Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Guns, Girls and Gemaras

Earlier this year, I was shopping at one of the heimishe Shabbos food stores in Ramat Beit Shemesh and loaded up my cart with a mountain of jars of variously flavored herrings. The cashier, a young charedi Israeli man, surveyed the stack, and perceptively said "Mazel tov! What's the occasion? New baby?"

"Siyum masechta (completion of a tractate of Gemara)" I replied.

"Mazeltov! Kol hakavod to you," he responded.

"No, not me," I clarified. "My daughter."

His eyes bugged. To his credit, he managed to recover his composure. "Um... um... very nice!" he stammered.

Feeling a little mischievous, I decided to share some further information.

"Yes, it's wonderful" I said. "And soon she's joining the army."

The poor guy.

It was a lot for him to wrap his head around. And I could sympathize. Certainly if you would have told me, back when I held my firstborn baby, that nineteen years later she would be learning Gemara and joining the IDF, I would have been shocked and horrified. And even today, while I am immensely proud of my daughter, her chosen path is still jarring for me (and is not that of the high school to which we sent her).

In the past few years I've learned a lot about what it means to raise teenagers in socio-religious circles very different from that in which I was raised. One thing that I've learned is that my wife and I have very little say in the matter. Some of our children in particular are extremely strong- and independent-minded (I have no idea where they got that from). And I'm in a discussion group with both religious and formerly-religious people, and one thing that the latter group all say is that parents and teachers who tried to force them into a mold did not help at all.

But it's not just about biting my tongue. I've also learned that there are worthy paths in life which are quite different from the limited options of which I was previously aware. 

The high school that our daughter attended encourages the girls to follow their schooling with a year in sherut leumi, national service. Our daughter, who has been co-founding and running amazing chessed and social programs for several years already, decided that she wanted to push herself to do something more. When she told us that she was thinking of enlisting in the IDF, I told my wife that we should not try to dissuade her, because (A) she obviously wasn't going to actually follow through with it, and (B) arguing with her would just make her even more determined to go. 

But then she decided to attend the Lod branch of Ohr Torah Stone/ Midreshet Lindenbaum, a post-high school seminary which also includes a sort of hesder-type program for girls to enlist in the IDF. After their Torah studies and spiritual strengthening in the midrasha, the girls in this program join the army. This is done as part of a cooperative effort between the midrasha and the IDF, in which the IDF respects their needs and they continue to have shiurim and Shabbatonim with the midrasha teachers. As she progressed through the past year, my daughter decided that she really did want to join the army, and she enlisted this week.

In shul this past Shabbat, I received an aliyah - ironically for the very Torah portion that speaks about the religious obligation to fight in wars and those who are exempt from it. The Gemara notes that such exemptions are only for optional wars; in the case of a milchemet mitzvah, even a bride goes to fight. The gabbai recited a misheberach for my daughter to be safe and successful in engaging our enemies. But the formulation of the misheberach was not really suitable. The armies and wars of today are not like those of Biblical times, when victory largely depended on the number of people physically fighting and everyone would be taking up arms. The 21st century army is a highly specialized organization in which most people are in technological, administrative or other non-fighting roles. Religious girls in the IDF are not generally going into combat; our daughter was in more danger spending the past year in the city of Lod! After a few weeks of (very) basic training, she will be serving in a teaching role.

Ten years ago it was almost unheard of for religious girls to enlist in the IDF. Nowadays it is becoming ever more common. My neighbor's daughter just completed her service and is spending Elul in midrasha to spiritually recharge before returning to the IDF to serve as an officer. This week, when we dropped off our daughter at the military base, there were dozens and dozens of religious girls there. The IDF very much wants them to join, since they are idealistic and superb assets, and so the army makes efforts to accommodate them religiously. My daughter told me that at Shacharit yesterday there were about eighty girls - who had to wake up an hour early to attend minyan after an exhausting day.

To be sure, there are numerous spiritual challenges, and the girls still need to exercise great strength and vigilance. It's still a risky path, which scares not only my wife and I, but also our daughter. Still, sending boys to combat is also risky, but our community does that too - not only out of a sense of national obligation, but also because there is simultaneously much for them to gain from it. 

I pray that Hashem watches over her, and helps her to help Am Yisrael. And I hope and trust that she will grow immensely from the experience.

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב, וְאִמּוֹתֵינוּ שָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ, יִשְׁמֹר וְיִנְצֹר אֶת בִּתֵּנוּ הַיְּקָרָה בְּבוֹאָהּ לְהִתְגַּיֵּס לִצְבָא הַהֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וְלַעֲמֹד עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ.

מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים יַעֲמֹד לִימִינָהּ, יְחַזְּקֶהָ וִיאַמְּצֶהָ, וְיַצְלִיחַ אֶת דַרְכָּהּ בְּהִתְיַצְּבָהּ לְהָרִים אֶת תְּרוּמָתָהּ לְטוֹבַת הָעָם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְתִזְכֶּה לַעֲסֹק בַּעֲבוֹדַת קֹדֶשׁ הַמּוֹעִילָה לָרַבִּים.

הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יְמַלֵּא אֶת מִשְׁאֲלוֹת לִבָּהּ לְטוֹבָה, וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה, רְוָחָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ.

אֲדוֹן הַשָּׁלוֹם יִפְרֹשׁ עָלֵינוּ וְעָלֶיהָ אֶת סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמוֹ, וִישִׁיבֶהָ לְבֵיתָהּ בְּשָׁלוֹם וּבְשִֹמְחָה, עִם שְׁאָר חַיָּלֵי וְחַיָּלוֹת צְבָא הַהֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בַּעֲבוּר שֶׁאָנוּ מִתְפַּלְּלִים עָלֶיהָ וַעֲלֵיהֶם, וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן, וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן.

 

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145 comments:

  1. Friendly SpelllcheckerSeptember 6, 2022 at 9:08 AM

    Great article! One little typo:
    "It's still a risky path, which scares not only my wife and I"
    That should say "...my wife and me."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A grammatical error, not a typo.

      Delete
    2. My wife and I, is correct. Although the sentence is missing a comma, making it hard to read.

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    3. No, it's my wife and me. If you were only talking about yourself you would it scares me, not it scares I. So it doesn't change when you add someone besides yourself.

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    4. It's not critical, but 'my wife and I' is not correct according to traditional English grammar. Anyway, kol hakavod to R. Slifkin and his family.

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    5. These are correct:

      My wife and I are on a risky path.
      It's still a risky path, which scares not only my wife and me.

      To ascertain the correct usage, take out the other subject and change the plurality to get your answer:

      I am on a risky path.
      It's still a risky path, which scares not only me, but also my daughter.

      Delete
    6. Teenagers don't get scared by much, by definition. It's why militaries all over the world take eighteen years old. After a certain age people's brains get too hard and they don't think running into fire is a good thing.

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    7. Nachum,

      Indeed. A well-known examined phenomenon which is used throughout the chareidi world to indoctrinate whilst the young adult is traditionally separated from his or her parents. It's only around the age of 22ish that the human brain matures sufficiently to be less impressionable.

      To be fair, the non-Jewish world works the same way. There is a reason why prestigous universities like Cambridge or Oxford require the graduate to sleep on campus as a condition of receiving a degree.

      Delete
  2. Mazal Tov on your daughter's siyum and giyus.

    May HaShem protect her physically and spiritually while she serves the country, and protect her from all adversary, both the enemy who want to physically destroy us, as well as from negative social pressures which challenge all young adults, whether in the army, university, Sherut Le'umi, their parent's home, or any other framework.

    May she serve as a positive example to soldiers around her and continue to make her parents and community proud.

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  3. "One thing that I've learned is that my wife and I have very little say in the matter."

    True. For you and every parent.

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  4. RNS- Yes the final decision is hers? But encouragement or discouragement are important factors in making her decision!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Earnest: Well, with teenagers, the more interference from the parents, the greater the resistance from the teenagers. It is the nature adolescents to challenge the authority/wisdom of their elders. It is primate thing

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  5. Kol HaKavod to her, to you, and your wife. Brachot that she should be able to contribute much.

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  6. Remember parents have to protect their kids! Children do not have the life experience to wisely make life determining decisions. I say yes to their decision making but parents have to weigh in heavily to make their opinions known to their children in very consequential decisions.

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    Replies
    1. weigh in heavily -imho not
      make their opinions known-rephrase as provide input for consideration
      kt

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    2. @Joel, advice would be counter productive if it is not actually sort or desired.

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  7. I wish your daughter well and admire your acceptance of her decision. This is our country and we all have to serve as best we can. My daughter and military age granddaughters have all chosen sherut leumi, and I respect that even as I personally would have been proud had they performed the same duties that they did in uniform. I lament the fact that there are sectors of Jewish society that look on any service as either wrong, or simply a waste of time. I lament the fact that there are groups of persons who have a passive view of citizenship that justifies their demand for "rights," rather than an active view of societal membership that entails contributions, and the fulfillment of duties.

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  8. So proud of her - she is such a powerhouse

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  9. One thing I learnt this week, either from Rabbi Herschel Shachter's Sefer on the weekly Sedra or Rabbi Chaim Druckman's Sefer Step by Step, is that it is the Jews who learn Torah who are the primary choice for the army.

    So, your daughter has all the right qualifications to join the army. So, go Shlep some Nachas.

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    Replies
    1. Shep, not shef.

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    2. I learned it as shep (not "shlep" or "shef") derived from the Yiddish verb shepen = "to create, make", related to the modern German schaffen which has the same meaning.

      So shep naches is a hybrid Germanic-Semitic expression, "to create / establish pride".

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    3. The word "shepen" is a Yiddish word that means "to draw" as in "drawing water from a well"

      Moshe from BP

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    4. @Moshe from BP -- Thank you for that clarification!

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    5. I believe Moshe is correct and that the root is from hebrew lish'ov as in 'ush'avtem mayim besason'
      Although I also grew up thinking the phrase was 'shlep nachas' and could never work out what shlepping had to do with it.

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  10. I never quite understood the extreme application of women's ptur from learning Torah. Everyone agrees women have to learn all halachos that apply to them. Are all women who don't learn experts in Shabbos, kashrus, choshen mishpat, zeraim, kodshim [the parts that apply to the owner, not the kohen], tahoros........? Sure, there are some topics they don't have to learn, but way more topics that they do.

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    Replies
    1. A kohen's wife has to know about that.

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    2. I meant the avodah - a kohen's wife can't do the bloodwork or eat kodshei kodshim. But agreed, any woman who's not divorced etc. has to know the halachos of eating the kohen parts of kodshim kalim and kodshei gevul.

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  11. It doesn't say a chosson and kalloh go TO FIGHT. Read the mishnah carefully.

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    Replies
    1. I mean, they're not above taking matters into their own hands when dealing with enemy generals...

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  12. First of all, Mazal Tov and Yasher Co''ach to your daughter!
    Second, I'd like to comment on your comment that "[t]o be sure, there are numerous spiritual challenges, and the girls still need to exercise great strength and vigilance. It's still a risky path..."
    The bottom line is that the first time a child moves out of her parents' house is a spiritual challenge, whether to Sherut Leumi, the Army or University. Our neighborhood has a mix of religious girls, some of whom did Sherut Leumi and some the Army. Sadly, a number went off the derech, not necessarily at the same time -- but the % of girls going to Sherut Leumi going OTD was not noticeably any different than the % of girls going to the Army.
    And that's aside from the Halachic problems with *not* going to the Army:
    1) As you noted, we're clearly in a constant state of milchemet mitzva (as a defensive war), which requires women to go to the Army in a non-combat position, of which there are many;
    2) Many Sherut Leumi girls serve for only one year --- as you noted re your daughter's high school's recommended path, while the Army inducts girls for two years. Even if Sherut Leumi is an acceptable alternative, why should religious girls serve half as long as everyone else? It's wrong, and it's a Chillul Hashem.
    3) In contrast, when a religious girl goes into the Army and works diligently and behaves nicely, it is a Kiddush Hashem to secular girls who tend not to know religious ones. Especially because those religious girls are not taking the unfair Sherut Leumi shortcut, which understandably causes anger at the uneven sharing of the country's defense burden.
    בהצלחה רבה לכם ולבת שלכם, ושיהיה לה בע"ה גיוס קל ומשמעותי.

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    Replies
    1. Hesder, while five years, is a year and a half of service to the usual three.

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  13. "I told my wife that we should not try to dissuade her, "

    Why would you want to dissuade her? The rest of your post claims that this is an amazing thing to do. Why did you not positively encourage it? Something is odd here.

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    Replies
    1. She didn't chose the easiest path and probably they would be less worried if she was doing something they're more familiar with. Why do you think that's odd?

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  14. RNS - Where is this taken from?

    מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב, וְאִמּוֹתֵינוּ שָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ, יִשְׁמֹר וְיִנְצֹר אֶת בִּתֵּנוּ הַיְּקָרָה בְּבוֹאָהּ לְהִתְגַּיֵּס לִצְבָא הַהֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וְלַעֲמֹד עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ.

    מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים יַעֲמֹד לִימִינָהּ, יְחַזְּקֶהָ וִיאַמְּצֶהָ, וְיַצְלִיחַ אֶת דַרְכָּהּ בְּהִתְיַצְּבָהּ לְהָרִים אֶת תְּרוּמָתָהּ לְטוֹבַת הָעָם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְתִזְכֶּה לַעֲסֹק בַּעֲבוֹדַת קֹדֶשׁ הַמּוֹעִילָה לָרַבִּים.

    הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יְמַלֵּא אֶת מִשְׁאֲלוֹת לִבָּהּ לְטוֹבָה, וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה, רְוָחָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ.

    אֲדוֹן הַשָּׁלוֹם יִפְרֹשׁ עָלֵינוּ וְעָלֶיהָ אֶת סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמוֹ, וִישִׁיבֶהָ לְבֵיתָהּ בְּשָׁלוֹם וּבְשִֹמְחָה, עִם שְׁאָר חַיָּלֵי וְחַיָּלוֹת צְבָא הַהֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בַּעֲבוּר שֶׁאָנוּ מִתְפַּלְּלִים עָלֶיהָ וַעֲלֵיהֶם, וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן, וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ummm, you live in am Anglo bubble. Religious girls served in the army when you were in diapers. The Israeli girls who were in my high school class (their parents were teachers on Shlihut to Canada) served in the sent easy back then. Mostly, they served as מורות חיילות, teaching disadvantaged children or teaching religious studies to soldiers with no background, but not only.
    However, in the Anglo religious world, it is more accelerated than it used to be. There are plenty of midrashit to prepare the girls and to support them religiously while they serve, and many religious girls make a very meaningful contribution to the security of Jews everywhere, in and out of Eretz Yisrael.
    May you continue to have much nahat from T and the rest of the gang.

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  16. No fair. You decided to make this into a personal post, in which case it would be nasty to start commenting about it. I have A LOT what to say here. But you should have much Nachas and Hatzlacha from all your children.

    ויזכו לראות בנים ובני בנים עוסקים בתורה ובמצוות, אמן

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  17. I've always wondered whether chazal would prefer today's position where women gossip endlessly about the local shopping mall, fashion and clothing, the latest in home decor, cooking and hosting, and other general gossip (whether about the neighbours or anybody else), or learn daf hayomi instead.

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    1. Perhaps you are too dim to realize that this is a false dichotomy? The latter does not in any way preclude the former. A woman learning Gemara is still a woman. If you were to pose the question to Chaza"l, they would probably call you something colorful that is deemed somehow childish here.

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    2. Ad hominem attacks do not give credibility to your comments.

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    3. This is an improper use of "ad hominen" which involves a disqualification of an argument because of the person delivering it.

      A basic example of an ad hominem argument is a person telling someone “you're stupid, so I don't care what you have to say”, in response to hearing them present a well-thought position.

      This was neither a position, nor was it well-thought. And it wasn't an attack or a disqualification, but a question. Even then, I addressed the false dichotomy with a suitable response. See below for my response to Earnest on the insults resorted to in the Gemara. Do you want to take the same stance regarding Chaza"l's resorting to insults much more colorful and sharp than mine?

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    4. Women in the times of chazal did not just "gossip endlessly", as you claim. They did many of the same things they do today, just like men. On the other hand, they weren't expected to go to work like they are today in some circles, and they were actually encouraged to raise families. They were a lot better off in previous times than they are today.

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    5. please, by this guy's ordinary standards that was a mere love tap. He's only cooking with gas when he starts throwing out the "retards." Actually, how is it that no one on this post has been called a "retard" yet?

      Delete
  18. I guess the Gemara "it's the way of the man to go out to war and not the way of the woman"
    Doesn't apply to you if you practice modern Orthodox Judaism.
    Sadly it was the Moabite women who went out to war and seduced the Jewish people to immorality and idol worship.

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    Replies
    1. What a simplistic approach. Do you ever think about what you are told or do you just parrot it?
      How would you define "it is the way of..."?

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    2. What makes it simplistic? How do you know what he thinks? Why does saying something preclude thinking and imply parroting? This is a false dichotomy. Maybe you are too dim too to understand?

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    3. Because, Shmshon, when Rick writes "Doesn't apply...." he is saying what he thinks. And it is a simplistic and shallow reading of the text. It demonstrates that he hasn't thought too much about what the phrase "is the way" means.

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    4. Hey, don't leave us hanging!! Tell us what it is supposed to mean! Because simplistic little me always understood it like Rick and Shimshon too. And so do the sources. So please enlighten us!!

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    5. Actually, מכרכר בכל עוז, I didn't say how I understood it, though yes, I do understand it like you. You don't have to though, to understand that Not a fan's response is typical for what passes as discussion here. Rick didn't call anyone retard and can't be accused of possessing a potty mouth (which is a stupid accusation anyway), and he was put down just as harshly as if he did.

      Not a fan, why don't you tell us rubes what a non-simplistic non-parroted approach would look like? If not for me, then for Rick's and מכרכר בכל עוז's sake.

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    6. I will happily spell it out. Rick made a declarative, definitive statement that "it's the way of the man... not the way of the woman" doesn't apply if you practice MO Judaism.

      It's simplistic because (a) MO Jews do consider how to apply it today, but they take seriously the idea that "the way" of men and women may have changed over time. Rick rules it out with his definitive statement. (b) The example that Rick brings is of the Moabite women which is from an earlier historical period and therefore he is positing that it doesn't matter which historical period you belong to because "the way" of men and women doesn't change. A less simplistic approach is to note that "the way" of men and women does change.
      For example: it was the way of men to go out to work and of women to work in the home. Now, the way of Ultra-Orthodox men is not to work and for women to go out to work. So it seems that MO Judaism is taking a more sophisticated approach to the text than Rick is.

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    7. I would have thought that Chareidi folks would be in favor of women joining up. After all, if its good for women to work to free up men to learn Torah, then presumably the same argument applies here. Who cars if its not the traditional way of women? The value of limpid torah trumps all, no?

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    8. The value of limmud Torah (not, chalila, limpid Torah)

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    9. Not to mention that its a bit stupid to say the moabite women went out "to war". They went out to seduce. If he's implying that the moabite women were doing something wrong, (and I think he is), then what they are doing wrong has nothing to do with war and much to do with activities best confined to the bedroom if you get my drift. He's making the classic charedi error of reading too much into a fairly limited text.

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    10. Please do inform us of ways in which these ways have changed that mean that women should serve in the army and how far should this service go?

      As far as women and work, it has always been the case that some significant number of women worked. At no point did women not work, like you think. Even while they bore chief responsibility for maintaining the home. There is a difference between "work" and "career" for one thing. Or "job" for that matter. They all produce an income, but you are the one constricting the definition to justify your personal notions.

      Charedi women have been "drafted," although technically there's nothing involuntary about it. There are many who gladly take on a spartan lifestyle and primary responsibility in the home while also supporting their husbands learning in the real IDF that gives the soldiers their true strength to succeed. It's far more demanding of them, but to you that's not praiseworthy but rather worthy of disdain and disparagement. Better to you they remain unmarried and childless and subject to the worst sort of abuses, because notions.

      Personally, that's retarded, but that's just me.

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    11. "It's simplistic because (a) MO Jews do consider how to apply it today, but they take seriously the idea that "the way" of men and women may have changed over time."
      Do you appreciate how dangerous this is?
      What about homosexuality? Have times changed and we can say it is no longer considered abominable so it is no longer prohibited?

      Delete
    12. Not a fan, if you actually study war, or even just read the words of more learned people than you on the subject, what the Moabites did with their women is indeed a form of war. It's not all about sword facing sword.

      Consider this post and its comments on the famous (but inaccuractely rendered) quote of von Clausewitz that war is politics by other means. The actual quote, as translated into English is:

      “War is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse with the interference of other means”.

      That is truer to what war really is than your simplistic (and childish) notion. And actually describes perfectly the process the Moabites followed by first trying to curse us and then debase us. By that definition, dispatching legions of women to whore themselves to Bnai Yisrael was war.

      Delete
    13. @Ely: yes, it is scary having to take the responsibility of thinking about how to apply our traditions in each generation. It's a responsibility to be taken seriously, with integrity and courage. It is not an acceptable answer to say we reject that we reject all change because sometimes it might lead us places that we didn't expect. Each issue must be debated and considered seriously. Calling it dangerous is basically a cowardly approach. Over time, situations, social and economic reality and meanings change.

      @Shimshon - your comment at 6.38 was so full of inaccurate assumptions about my views that I am not going to waste my time responding to it. Your comment at 6.50 has it backwards. (FWIW, I am somewhat familiar with International Law and the Use of Violence... but let that pass). You have Clausewitz backwards. The point of his comment is the key phrase "other means". He is stating that there is a continuum of means of conflict with politics at one point on the spectrum and with actual war further down the line. He isn't saying that they are all forms of war. War is defined by the use of specific means. Politics and War are, according to him, forms of managing disagreements. But the form matters very much. Not all means are 'war'. It only becomes war when you introduce those 'other means' i.e. tanks, soldiers, guns. etc.

      Delete
    14. @ Not A Fan
      So... in your haste out the door, what did you do with the age old tradition of כל כבודה בת מלך פנימה???
      And are you blissfully unaware of the promiscuous nature of the Israeli army? (No fret, standard Jewish teenage behavior.)

      Delete
    15. @ely.. I don't know any other way to say this but just simply. That statement is no longer true. Women play full public roles in our society.

      Delete
    16. And having spent some time in the army I know well how it goes there. It is not the cess pit you believe it to be. A soldiers behavior depends on that soldier, more or less. I still think that the answer is not to keep women away from it, but rather to ensure that young men and women are encouraged to behave better.

      Delete
    17. @not a fan
      "I don't know any other way to say this but just simply. That statement is no longer true. Women play full public roles in our society."
      Great, so you admit you aren't applying traditional Jewish thought to today day and age, rather you are outright disagreeing with an idea from Chazal.
      This approach has been tried before... Definition of Insanity....

      Delete
    18. not a fan, your conception of war is so narrow-minded as to be absurd. People who know far more about conflict think otherwise. I introduce you to the book Unrestricted Warfare. You might think, what is this book? Well, its authors are the key architects in the formation of China's international relations, particularly with the West. This book is considered seminal, but you have never heard of it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrestricted_Warfare

      Wikipedia:

      Unrestricted Warfare: Two Air Force Senior Colonels on Scenarios for War and the Operational Art in an Era of Globalization is a book on military strategy written in 1999 by two colonels in the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. Its primary concern is how a nation such as China can defeat a technologically superior opponent (such as the United States) through a variety of means. Rather than focusing on direct military confrontation, this book instead examines a variety of other means such as political warfare. Such means include using legal tools (see lawfare) and economic means as leverage over one's opponent and circumvent the need for direct military action.

      I'm sorry to say this, but it is beyond retarded to think that "war" is referring solely to, say, "kinetic" means of solving a conflict.

      I learned of this book from the dreaded Vox Day and I own a copy. If you can get over the genetic fallacy of posuling his insight because of what is said about him, his comments on the book and its application to modern warfare are actually of interest.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Avoxday.net+%22unrestricted+warfare%22

      Delete
    19. @ely yes I feel that one can disagree with some statements made by chazal. Particularly those that reflect a possible viewpoint in a discussion rather than reflecting an integral element of Judaism,
      and particularly when they are clearly wrong. I feel ok with saying the world is more them 6,000 years old, because it is. If you jnsist on defending as Absolute Truth every statement made by a chacham you will find yours defending the indefensible (you already do).

      My approach has indeed been tried before, and it works fine. It seems much more insane to me to believe things that are clearly disprovable. But that's just me.
      Look I know that no chareidi will be swung by arguments of this kind. They are programmed from birth to see this sort of thing as dangerous and wrong. But I am unwilling to concede the public debate to their (new and corrupted) brand of Judaism. In this case chareidi Judaism took this statement of chazal and went to town on it . It fits their ultra Conservative nature even when in practice they ignore it and send their women out to work I call it hypocrisy, you call it fidelity to tradition. Whatever. Its simply not true today. You can either be honest or be chareidi

      Delete
    20. @not a fan
      "yes I feel that one can disagree with some statements made by chazal. Particularly those that reflect a possible viewpoint in a discussion rather than reflecting an integral element of Judaism"

      What you are rather unfortunately failing to adequately realize is that the drasha of chazal based on אין דרך אשה לצאת למלמחה is very much not subject to change. This has zero to do with scientific revelations, it is based on the appropriate role of a woman as perceived by Chazal. Hate to break this to you, but this isn't something you can disprove, recent Charedi heavy reliance on the female in the families income non withstanding.

      Oh, and on that topic, if you can not wrap your head around the difference between fighting in combat and being part of the work force, there is very little I can do to help you.

      Delete
  19. I have two daughters who made Aliyah. They both attended a modern Zionist high school. One chose Sherut Leumi, the other chose IDF. My husband and I are very proud of both. The one who was a חיילת בודדת was on a base where most of the other חיילים we're not religious. She found that having to extend extra effort to daven, etc. Only deepened her commitment to do so. May Hashem protect your daughter while she serves our state.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kudos on an honest share. It seems that R Slifkin essentially adopts, either by conditioning, nature or some mixture of both, a more conservative and dear we say chareidi view on many (social) matters. This reminds me of the singing daughter post (same kid?) where, emotionally speaking, RN hasn’t fully made peace with it yet. I would say that he still has a lot of appreciation for many aspects of the more conservative chareidi lifestyle, it’s the wholesale adoption of shall we say Rashis (theologically speaking at least, I doubt Rashi would approve of mass kollel or not serving) brand of Judaism, contra Rambams, that doesn’t work for him. I still think he would have stuck it out had he not been so harshly treated. Change isn’t easy. When to finally do up and go it is difficult to find a community that fits your mold just so. So you need to choose one, that on the whole, rings truer for you. Not that all of it works for you. It’s kind of like in politics where, despite your potentially disagreeing with many positions of your party specifically, on the whole you identify more with it than the alternatives. With communities there’s a window or spectrum of behavior which when one deviates from, usually doesn’t shoot too far off said window. When you switch your community, and with it move your window, well now outlying behavior will take you farther afield. Hatzlacha Rabbah to her and her parents

    ReplyDelete
  21. מזל טוב והצלחה to you and your daughter and family. I think you should have a great deal of nachat from her. Someone commented about taking the bride from her wedding is not to fight. As usual there us a dispute what it means.
    About 9 years ago there was article about a haredei
    young woman who chose to join the IDF. She wound up in the kitchen but was extremely proud of her service helping soldiers. She also felt that by being a clearly identifiable harder woman she made a huge kiddush hashem, both by her example and by all the questions and conversations she had. Shana tovah

    ReplyDelete
  22. Shimshon at Sept
    26- "Perhaps you are too dim to realize this is a false dichotomy?"There he goes again with his insults! What would Chazal have thought of your comments? Oh holy one!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you incapable of responding to a comment in place?

      The Gemara itself has Chaza"l referring to each other as "idiots," "brainless," "lacking in sense," "fools," "lacking in sense" and so forth. Maybe your copy has those insults censored? My go-to insult of "retard" is not really any sharper than "idiot," and wasn't even applied here, but more piercing, obviously. Resorting to false dichotomies here is very common, and very retarded.

      Obviously you are too fixated on my use of certain words and thin-skinned to participate in this forum. In other words, you are too short for this ride. You respond to me when there is no reason or need to do so.

      I'm with מכרכר בכל עוז in refraining from commenting directly on the post due to its personal nature. But stupid comments from others deserve sharp responses.

      Delete
    2. I think the Gemara you are referring to does not use the term "Lacking in sense"

      but rather

      "Lacking incense".

      Please can you provide the reference to the Gemara you are referring to.

      Delete
    3. Richie: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/talmudic-curses-and-insults/

      It references the insults, with links to Sefaria. I've seen enough insults in my own learning that I knew they exist, but it's not as if I collected them for this very moment.

      Delete
  23. You assert that the number of "religious girls" (undefined) joining the IDF has increased in the past 10 years. I give that the same credence I give other claimed statistics, but if it were true, it would give me more reason for concern, not less. Israel follows America, which has been pushing females in every area of life for a long time, but more aggressively (i.e, no longer following anti-quota laws, discarding entrance standards, etc) in the past ten years. No coincidence that morality and decency, not to mention number of marriages, have been steadily falling right alongside, all while homosexuality and transgenderism increase. So if you think that allegedly increased numbers of "religious girls" in the army in recent times is a good thing, think again.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "Your mother wears army boots" was once an insult. Boy, have times changed for some folks....

    ReplyDelete
  25. Serious question for the chevra participating on this blog. I'm a 44 year old (male), out of shape chutznik, not intending to make Aliya in the near future. However, I'd like to do my part in the IDF. Is there a program whereby I can enlist (if that's the correct term) and cover my obligation over the course of a number of (consecutive) summers? And embarrassing question - would I be useful to the IDF or a burden?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are summer volunteer positions for older people (usually much older than you), like packing bags and the like. I think you wear fatigues, but that's it. Joining the IDF, not a chance, unless you're a doctor or dentist. They don't take anyone above 26 years old now.

      Delete
    2. Also, "obligation" is not the word if you're not making aliyah.

      Delete
    3. @Nachum why so nasty? If the guy feels a moral obligation to do his part for the common good such an attitude should be applauded.
      @Chutznik Try called the American friends of the IDF. They may know.

      Delete
    4. I'm not being nasty at all. Anyone who want to help should be applauded. I'm just stating simple facts. The State of Israel looks upon citizens (of the right age) as having an obligation; they don't view others as having one and don't put in much of an effort to accommodate them, certainly if they (unlike, say, lone soldiers who have not made aliyah) are not going to give more than a relatively short period at a time. As I said, there are options, and kol hakavod to anyone who takes them. They just shouldn't expect regular service.

      A cousin of mine made aliyah well over twenty years ago. He was about to take on a politically high-profile job and therefore thought military service appropriate first. He was just about the cutoff age (which was twenty-nine then), married with a kid, and even though he was as politically connected as you can get, he had to literally stand outside the recruitment office, banging on the door and making a nudge of himself for days before they gave him a week or two of "basic training" and had him guard a base somewhere for a month or two.

      By the time I made aliyah over a decade later manpower needs were even less, the cutoff age was twenty-six, and I was well past that. I actually inquired, and the recruiting colonel I met smiled tolerantly and waved me off. I was never even officially informed that I had an exemption.

      Delete
    5. I'm confused. Even Slifkin acknowledges that sending young teens to the army poses spiritual danger. And here we have an admission from someone from the DL community that the IDF is not exactly starving for recruits. So why do you give us so much flack for not serving??

      Other than protecting the country, one of the goals of the IDF, as stated by political and military leaders over the years, is to serve as an Israeli 'cultural melting pot. So besides for the fact that NO ONE who takes religion the slightest bit seriously would send young boys and girls to serve in the same units (DUUUHHH), why in the world would we submit ourselves to be 'melted' together with secularists, or even our co-religionists (http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2022/09/guns-girls-and-gemaras.html?showComment=1662607971289#c5309148212533373087) who display a flippant and even condescending attitude towards religion???!!!!

      I try to refrain from name calling, but can definitely sympathize with Shimshon here!!!

      Delete
    6. The IDF needs manpower. It just needs it from a particular age range. And it's not up to the person to decide he's special and exempt. It's up to them.

      Only someone who hasn't witnessed what those "young teens" (sic) can accomplish would call them that, by the way.

      Delete
    7. @mecharker "noone who takes religion seriously"??? I call Big Foul. All dati zioni families would be insulted by your comment. First we put our children on the front line to protect you, second you insult us? Go to hell. I say we build a mini state next to gaza for all haredim. The idf will not protect it. Why should it?

      Judaism teaches כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה and not 'every jew for himself' like chareidi judaism teaches.

      Delete
    8. So go to Nachal Yehuda! I have a friend who spent a Shabbos on a Nachal Yehuda army base in the West Bank where he met many DL soldiers. When he asked one of them why he was serving in the ostensibly chareidi unit, he explained that it was (in his words) 'almost impossible' to serve in the regular units and not sin. I even heard that one of the more serious DL rabbis (forgot who) advises his followers to send to Nachal Yehuda! So yes, I will say it again:

      N O O N E W H O T A K E S R E L I G I O N T H E S L I G H T E S T B I T S E R I O U S L Y W O U L D S E N D Y O U N G B O Y S A N D G I R L S T O S E R V E I N T H E S A M E U N I T S (D U U U H H H)!!!

      Besides for which, I live in the US.

      Delete
  26. Shimshon- In your yeshiva everyone calls each other retard and other delightful insults! When the Rav gives the shiyur they insult him and he insults them back. I really missed out learning in my yeshiva! After insulting each other you insult Chazal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Earnest, are you incapable of clicking the "Reply" link? Do you know anything about me to know what my background is, or where or even if I went to yeshiva, and what I did there if so? There are false dichotomies and there are assumptions. Of which you make many, without addressing my statements. As commenter peculiar noted, my response to the false dichotomy question was actually quite restrained. It was a false dichotomy and it was retarded, and I gave a reasonable, but admittedly speculative, response as to what Chaza"l would say when faced with such a hypothetical. It answered the actual question without commenting on the idea of women learning Gemara.

      I haven't said much about my background at all.

      1. I am obviously in the Charedi camp like several others here. My language is both more and less sharp than my compatriots, but more consistent, because I see how honest attempts by them at dialog end up in pointless statements where you (the general you) misread, misconstrue, misinterpret, misstate ad nauseum so that the same thing has to be said 100 different ways before people like happygolucky finally throw up their hands in disgust that they will never get their point across (happy, it's not you, it's them). So, better to short circuit the process early and resort to "retard". They are coming around to my way of seeing things.

      2. I lived in a Charedi enclave for decades but a few years ago I moved to an Dati-Leumi yishuv.

      3. I have two sons who served in combat units in the IDF and one who is a bochur in yeshiva who desires the life of an avrech.

      From this, how do you know how I treat people who are not retards? You don't. Also, this is not a yeshiva but a forum riddled with retards.

      Delete
    2. I'm literally laughing out loud at the picture of this gray-haired older gentleman, pounding angrily away at his keyboard calling everyone "retard." I mean, just imagine it! Angry tap-tap "retard!" tap-tap "retard's retard!" Lol!!

      Delete
    3. Who is this "everyone" Sushi?

      Delete
    4. Also, Sushi, you must be projecting, as I am hardly angry.

      Delete
    5. " I have two sons who served in combat units in the IDF "

      You've got grown kids and you talk with a potty mouth?

      Delete
    6. I mean seriously, this - to all eyes respectable, wise older man - is hunched over his keyboard with eyebrows furrowed, lips curling with disdain, furiously launching salvos of "retard!" "dim!" "stupid!" to anonymous people on the internet and thinking he's doing the Lord's work! When the kid comes home from yeshiva, he knows he can get good solid guidance on whether to call his chavrusah a "retard" or "stupid" the next day.

      Delete
    7. Calling someone a retard in this forum specifically now renders one a potty mouth? What a level you must be on to be so offended. Your poor ears and eyes. You must avoid the Talmud, which uses stronger language than that. And for those here like Earnest who question whether or not I would call my rav or rosh yeshiva or whatever a retard, the answer is no, obviously not. You, whether you like it or not, are peers, not some authority figure deserving respect.

      It just helps to short-circuit the pointlessness of what passes for discussion here. Even when I've been "polite" and refrained from use of the word, I am shouted down and disqualified and mocked just the same.

      Sushi, I don't call non-retards retarded. I reserve that for the special boys here. Note my first comment in this post, which was, for me, quite restrained:

      "Perhaps you are too dim to realize that this is a false dichotomy? The latter does not in any way preclude the former. A woman learning Gemara is still a woman. If you were to pose the question to Chaza"l, they would probably call you something colorful that is deemed somehow childish here."

      Would it have made a difference if I had excised the first sentence from the above, or removed the word "dim" from it? No, not one bit.

      Delete
    8. Shimshon - your use of language does make you sound like a precocious 15 year old. I didn't put you at any more than about 20 based on your comments.

      Delete
    9. Lol, why the repeated use of "retard" though? Surely, you can inject a little more interesting variety into your routine?
      BB - you got it. That's why I find his shtick so funny, because he's ostensibly at a stage in life when you would expect he'd have long grown out of this.
      Regarding his ignorant slander of Chazal, I can do no better than cite the Rambam:
      ואין בהם מן השלמות עד כדי שיתעוררו על כך מעצמם, ולא מצאו מעורר שיעוררם, ולכן חושבים הם שאין כונת חכמים בכל מאמריהם המחוכמים אלא מה שהבינו הם מהם, ושהם כפשוטם, ואף על פי שיש בפשטי מקצת דבריהם מן הזרות עד כדי שאם תספרנו כפשטו להמון העם כל שכן ליחידיהם היו נדהמים בכך ואומרים היאך אפשר שיהא בעולם אדם שמדמה דברים אלו וחושב שהם דברים נכונים, וכל שכן שימצאו חן בעיניו. והכת הזו המסכנה רחמנות על סכלותם לפי שהם רוממו את החכמים לפי מחשבתם ואינם אלא משפילים אותם בתכלית השפלות ואינם מרגישים בכך, וחי ה' כי הכת הזו מאבדים הדר התורה ומחשיכים זהרה, ועושים תורת השם בהפך המכוון בה,

      Delete
    10. Sushi,

      1. Why should I bother? Look at the continued reaction my use of it gets. I am not a troll, butt you certainly react as if I were a very successful one. Stop reacting to my use of the word itself and you might find my contributions more to your standards of gentility. You are more interested in labeling me childish than actually considering or even giving credence to the content I do deliver. There's always some excuse.

      2. Other words I would be willing to use, because they are just words and not magic incantations, even the proprietor himself would recoil at and thus treat it as radioactive. Why go there?

      3. How old are all of you folks with your grudges and prejudices from childhood being carried on into adulthood with all the rationalization adult men are capable of brought to bear completely unexamined and reconsidered as grown men? I have no doubt I am not the only one here taken aback at just how vociferous and contortionist your defenses of things like elective abortion are. Retarded is about as good a word as any to describe this childish behavior.

      4. I will add as a relevant aside that some months back during the kosher cephalopod brouhaha, I called the proprietor much worse than retard for his demonstrably childish antics of gaslighting the public regularly while at the same time claiming the mantle of authority and seeking to be taken seriously. One or more of you retards even went so far as to insist what he did wasn't gaslighting. Talk about about contortionist! I hope he restrains himself in the future.

      Delete
    11. I wish you would "go there" with your insults. I'm enjoying your unhinged ranting, but it's starting to get stale. In any event, if eliciting (somewhat diminishing) giggles is the sign of a successful troll, please troll on!

      I'm happy as long as you avoid your earlier ורוממו את החכמים לפי מחשבתם ואינם אלא משפילים אותם בתכלית השפלות ואינם מרגישים בכך, וחי ה' כי הכת הזו מאבדים הדר התורה ומחשיכים זהרה, ועושים תורת השם בהפך המכוון בה,

      Delete
    12. Sushi, they are unhinged to you, and certainly others here. You think I am angry because I use words that to you are jarring. That is not logical, but projection, something that goes on regularly here.

      As far as the words, I said they are words, not that they are appropriate in this context. Retarded is entirely appropriate for what I consider childish beliefs and behavior. You are free to disagree of course, but you are making it a perennial point of discussion, not I.

      Despite my harsh words directed at Slifkin, my comments in the case of #4 at the time were meant with the best of intentions. Several other commenters at the same post concurred with my sentiment even if not the way I expressed it, although I don't remember much in the way of protest there, except by the usual sycophants.

      I admit to having some trouble following what you are saying in your last sentence, but to the extent I understand it, I will consider.

      Delete
    13. Peanut butter & jellySeptember 9, 2022 at 6:12 AM

      When I first met Shimshon, I was extremely put off by his rough language and his tolerance of conspiracy theories. Although now seeing him in action, I think he many times has very valid points and would definitely call some 'rounds' in his favor!

      Delete
  27. Just wondering - Why couldn't Ohr Torah Stone make this program exclusively with sherut leumi? And if "after a few weeks of (very) basic training, she will be serving in a teaching role", why can't that be done with sherut leumi? Is there a "problem" with sherut leumi that I'm missing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and your "compatriots" haven't learned the basic lessons of decency. You have to begin anew and learn what a religious Jew is all about. Your background is reflected in your conception of how religious Jews should act.You protest about the way others discuss various ideas. I suggest that if you are frustrated by the quality of the discussion leave the blog.Your behavior is inexcusable.For decent people life is not about upmanship.

      Delete
    2. Huh?? I was asking a sincere question about sherut leumi vs IDF. Where do you see protest and frustration in my comment?

      Delete
    3. Sorry to Norm. I was not talking to you .I was referring to Shimshon at Sept 06 at 8:19 PM. Right above Sushi. Shimshon there is hope for you.

      Delete
    4. It's okay Norm, Earnest has proven himself to be somewhat dim. To his credit, he finally figured out how to click the "Reply" link to a comment.

      Delete
    5. "For decent people life is not about upmanship."

      Really? I see a lot of that going on here.

      Delete
  28. Why is national service so entwined in the DL imagination with service in the army?

    The main mission of the army is to deliver and endure extreme levels of traumatic violence. That's an increasingly technical, specialised task, but it is also an extremely primeval one. It takes years of training, and a specific mentality to be good at it. Even if you are good, you also need to be lucky. If the proverbial hits the fan, what good is a soldier with barely sufficient training to know to use the charging handle to clear a blockage without pointing the muzzle at the Samal shouting inaudibly because nobody gives supressed weapons to teachers.

    If someone want to teach, that's fantastic, and there should be a scheme allowing people to serve their nation by teaching. There should be no shame at all in it.

    This kind of posturing is bad for the army and bad for the teachers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Hat- There are not enough combat troops in Tzahal. The troops are overextended. That's why they doze off on guard duty, make mistakes with friendly fire etc.. Chareidim should pitch in. We have female soldiers in combat because we don't have enough combat troops, not only because there is a feminist push.

      Delete
    2. 1) 2 weeks' training = completely undeployable even by Dontesk People's Republic standards. What do you think would happen to the accidental discharge and friendly fire rate if you put people who are only marginally safe on the range with second rate equipment (no night vision, no squad level radio, no modern optics, no suppressor so harder to control them if firing starts, no budget for ceramic plate) into the field?

      Checkpoints are, or should be treated as, a serious job. There was a recent friendly fire fatality attributable to using a second line unit without night vision to carry out serious work at a checkpoint. One of them went off to daven (?!?) , came back, and was shot repeatedly and died.

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/soldiers-say-similar-incident-occurred-2-days-before-fatal-friendly-fire-incident/

      2) many front line infantry units spend long interludes in their service doing non jobs like picking up litter, mopping and repainting the base, or, worst of all, practising CQB skills on a random block of civilian flats. The IDF finds it hard to deploy and properly train the combat troops it has, partially because of budgetary pressures arising from this sort of nonsense

      3) this isn't about men versus women.

      Delete
    3. "The main mission of the army is to deliver and endure extreme levels of traumatic violence. "

      No.
      Here's how the IDF defines its mission:
      "...The purpose of the IDF is to preserve the State of Israel, to protect its independence, and to foil attempts by its enemies to disrupt the normal life within it..."

      Delete
    4. Earnest, you know this how? Having two sons who served in combat units, I can tell you this is categorically false. It has nothing to do with lack of combat infantry. There is intense politicization in the IDF, just as there is in the American military, even if not to the same degree.

      A female combat soldier is never an asset, but rather a serious liability. They are weaker, with thinner and weaker bones, less muscle mass, and far more easily injured. I would not say I support women in the military, but there are roles they are very good at and even excel over men.

      Despite the Charedim having a reputation of dodging the draft, which is by and large true in percentage terms (even with the three Charedi units in different brigades), in absolute numbers, they pale in comparison to everyone else who dodges the draft, because they are a small segment of the Jewish population. This has become a serious problem today.

      Delete
    5. Earnest, Slifkin was talking about females serving in non-combat positions.

      Delete
  29. Shimshon- You are too arrogant to understand anything. I feel sorry for your avreich son with you for an example. No Middot..

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  30. The shoes keep dropping as could have been anticipated by anyone who knows the Dati-Leumi comminity. Not surprising. You saw what you reap. Good luck to everyone.

    What masechet was completed?

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    Replies
    1. Ah, here's Yakov with his mixed metaphors and bad spelling, trying and failing to make a point. He was missed.

      Let's see: There are 63 masechtot in the Mishna, 59 (or 61) in Tosefta, 39 (less twelve perakim) in the Yerushalmi, 37 (36 and 3/8ths, to be precise) in the Bavli, and 15 (or so) Masechtot Ketanot. But of course the "velt" considers, out of all of that (not to mention Tanach, Midrashim, and Codes), only ten masechtot in the Bavli to be worth learning at all.

      But I imagine even if R' Slifkin told you she finished Yevamot with every single Rishon and Acharon you'd still find a reason to make a cynical remark, so why bother?

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    2. I regret the bad spelling, writting at work, on a phone without a spellcheck. Some women may find gemorah interesting, in that sense it's no different then any other area of study. It's the general drift that is problematic. Benny Ganz and Herzi Levi (an ainikl of Rav Kook's brother) went to memlachti-dati institutions with predictable results. They are very accomplished people in their areas of endeavor, but in terms of Judaism they are not what that system was trying to produce. What masecht was learned is of casual interest to many, I would imagine. I wish Slifkin's kids the best, but the parents put them at a diadvantage in life in the things that matter the most. Look at Rav Goren's, Rav Maimon's or Rav Shlom Fisher's daughters and their descendants. The apples fell pretty far from the tree. Again, all are very high IQ people and very succesful as would be expected from people with their genes.
      כתב במשנה ברורה (סימן מז ס"ק י) ואשר בחר, וז"ל, ותמיד תהיה תפלת האב והאם שגורה בפיהם להתפלל על בניהם שיהיו לומדי תורה וצדיקים ובעלי מדות טובות ויכוין מאוד בברכת אהבה רבה ובברכת התורה בשעה שאומרים ונהיה אנחנו וצאצאינו וכן כשאומר בובא לציון למען לא ניגע לריק ולא נלד לבהלה. ]

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    3. Yakov is correct. People who send their kids to the IDF are putting them at a spiritual disadvantage.
      How selfish of the charedi community to insist that only others make this sacrifice.

      Delete
    4. I was talking about the dati-leumi education and culture, not the army service specifically. Religion in general doesn't do well in the encounter with modernity and we all know this. There is a track record of how different approaches fare. This is very simple, really, and one shouldn't be surprised by the expected outcome in terms of relative succes.

      My dati-leumi grandson is in IDF and loving it, but is already without a kippa and who knows what else. My charedi grandson is learning 3 sedorim at 14. Neither outcome is surprising to me. Both went to good schools for their respective societies but were taught different priorities and different approaches to Judaism. This is all very simple, really.

      Poor RNS finds that the reality bites and I simpathize with him.

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    5. @anonymous and @yakov... the definition of a good jew is not just measured by how much gemara you learn or how much you wear a Kippa. It's also about how much you live up to your responsibilities to the klal.

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    6. Not a fan, who said that? Always extrapolating from specific examples to broad generalities. One grandson is frum and committed to Torah, one ditched his kippa (and who knows how much farther he will go in this path). The generality is clear to us. One hashkafa's track record reflects toxicity to the very things it claims to desire to uphold as observed in reality regardless of principles, while the other's is extremely successful in convincing the next generation to follow in the ways of their fathers. That there are outliers in both cases is irrelevant.

      How far does that go? Do you insist on that even when the outcome is nearly guaranteed severe spiritual degradation.

      The IDF is perfectly capable of running the entire army according to standards set in the three Charedi units. Those units also see attempts by the more serious non-Charedi DL types to enlist, because they know they will be in a more respectful and less spiritually challenging environment. Stripped of all the retarded wokery that has infested every aspect of society, that kind of army would thrive. It won't do that though. It doesn't matter that their officially stated mission is one of protecting nation, or whatever it is. Its true mission is really to break the back of Torah and the Jews who cling to it. If this weren't its true mission, it wouldn't embrace every passing and retarded fad that comes our way.

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    7. Winning the numbers game doesn't imply in any way that you are on the right track, merely that you have a better formula for transfer between generations.
      I think we see 'severe spiritual degradation' very differently. You see it in one place, I see it in another.
      And regarding the IDF - there is no reason the whole IDF should be run according to charedi standards. It's not just your army, not just your country, not just your Judaism. The IDF can happily accomodate a variety of soldiers.
      And your comment about it's "true mission" is contemptible, inaccurate, foolish and says much more about you than it says about the IDF.

      Delete
    8. @not fan, @shimson etc. all good points mates, but I'm speaking באשר הוא שם, not what may be. Women learning gemorah generally is an act of a femenist rebellion against the authority, and DL types go off the derech in higher numbers then charedim. This is just a reality.

      And this is what The Torah asks of a Jew:

      וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל מָה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אִם לְיִרְאָה אֶת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַעֲבֹד אֶת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשֶׁךָ.

      Delete
    9. @anonymous... and you interpret that as learning gemara and keeping shabbat, huh? A. it seems a little broader than that B. in other texts, יראת ה' שמג ללכת בדרכיו seem to mean something other than learning gemara and keeping shabbat but that's just another interpretation. See point A. you are reading into the text what you want to hear.

      And your comments on women learning are false and derogatory.
      And, again, going off the derekh doesnt necessarily mean being worse Jews, it just means they keep less rituals. chareidim are very good at inter-generational transfer, but very bad at thinking about what it means to be a good Jew.

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    10. @not a fan. Anonymous was Yakov. מסילת ישרים and חובות הלבבות explain what it means. עיין שם.

      Delete
    11. 'And, again, going off the derekh doesnt necessarily mean being worse Jews, it just means they keep less rituals. chareidim are very good at inter-generational transfer, but very bad at thinking about what it means to be a good Jew.'

      It may not mean being a worse human, but it's the end of Judaism. Not being being Jewish doesn't make one a worthless individual, but that's not what we aspire for, I beleive.

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    12. Well that must be a relief for you to have a source to tell you how to think. Or at least, a source who said what you were told to think, so now you don't have to think about it.

      Delete
    13. Yakov, Herzi Halevi is 100% frum. Davens three times a day.

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    14. Yakov: Do you believe that Israel should have an army? Who should serve in it?

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    15. Israel should have an army, but serving in it and being a full fledged citizen of a modern state doesn't work out for Judaism. I don't have a solition for this problem and my choice is to play it safe until the situation changes, if it ever will. Better people then me tried the new ways and failed to pass the religion to their descendants. I have no reason to believe that I would have had a better outcome.

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    16. Okay, so your community wants to play it safe. But you admit that Israel needs an army. So you admit that there is a requirement for society to provide people for extraordinary mesiras nefesh, but you say that you're not able to share your responsibility in that burden. So you owe the non-Charedi community big time, right? How are you making up that debt?

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    17. Shoel.. Ely and yakov think that this makes them good jews.

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    18. @Shoel, I prefer not to have this discussion.

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    19. @yakov... I can't imagine why? There are plenty of standard answers though. You learn Torah on our behalf yet we stubbornly refuse to be grateful or to understand how we are protected by your learning. Some stupid garbage like that, right? That not even you yourself believe?

      Delete
  31. Without passing on Judaism there's no reason not to assimilate. Israel then is just another country and if a woman has a child whose father is Irish the child will be only half Jewish.
    The usual YA.

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    Replies
    1. There's no such thing as "half Jewish".

      Israel is a very good protector against assimilation, by definition.

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    2. Both statements are true but without Judaism there is such a thing as being half Jewish and there's no reason to not assimilate. It would be just like being Irish or French, no more or less objectionable to intermarry and assimilate.
      The Usual YA.

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  32. With great respect, your daughter finishing a mesechta (and I hope she does many more) does nothing for me. (Just like a boy finishing a masechet does nothing for me. See further. ) And I have the same feeling about joining the army. But getting up with 80 girls to daaven- in the army - that’s impressive. Really impressive. I think that that comes from the kind of home you and Mrs Slifkin have built and her experiences as your daughter. In the end we all have to do mitzvot, and if we do them under challenging circumstances that defines character and one’s internalization of fear/love of Hashem.

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  33. Here is a Hebrew article promoting Jewish armies in Israel not a central army:

    https://www.hyehudi.org/%d7%9e%d7%9b%d7%aa%d7%91-%d7%90%d7%99%d7%a9%d7%99-%d7%a0%d7%92%d7%93-%d7%94%d7%92%d7%99%d7%95%d7%a1-%d7%9c%d7%a6%d7%94%d7%9c-%d7%a9%d7%a0%d7%a9%d7%9c%d7%97-%d7%9c%d7%a8%d7%91-%d7%93%d7%aa%d7%99/

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  34. You should be very ashamed that your daughter is not following in the path of Kudushat Yisrael - not flaunting it publicly in a post.

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  35. Kol hakavod, God bless her and watch over her

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  36. Apologies for being late to this discussion.

    For a long time now I've had trouble understanding why a religious organization would pride itself on encouraging teenaged girls to serve in the IDF.

    Creating special army programs where girls' religious observance won't be compromised may seem cool at first glance (if you ignore the overwhelming rabbinical consensus that women shouldn't be serving in the army at all). In reality, however, the OTS initiative does some very harmful things:

    1. It legitimizes army service not just for young women enrolled in special "frum" programs, but for women in general. I don't have statistics, but I'm aware of a trend in my dati-leumi community (especially among the more dati-lite segment) where girls simply enlist without participating in such programs. The existence of the OTS program has made it seem perfectly okay for young impressionable women to serve in the army under any conditions - just as some young dati men choose to do regular IDF service instead of hesder. The guys, at least, could theoretically go to Netzah Yehuda; in any case the kravi ones can argue that they might actually be needed to fight, and that 32 months' IDF service is more honorable than the 18 months served in hesder. How many young religious or dati-lite women who serve in the IDF without being enrolled in a special program are still observant by the time they leave the army? I know some of these women, and the army sure didn’t do much for their commitment to observance. OTS has created an elite program but leaves the non-elite girls to fend for themselves.

    2. The initiative actually de-legitimizes Sherut Leumi. Read this rationale for the OTS Hadas Torah/IDF program (https://ots.org.il/program/hadas-torah-idf-program/):

    "Israeli history is filled with observant women who wanted to contribute to their country by serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Unfortunately, these young, idealistic women were discouraged – or even forbidden – from doing so by their spiritual mentors, leaving them torn and conflicted. Those who did nonetheless join the army often found themselves isolated and alone; those who chose not to become soldiers were forced to struggle with their own guilt and disappointment, as well as the resentment of their secular Israeli peers."

    The subtext (I'm not even sure it's a subtext; the problematic values informing this passage are so very obvious) is that a young woman who's content to do Sherut Leumi rather than army should feel "guilty," less "idealistic" than her classmates heading for the IDF, and reconcile herself to being an object of "resentment" on the part of her "secular Israeli peers." She herself should resent the chauvinism of her misguided "spiritual mentors." Again: OTS is pushing IDF service for women as an “elite” option, with Sherut Leumi relegated to default status for the non-elite. And don’t we all want to be elite?

    The question arises of why OTS is investing such efforts in pushing army service for women, when it could be trying to make Sherut Leumi a better-managed and more meaningful option.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Apologies for being late to this discussion.

    For a long time now I've had trouble understanding why a religious organization would pride itself on encouraging teenaged girls to serve in the IDF.

    Creating special army programs where girls' religious observance won't be compromised may seem cool at first glance (if you ignore the overwhelming rabbinical consensus that women shouldn't be serving in the army at all). In reality, however, the OTS initiative does a number of very harmful things:

    1. It legitimizes army service not just for young women enrolled in a special "frum" program, but for women in general. I don't have statistics, but I'm aware of a trend in the dati-leumi community (especially among the more dati-lite segment) where girls simply enlist without participating in such programs. The OTS program (and whatever similar programs there may be) has made it seem okay for young impressionable women to serve in the army under any conditions. How many girls from dati-lite families who enlist in the IDF without being enrolled in special programs are still observant by the time they leave the army? I know some of these women, and the army sure didn’t do much for their commitment to observance. OTS has created an elite program but leaves the non-elite girls to fend for themselves.

    2. The OTS initiative actually de-legitimizes Sherut Leumi. Read this rationale for the program (https://ots.org.il/program/hadas-torah-idf-program/):

    "Israeli history is filled with observant women who wanted to contribute to their country by serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Unfortunately, these young, idealistic women were discouraged – or even forbidden – from doing so by their spiritual mentors, leaving them torn and conflicted. Those who did nonetheless join the army often found themselves isolated and alone; those who chose not to become soldiers were forced to struggle with their own guilt and disappointment, as well as the resentment of their secular Israeli peers."

    The subtext (I'm not even sure it's a subtext; the problematic values informing this passage are so very obvious) is that a young woman who's content to do Sherut Leumi rather than army should feel "guilty," less "idealistic" than her classmates heading for the IDF, and reconcile herself to being an object of "resentment" on the part of her "secular Israeli peers." She herself should resent the chauvinism of her misguided "spiritual mentors." Again: OTS is pushing IDF service for women as an “elite” option, with Sherut Leumi relegated to default status for the non-elite. And don’t we all want to be elite?

    The question arises of why OTS is investing such efforts in pushing army service for women, when it could be trying to make Sherut Leumi a better-managed and more meaningful option.

    ReplyDelete

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