we also need to defund the brown (Arab) dome as well. Not only is it ineffective but it even decides to riot and burn things down. Also pit the Bolshevik dome as well along with all of its programs. Warren b.

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  10. Would you like a cookie?

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    1. My comment was meant as a reply to the comment of "hmmm" above.

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  11. Back when I was a teenager I treated black domes with benzoyl peroxide

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  12. May a lion snack on your head on your next safari on account of your incessent mockery of Talmidei Chachomim and Torah. Do we really need your cynicism at a time like this?!

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  13. @(FirstLast), Moshe Dick, I didn’t see R’ Soloveitchik’s essay. Maybe the difference is that in the regular case there is a חובת גברא with no exemptions while here it is a חובת הקהל and after the כדי צרכה is reached the יחיד is פטור. Of course the king isn’t in his lounge chair; he mobilizes the army immediately. And the army waits for him like any army waits for orders from the central command (on pins and needles).

    @Gershon Pickles, everything is divine providence in the physical realm. In the spiritual realm, or more specifically in the realm of בחירה, the human is enough of a maker and shaker that we give him credit—according to that view. (Of course normally it’s undignified that he himself ask for it but others will give to him.) But you are touching on the paradox regarding physical חסד or the reverse—the recipient would have gotten it anyway, so why am I rewarded or punished? So the answer given is- for your hishtadlus.

    hmmmJuly 14, 2014 at 4:54 PM said: I'm generally a fan, but I don't like this post
    @Rabbi/Dr./Mr./Mrs./Ms. hmmm, please say something. Or please say nothing. But please don’t say nothing and dress it up as something.

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