Today I was corresponding with several people at one of the places that I am lecturing at next month, discussing which topic to speak about. Amongst the titles that I proposed was "Shall Your Brothers Go Out To War, While You Remain Here?" One person responded that it would be redundant for me to speak on that topic, since I would be preaching to the choir; the members of that shul would unanimously agree that the charedim should share the burden of military service.
I found this amusing. As I told him, "What makes you so sure that I am talking about charedim? Maybe I am talking about Jews in the Diaspora?" After all, that would be an even more accurate parallel to Moshe's statement to the Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven, who wanted the material benefits of the Diaspora!
In fact, while my posts on this topic have concentrated on the application of this principle to charedim, my talk on this topic this weekend in Beverly Hills will focus on the question of its application to Diaspora Jews, and indeed to all Jews: Do we all have an obligation to join the IDF in its milchemes mitzvah?
(Incidentally, due to a cancellation, I have an available Shabbos as scholar-in-residence for August 15th/16th in the US. Please write to me at email@example.com if you are interested. Preference is for the western side of the US, since I will be in LA on the night of the 14th.)
Meanwhile, on the battle front, Charles Krauthammer has a great op-ed, called Moral Clarity in Gaza. Please spread it (and similar articles) and thereby help the war effort, which is to a large degree fought in the battle of public opinion. And here is a link to a PDF of the prayer for the IDF.