Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Utter Perversion of Moshe Rabbeinu's Message

No, it's not a Photoshop. This is an actual poster put up by Gimmel, the Ashkenazi charedi political party, urging its people to go and vote.

 

"Shall your brothers go out to war, and you remain here?!" Yes, the very words used by Moshe Rabeinu to castigate the tribes that were not going to share the responsibility of military service, are being used by charedim to castigate those who would not be sharing the responsibility of exercising political power to avoid military service.

It's not even the first time or the worst way in which this passuk has been abused. A few years ago, in a US charedi demonstration, the same passuk was used to urge people to leave the yeshivah and join a protest against the draft:

The irony of totally perverting the words of Moshe Rabbeinu for precisely the opposite of his message just takes one's breath away. And they claim that others pervert Torah!

It also reveals the utter theological bankrupcy of the charedi claims that the supernatural power of learning Torah makes it an adequate substitute for the physical, practical work that needs doing. Deep down they realize that full hishtadlus is always needed and can never be replaced by Torah learning. When there's nobody else to offload the physical work to, they do it themselves, with all their energies.

It's true that the real reason why charedim don't serve in the army has nothing to do with any purported belief in its supernatural protective powers. Rather, it's because, as Rav Aharon Lopiansky once admitted in Mishpacha, of the (very real) dangers of army service to charedi religious identity: “the robbing of our youths’ formative years as a ben Torah would be a price that we could not pay.” But, as Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein pointed out in response, "...How do we ask other, reluctant Israelis to pay a different price so that we don’t have to pay ours?" It's not only charedim who face dangers in the army. On what grounds can they justify a collective exemption from this national responsibility, without even offering anything in return - or even an acknowledgement of the sacrifice that others make for them?

The same goes for the problem of the charedi community not wanting to give its children an education that will help them get a job. They're not doing so for no reason - they're doing it because of the fears of the corrosive influence of secular education. These fears are legitimate - secular education does indeed threaten their way of life. But how do they expect that the rest of Israel will therefore shoulder a disproportionately large part of the burden of financing the country? And how dare they issues accusations of "sinas chinam" and even "antisemitism" when others point that out?

And this is precisely the nature of Moshe Rabbeinu's argument to the tribes of Gad and Reuven for joining the army. He doesn't say that they need the extra manpower. And he doesn't allow for any argument about learning Torah being an adequate substitute. Rather, his rebuke is a simple matter of shared responsibility. When there is a responsibility that faces the entire nation, the entire nation must share that responsibility.

Most charedim would not be so obtuse as to brandish Moshe Rabbeinu's words in a public perversion of their message. But they are nevertheless ignoring them.

 

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137 comments:

  1. "The Utter Perverting of," not "Perversion of," which sounds like you're saying that Moshe Rabbeinu's message is perverse, ח"ו.

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  2. You could, of course, say exactly the same thing about women's service in the IDF. The Religious Zionist rabbis always historically opposed it for the same reason the charedim opposed men's service - they thought exposure to the secular environment would destroy the religious values they tried to inculcate in their daughters. It's only very recently that more liberal rabbis have become accepting of it. In addition, as someone who served in the military, I can assure you that average chiloni looks at hesdernikim in more or less the same way they look at chareidim - we're just getting out of half of the service time, instead of the whole thing. On this issue there isn't a really fundamental difference.

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    1. The vast majority of religious Israelis do the standard term of service, same as all other Israelis. Hesder gets a lot of press, but not most of the soldiers.

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    2. Those in Hesder do serve for less time, but almost all serve in combat (hence take a 'fair share' of the risk), and undergo full combat training, do Miluim (reserve duty) for 20+ years, and can be called back to service any time there is a situation that requires additional staffing.
      As for the girls, as they say "it's complicated", but most female soldiers do not serve in combat, and most Dati women volunteer for 2 years of national service (sherut leumi) if they are not religiously comfortable with army service.

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  3. The entire nation has an obligation to keep Torah and Mizvos. Nothing can be more crazy then sending 18 year old yeshiva bochurim to the Israeli army. You are getting into a biger mess with every post. I suspect that it maybe because of how your children are turning out in the DL system. All these issues have been discussed many times and should have been put to bed a long time ago.

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    1. Well, it's a mitzvah to serve in the army. It's a lot more explicit in halacha than any "obligation" to learn full-time.

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    2. Than rather than then
      May be rather than maybe

      I guess you can safely claim to be free of academic contamination

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    3. The difference between then and than is learned in the elementary. You have any other substantive remarks?

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    4. @Nachum

      The issue is going off the derech, not learning full time, which isn't done by the majority of the charedim.

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    5. You're making the same point that Rav Lopiansky made, and you're not dealing with Rabbi Adlerstein's rejoinder.

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    6. Yakov: If they're not learning, they are by law required to be in the army.

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    7. @Nachum, not every law needs to be followed. They were required to serve in the tzarist army as well, but are we going to blame them for trying to avoid it? The outcome is not very different. The religion is weak when confronted with the challenges of modernity, but we know this. You have to decide what is your priority in life.

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    8. The Tsar? How perfectly disgusting.

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    9. If the halacha is to be in the army, then not being in the army is off the derech. How do you define derech other than halacha?

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    10. @CY
      Anything that causes the abandonment of Torah is to be avoided. Torah is supreme. This is very simple.

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    11. If the Torah says to serve in the army, not serving in the army is the abandonment of Torah. Torah is supreme. That is very simple.

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    12. So Yakov - ideally we should disband the Jewish army? Is that your recommendation? Just trying to get a coherent understanding of what your position is.

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    13. Ideally we eoulf all be

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    14. Ideally we would all be shomer Torah and serve in the army. In the absence of the ideal there are options which are being developed, but they are not for everyone, because hamon ham is vulnerable. The men had evolved to fight and like army service, many would serve gladly, but it's destructive to Torah observance and should be avoided.

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    15. No, you're the one who's trying to live an "ideal." We don't live in an ideal. And you and your kind are just taking advantage.

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    16. @Nachum November 6, 2022 at 11:15 PM. The Tsar? How perfectly disgusting.

      You sound surprised. But this general attitude for better or worse has always been there. Like when Rav ... opted to stay on the German side and be murdered with his children, rather than escape to the Russians where his children were likely to become frai.

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    17. Yakov - not a very coherent argument. You’re not prepared to say that the Jewish army should be disbanded because “Torah is supreme”. And yet you don’t think serious Jews should serve in the Jewish army. That is not coherent. A serious person would come up with a real not ideal alternative. You my friend are not a serious person.

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    18. Nobody has come up with a viable alternative yet and I haven't offered any ideal or otherwise.

      I think that the masses of charedim will lose their faith or their level of observance and dedication in the army. There is no reason to disband the army as the there are enough soldiers that serve to fight a war.

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    19. Sorry but a serious person would either say the current situation isn’t tenable and should be disbanded or they would suggest a realistic alternative. You don’t have the luxury of taking both sides of the fence if you want to have a cogent point of view that’s worth considering.

      So you just choose the cop out approach and trash those who do the dirty work that you obviously deem necessary.

      You’ll understand if we that serve and who’s children serve consider your position to be selfish, self righteous, indefensible and ergo anti Torah. Good luck with your smug self righteousness and self delusion

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    20. I generally don't engage with people who prefer ad hominoum attacks onstead if substance. I've made an exceptoon for you once, but no more.

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    21. Says the person who cannot substantiate his “substance”. What a cop out. Not serious.

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    22. @Head, numerous intelligent thoughtful writers over the years have described this problem, without being able to offer a solution. What do you want from the poor bloke?

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    23. By not taking both sides of the fence AND being disdainful towards those who do serve and whose children do serve. Acknowledge that they’re doing his dirty work (which he deems necessary) and be ever so grateful and humble in light of that rather than striking the self righteous tone that he does.

      And answer RNSs question posed below which I paste here for convenience:

      “ To people such as Yakov who keep insisting that it's religiously impossible for charedim to go to the army - fine. But please explain why they are not making it up in other ways. At the end of the day, they are not sharing the burden that needs to be carried.”

      Too much to ask? I think it’s very simple.

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  4. Another silly post... Here's something more interesting you can discuss - Or is it also BAD because its not YOUR vision for Charedim?
    https://www.jpost.com/judaism/article-721400
    “We said, ‘Let’s provide a response that will allow people to learn these subjects more slowly and let them decide on their own when they will want to join the workforce. It will be easier for them at that point to join the workforce or the world of academia.”

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    1. https://www.srugim.co.il/661125-%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%94-%D7%94%D7%A6%D7%99%D7%95%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%93%D7%AA%D7%99%D7%AA-%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%99%D7%A6%D7%A8%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%9F-%D7%93%D7%AA%D7%9C%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%9D

      Thid also is a good topoc for a change.

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    2. "Slowly" is code for "let's make sure it never happens."

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    3. Yeah - that makes sense. Let's put alot of time and effort into something so we can make sure it never happens. Brilliant comment.

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    4. Norm, sarcasm degrades the level of a conversation. Of *course* people put a lot of time and effort into making sure things don't happen. It's the way of the world.

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  5. "It's true that the real reason why charedim don't serve in the army has nothing to do with any purported belief in its supernatural protective powers. Rather, it's because, as Rav Aharon Lopiansky once admitted in Mishpacha, of the (very real) dangers of army service to charedi religious identity:"

    Well, sort of. As in many such matters, there are multiple levels of charedi "explanations":

    -That meant for the general public: "We protect with our learning."

    -The one they tell themselves, which the public wouldn't get: In this case, they don't really care about protecting anyway, that's for the public. Internal reason here is, "Bittul Torah."

    -The one they don't really want to admit to themselves. In this case, "Our kids will stop being religious, or, worse, charedi." Of course, if you think two seconds about that, it doesn't say much about the charedi education system or society, so it isn't said to loud.

    -The real reason for *everything*: Nisht fun unzerer. We (charedim) weren't behind it, so we're not going to do it. Want to know why charedim don't, say, wear tekhelet? Oh, they'll spin all sorts of "halakhic" answers, but real reason? It was re-discovered by a bunch of Modern Orthodox. Want to know why they don't serve in the IDF, or support Israel? Because they were created by a bunch of non-charedim. And on, and on.

    I remember a few years back some Shas guy actually tried to use this pasuk to "prove" that charedim *shouldn't* have to serve. I wish I remembered his "proof," but it was ridiculous, I recall. These people are shameless.

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    1. The real reason is that Charedim still haven't figure out a coherent perspective on the State. Instead they've chosen the default שב ועל תעשה and have withdrawn inward. That's why Charedi politics can be summed up as "gives us money & leave us alone."

      I don't agree that the Charedi misuse of the פסוק is a perversion. There's פשט and there's דרוש. The two can co-exist, but where the פשט is not relevant, the דרוש takes the foreground. Thus, for centuries the פסוק was interpreted as a call to symbolic rather than literal arms. Nothing perverted at that. Since the Charedim haven't figured out how to related to the State, the דרוש interpretation remains prominent. And the פשט is something that's not even part of their worldview.

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    2. Its of course true that "Torah protects" is just for public consumption, but so what? Every political party has talking points that everyone knows is false, why shouldn't the Charedim? I always thought the GOP and conservatives were fools for spending so much time proving the liberals wrong and hypocrites - of course they were wrong and hypocrites, but this way they got the right to focus their energies on *them*, rather than on themselves and upon moving their own agenda forwards.

      You can't worry about what the other side says. You can only worry about your own message.

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    3. Lawrence, I am not worried. I am *explaining*.

      Also, people who hold themselves out as religious exemplars and our betters shouldn't be lying. (Neither Democrats nor Republicans make such claims, at least not as part of their identity.) But then this is the party of the infamous "deputy ministers."

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    4. Nachum, Chilonim always try to play that card to stifle Charedim, as though the religious parties can't do the same things other parties do. (The Israeli equivalent of "Free Speech for me, but not for thee".) Do the other parties actually *acknowledge* any superiority on the part of the Charedim? Don't they think their *own* platform is the morally superior one?.

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  6. Let's learn some Chumash.
    There is a collective Mitzvah on Klal Yisroel to conquer EY from the Cana'anim. When some people shirk their responsibility from a collective Mitzvah, the possuk applies.

    What does this have to do with the IDF? Fighting in the IDF is not a Mitzvah, it is a practical thing, and it is measured by practical measures, not Mitzvos.

    The comparison is odious.

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    1. Any defensive war is a milchemet mitzvah. You could look it up if you wanted to. Israel has been fighting a defensive war for over a century now, so of course IDF service is a mitzvah.

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    2. That possuk has nothing to do with defensive wars, or Milchemes Mitzva/reshus, it is about כיבוש הארץ

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    3. Kivush haaretz is a milchemet mitzvah.

      It's OK to be an am haaretz, you just shouldn't be *proud* of it.

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    4. @Nachum
      Israel has been fighting a war of conquest for the last 100 years. Not that it makes much difference to this discussion in my eyes.

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    5. Kibush Ha'aretz may be a Milchemes Mitzvah, but Milchemes Mitzvah is not Kibush Ha'aretz.
      That was easy.

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    6. "Israel has been fighting a war of conquest for the last 100 years."
      And the initial conquest didn't take centuries?

      "Kibush Ha'aretz may be a Milchemes Mitzvah, but Milchemes Mitzvah is not Kibush Ha'aretz."
      So what? Defending against enemies is also a מלחמת מצוה.

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    7. That makes no sense, I'm sorry. Either of you.

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    8. Serving in the IDF is only a chiyuv if you feel that the state of Israel has religious status as some sort of melucha. Since Charedim don't believe that (frankly, I don't believe it anymore either), why should they feel serving is a chiyuv?

      That being said, serving is the decent and correct thing to do. Mitzvah or not, sitting in yeshiva and relying on others to protect you is morally wrong.

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    9. Wow, does that raise a lot of questions:

      Since when does something have to be a "melucha" to follow its laws? Is the United States a "melucha"? (After all, if the US drafts you, you have to serve as well.) If Israel isn't a "melucha," what is it? And does this only apply to military service? Are you free to come to Israel and violate its laws? If not, why is military service different?

      And why would you once have considered Israel a "melucha" and no longer did? Did something major change in the nature of the State of Israel? (Millions of people must have missed that.) Or did something change in you? And if the latter, maybe the problem is in the only person so "enlightened."

      Oh, what a web we weave...

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    10. Theres a Ran (sorry no time for sourcing im confident someone else can run it down for you. Maybe bava kama in hagozel?)
      That says that dina dimalchusa dosent apply to gentile kings in the land of israel as they are listim (robbers). Based on this its argued that an illegitimate jewish government is the same.


      Not saying my opinion just saying over an argument actually used by chareidim.
      YidPoshut

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    11. Nachum, why my opinion changed is a matter of my changing hashkafa over the decades. I am a religious Jew who keeps Torah uMitzvot, but I no longer subscribe to the ideas of religious Zionism. However, unlike charedim, I have deep love and support for medinat yisrael, but that's in the secular Zionist mold. What led me to change how I felt is auch longer conversation.

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    12. Ephraim - the possuk isn't talking about Milchemes Mitzvah. It is talking about Kibush Ha'aretz. Which is why it is irrelevant to people who don't serve in the army nowadays.

      The accepted Psak among many Poskim is that there is no דינא דמלכותא דינא in EY, because the State is illegitimate in Torah's eyes.

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    13. Under that logic, Nazi Germany would be legitimate (and thus entitled to kill six million Jews) and the State of Israel wouldn't be.

      Really, there's no limit to where your hate can take you, is there?

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    14. Nazi Germany may be a legitimate regime, they still may not kill Hashem's people. One thing has nothing to do with the other.
      But learn the Gemara on האלף לך שלמה ומאתים לנטרים את פריו.
      Nothing to do with hate, just cold dry facts.
      My feelings are with the state of Israel, what can I do that the Torah decided differently to my feelings?

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    15. " the possuk isn't talking about Milchemes Mitzvah. It is talking about Kibush Ha'aretz."

      Rambam: ואי זו היא מלחמת מצוה זו מלחמת שבעה עממים. ומלחמת עמלק. ועזרת ישראל מיד צר שבא עליהם.

      " Which is why it is irrelevant to people who don't serve in the army nowadays.""
      Now, if you want to split hairs and claim the narrowest relevancy for the פסוק, that's fine. But then, the פסוק would also be irrelevant to protesting against participating in a מלחמת מצוה!

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    16. Is it that difficult to understand?
      An apple is a fruit. Therefore, a fruit is an apple. Does that make sense?

      The possuk doesn't apply to voting, demonstrations, the IDF or the US Army. It is used as a Melitzah

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  7. Two words describe this post. Sore loser!!

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    1. Oh, when people lose elections they have to keep their mouths shut?

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    2. Not at all, you’re free to post or comment as you wish. However the pettiness is glaring. Hence my comment, sore loser!

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  8. Read Tehillim 81:14-16. "If only My people would listen to Me, if Israel would follow My paths, then would I subdue their enemies at once, strike their foes again and again. Those who hate the LORD shall cower before Him; their doom shall be eternal." Equal responsibility would be everybody learn Torah, everybody keeps it, and everybody serves in army. What you and some others want is everybody serves, and then some are free to drill the bottom of the boat by desecrating the Torah, while other work hard to keep the boat afloat.

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  9. Anonymous at Nov.26,22 at2:28 P.M.. Only from the Canaanim? And the Mitzvah of milchemet haganah! And לא תעמוד על דם רעך. Israel is on a continual war of defense.The IDF is not protecting the land of lsrael and the Jewish people therein? According to the Hazon Ish ,the Hatam Sofer,and many others Yoshuv Eretz Yisrael is a Mitzvah
    Dioraitah. Why because it's not the trime of Moshiach?




    .

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  10. The first time I saw a picture of the sign I assumed it was a dati leumi poster telling hareidim to join the army. It did not occur to me that a pasuk saying to go fight is being used the opposite way.

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  11. Hmm, when it comes to keeping Shabbos or staying away from arayos, the secularists care nothing about Moshe Rabbeinu's message. Only when it comes to this. Curious... Here is Moshe Rabbeinu's real message about armies that don't follow Hashem's commandments -

    וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֔ה לָ֥מָּה זֶּ֛ה אַתֶּ֥ם עֹבְרִ֖ים אֶת־פִּ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְהִ֖וא לֹ֥א תִצְלָֽח׃
    אַֽל־תַּעֲל֔וּ כִּ֛י אֵ֥ין יְהֹוָ֖ה בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם וְלֹא֙ תִּנָּ֣גְפ֔וּ לִפְנֵ֖י אֹיְבֵיכֶֽם׃
    כִּי֩ הָעֲמָלֵקִ֨י וְהַכְּנַעֲנִ֥י שָׁם֙ לִפְנֵיכֶ֔ם וּנְפַלְתֶּ֖ם בֶּחָ֑רֶב כִּֽי־עַל־כֵּ֤ן שַׁבְתֶּם֙ מֵאַחֲרֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה עִמָּכֶֽם׃

    יִתֶּנְךָ֨ יְהֹוָ֥ה ׀ נִגָּף֮ לִפְנֵ֣י אֹיְבֶ֒יךָ֒ בְּדֶ֤רֶךְ אֶחָד֙ תֵּצֵ֣א אֵלָ֔יו וּבְשִׁבְעָ֥ה דְרָכִ֖ים תָּנ֣וּס לְפָנָ֑יו וְהָיִ֣יתָ לְזַֽעֲוָ֔ה לְכֹ֖ל מַמְלְכ֥וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ׃

    "On what grounds can they justify a collective exemption from this national responsibility, without even offering anything in return..." Uh, they actually keep the Torah, as opposed to the vast majority of secularists. The Torah is the whole point of the Jewish people, and is the only legitimate reason for the Jewish people's claim to the land. That zechus alone pays for itself many times over.

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    1. "Hmm, when it comes to keeping Shabbos or staying away from arayos, the secularists care nothing about Moshe Rabbeinu's message."

      You don't know much about Israel, do you?

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    2. I know enough to know that the majority are mechallel Shabbos, yes. It's not some sort of secret.

      By the way, don't take theological lessons from somebody who thinks connection to Hashem is "fluffy spirituality".

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2022/08/fluffy-spirituality-vs-real-issues.html

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    3. The majority of Jews in Israel are *not* mechalelei Shabbat. So you see, you *don't* know.

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    4. Nahum, who do you think you're fooling? The data is all out there, you shouldn't make up things that are so easy to disprove.

      https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%93%D7%AA_%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C

      https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2016/03/08/israels-religiously-divided-society/

      https://a7.org/?file=20200908170404.pdf

      https://www.mako.co.il/weekend-articles/Article-3131b15f94b9451006.htm

      The last link is a survey that found about 27% of Jews claim they are Shomer Shabbos according to halacha (bottom graphic). Which, BH, is better than I expected, and clearly includes some "Masortim", but is still very far from the majority! We can and should be optimistic, but clearly there is much work to do! Meanwhile, I would like to see a little self-reflection from the supposedly "religious" folks who blather on very selectively about "Moshe Rabbeinu's message", eh?

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    5. In Israel, claims and reality are very different things.

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    6. Wow, look how quickly we go from ridiculously bombastic claims like "The majority of Jews in Israel are *not* mechalelei Shabbat" to stupid apologetics like "In Israel, claims and reality are very different things." So we can't trust data. We can't trust surveys. People who testify about themselves that they are mechallel Shabbos are actually Shomer Shabbos. You will not be swayed by facts. How very convenient for you. 

      Yeah, as I said before "When it comes to keeping Shabbos or staying away from arayos, the secularists care nothing about Moshe Rabbeinu's message". Thanks for the confirmation.

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    7. I make no claims about statistics of Shabbos keeping among different groups of Jews in Israel.

      I would assume though, that nobody puts up signs announcing "V'Shamru et HaShabbat! Come to a Friday night concert!" or "Lo t'va'aru eish b'yom HaShabbat! Come to a big bonfire and celebratory barbecue!"

      It's the twisting of the passuk to refer to the reverse of what it originally meant.
      (And yes, I understand Ephraim's Pshat and Drash comment above; just explaining to Happy why Shabbos is not a relevant topic here.)

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    8. And picking the Ma'apilim as The Example of how to behave in war? Really, Happy? Do you believe that the current wars that Israel fights are not worth fighting? Should the IDF pack it in? Should the Hagana and Irgun never have gotten started?

      (Given the victories along the way, I'd venture that the proof is in the pudding - the fact that the Israeli army has won often enough is an indication that yes, Hashem is with them. So why pick the one time that Moshe says to sit down?)

      Delete
    9. Yosef, what is relevant is the subject of this post, "Moshe Rabbeinu's message", which, apparently, all of the sudden, the secularists are interested in. But extremely selectively, as I point out.

      Clearly you don't understand the message of the Ma'apilim. You think THEIR war wasn't worth fighting? You think Kibush Ha'aretz is not worth it? You think it's not a Milhemet Mitzva? You don't understand that is exactly what the Ma'apilim were doing? Except.... Except.... They were not listening to Hashem. כִּֽי־עַל־כֵּ֤ן שַׁבְתֶּם֙ מֵאַחֲרֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה עִמָּכֶֽם׃. Just like the secularist society that is still the majority of Israel today (which BH is changing rapidly due to demographics). There is no legitimate claim to the land of Israel for such a society. And it is only in the zechus of the minority Shomrei Torah that they are able to survive. שאלמלי הם לא נשתייר משונאיהם של ישראל שריד ופליט.

      "Should the Hagana and Irgun never have gotten started?" - I never said that, although perhaps they didn't have the best plan, and it was only with Hashem's miraculous help that they won. But as I said, victory only comes in the zechus of the Shomrei Torah. If this is possibly ראשית צמיחת גאולתינו, it is certainly not in the zechus of the secularists, but the Shomrei Torah.

      Delete
    10. @happygoluckypersonage One would expect people who claim to "tremble" and cling to the Torah would have a better idea about Moshe Rabbeinu's message than irreligious Jews who don't know anything.
      You need both Torah observance and the ability/willingness implement the rudimentary functions of a state to maintain a basic, functioning state. It was true in time of Dovid Hamelech and it's true now.

      Delete
    11. Weaver, it is not the case that the irreligious Jews "don't know anything". You give them too little credit. They are not idiots. All the information is easily available at their fingertips. They know and they don't care. Furthermore, my criticism is aimed at nominally observant secularists like our good host, who claim to know Moshe Rabbeinu's message very well, yet care not a smidgeon for the other 99.99% of it.

      Delete
    12. "You need both Torah observance and the ability/willingness implement the rudimentary functions of a state to maintain a basic, functioning state."- Agreed. But it's much more important to keep the Torah than to have a wealthy, powerful "first-world" state. There is no legitimate claim to the land at all without Torah observance. Hopefully we will soon get to a point where the population will become religious enough that integration is possible, without endangering the Torah. עוד חזון למועד

      Delete
  12. Do you really believe Moshe Rabbeinu would have condoned submitting oneself to the whims of secular higher ups in the army?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're making the same point that Rav Lopiansky made, and you're not dealing with Rabbi Adlerstein's rejoinder.

      Delete
    2. I assume R' Lopiansky would respond that it's not worth the trade off

      Delete
  13. This blog seems to only critique haredim and nationalistic dati leumi, which is why many consider it to be a hate blog. Was wondering if you were considering critiquing the many flaws in the liberal dati leumi and secular worlds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There has to be a forum for religious Jews to internally debate the flaws in their own society openly. Its not hate to look honestly in the mirror and to say "Look, my family, my friends, we have some problems that need addressing. "
      Shutting down such forums as you perhaps would prefer, or condemning them as hate sites is a flawed attempt to silence criticism. If you want to silence criticism, then read Yated or mishpacha magazine, but then also don't hope for moral growth.

      Delete
    2. Not a fan - you are right. But that can only be done when the basic ethos of the forum is Charedi. Then, the individual flaws can be discussed. On this blog, the basic ideals of Charedim are scoffed at and demeaned, which is why the individual flaws will never be discussed in a constructive manner. They are only quoted as proof to the overall belief, that Charedim are beyond repair.

      Delete
    3. Yes, such forums are needed. This blog doesn't measure up. No different then chilonim or goyim.

      Delete
    4. Because the blog is about the difference in thought between Rationalism and Nonrationalism in Judaism, and unfortunately, that puts Chareidism opposite to the thesis of the blog. And unfortunately, some of those differences lead to potential economic disaster, and therefore get commented on.

      If the blog were to become, oh I don't know, called "Ha'Im Mitzion Tetzeh Torah" or something like that, then I suppose those who are not observant would get commented on more.

      Delete
    5. While not claiming to be rational, charedi approach is based on the actual expirience with modernity and that is not irrational. MO and DL, to some extend, lay a claim to following rationalism. Considering a very problematic outcome, they should be a subject to scrutiny in the context of this blog's avowed purpose. Meanwile the blog is becoming progressively more irrational and a waste of time.

      Delete
  14. When dealing with people of limited or weak intelligence, Rabbi Adlerstein's rejoinder will resonate. However they are not the ones to make actual decisions. In reality, his claim has no logic to it at all. Anyone can choose to learn Torah full time instead of joining the army, nobody is being asked to go to the army for the Yeshiva students.
    But even if they were being asked to do so, it is indeed wrong to ask someone to do something for no reason. But Torah and Judaism requires that people take learning Torah really really seriously. Including appreciating the idea that part time learning is nothing like full time learning. So Yeshiva students are not asking them to pay a price for us, they are paying a price for themselves. There is no Am Yisroel without serious Torah learning, there is Am Yisroel without a State of Israel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous at Nov. 6,22 at 10:59 AM. When I was a camp counselor at an Agudat Yisrael summer camp in the Catskil's of NYS in 1958 they would sing, ארץ ישראל בלי תורה היא כגוף בלי נשמה,your philosophy. I believe that a more balanced and correct outlook is that of עם ישראל, ארץ ישראל, תורת ישראל. As the Rambam indicates קיום התורה בחו"ל הוא רק הכנה לקיום התורה בארץ ישראל. Real fulfillment of the Torah is in ארץ ישראל.

      Delete
    2. "But Torah and Judaism requires that people take learning Torah really really seriously. Including appreciating the idea that part time learning is nothing like full time learning."

      Does it now?

      "nobody is being asked to go to the army for the Yeshiva students."

      Really? Who's protecting them?

      I must point out that you write very poorly for someone who insults other peoples' intelligence.

      Delete
    3. "So Yeshiva students are not asking them to pay a price for us, they are paying a price for themselves. "
      What price?

      Delete
    4. "עם ישראל, ארץ ישראל, תורת ישראל"

      IIRC, that's the Mizrahi pecking order, and those to it's right stated decades or a century ago that the priorities are skewed. Thus Shuvu Kiruv Rechokim was founded with the same items in a different order, "תורת ישראל לעם ישראל בארץ ישראל."
      Something like the IDF is to be judged in that order too.

      Delete
    5. Nobody is forced not to learn Torah. If the Chilonim want to go to Yeshiva to learn, they can. They chose the army over learning, how can they blame others for their own choices?

      Delete
    6. @anonymous u r missing the point. What happened to kol yisrael areivim ze bazeh? There is a country to defend. If we all individually choose our own personal benefit over the needs of the many we will be unable to defend ourselves. As you point out, serving is a choice. Those who choose to serve do it for everyone's benefit. Those who choose to learn do it for themselves because they imagine it brings them closer to G-d. I doubt it does, but it's still a selfish act.

      Delete
  15. As a long time fan of yours, I KNEW you would get triggered by this very obvious irony/sarcasm.

    And you have.

    Shame that you couldn't rise above it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People who make signs like this are unable to engage in irony or sarcasm. They are too far removed from facts to do so.

      Delete
  16. I was a counselor at Camp Agudah in 1958. The song, ארץ ישראל בלי תורה היא כגוף בלי נשמה, was part of their anti -tzioni repertoire.They also sang, ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם in Yiddish, De zultz nisht gayin nuch daan hertzalin oon daan kookin .From the kriat shma, Don't go after your heart(Hertzl) and not after (Kook) kookin, what you see.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. נישט נאכען הרצל און נישט נאכען קוק
      Is what you are looking for.

      Delete
    2. If you were a counselor in 1958 it means you're at least 82 years old. An 82 year old former Agudah counselor commenting here, who refers to "Kriat Shma"? Not impossible, I suppose, but I am dubious.

      Delete
  17. I'm just gonna say that David Lichtenstein just interviewed (anonymously) a kollel wife with a gay (ex) husband. He is dealing with the issues for real and is quietly breaking taboos in a subtle manner for the charedi world. This is they type of advocacy and evolution the charedi world needs. This is why RJ will never be a catalyst for real change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone honestly believes this site is attempting to be a catalyst for change within Chareidi society - and you are absolutely correct that it won't be.
      At best, it's an attempt to dissuade people from joining and/or supporting Chareidi society and to try to limit Chareidi influence on other sectors.
      At worst....
      - DD

      Delete
    2. Right - it's just another failed messiah

      Delete
  18. Yakov at Nov. 7,22 at 4:59 PM.The same idea but I don't remember it your way.When and where did you hear it?

    ReplyDelete
  19. My God, how many times can you distort the facts? Yes, the verse in question in the Bible episode is referring to army service. However, verses and phrases from the Bible are used in metaphorical and borrowed senses, every day, thousands of times a day. Are you not familiar with the English language?? The case from almost ten years ago (way to live in the present!) was a mistake, because that was a rally specifically against the draft, and using that verse to rally support was a poor choice of words. And the mistake was quickly caught. In this case tho, its a general appeal to their supporters, the draft isn't even a central issue. Politics is a culture war, and use of the phrase is perfectly appropriate. You're just equal parts nitpcking and distorting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can be metaphorical if you *don't* lose site of the original meaning.

      Charedim, of course, have.

      Delete
    2. I dont think they have, Nachum, that's why they quickly junked the poster with those words someone made in 2014, when they had the rally against the draft. They know its about the army, and so they won't use it in that context. But an election concerns the larger culture war, which they *are* definitely fighting in, and the verse is fair game to cite. NS, who just looks for things with which to insult or attack charedim, naturally misread it.

      Delete
  20. We need more love and amity amongst Jews.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous at Nov. 7,22 at 7:37 PM. In April G-d willing I will be 80. I made Aliya in 1993 with my wife and 5 children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If so, you've got to be the oldest commenter on this blog. I would suggest NS get confirmation vie email, and if so you get a hearty yasher koaich!

      Delete
  22. Anonymous I was about 17 when I was a counselor at Camp Agudah. I miscalculated about two or three years. Rabbi Borchad z"l was the administrator and Rabbi Teitlebaum z"ll was the Mashgiach Ruchani.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous at Nov.7,22 at 7:37 PM. At that time I was also one of the leaders of the Pirchei Agudat Yisrael shabbat groups on the Lower East Side.

    ReplyDelete
  24. To people such as Yakov who keep insisting that it's religiously impossible for charedim to go to the army - fine. But please explain why they are not making it up in other ways. At the end of the day, they are not sharing the burden that needs to be carried.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They disproportionately carry the burden of keeping the Torah and mitzvos, which is the most important burden by far, and without which the Jews have no legitimate claim to the land at all.

      Delete
    2. Pretty big talk from someone who never served in the army himself.

      Delete
    3. No. They keep torah and mitzvos as well as any other group (and in many ways worse - only chareidim have minyan factories with shacharis at noon). If they carry any burden disproportionately its the supposed burden of 'learning torah' and specified chitzonious. Schwitzing under a Spodek in a bnei berak summer is indeed a burden.

      Delete
    4. What's "any other group"? Over 70% of Israelis are mechallel Shabbos (see link above). And of those non-Chareidim who claim to keep Shabbos, many of them are secularist, and a very large percentage of their children become secular (much more than Chareidim, see other link above) - which reflects very poorly on their own "observance". And many are orthoprax kofrim = non-observant. So yeah, the Shomrei Torah are definitely a small minority, and probably most of them are Chareidim.

      Delete
    5. But besides for that, your statement implicitly admits that keeping Torah and mitzvos is indeed a burden that Chareidim carry (your erroneous statement that other groups also carry it notwithstanding), and helps the country. Thanks for the acknowledgement!

      Delete
    6. "But please explain why they are not making it up in other ways."

      As RYK said to PMGM, my grandchildren volunteer in Israeli hospitals because their parents agreed, not because a bureaucrat in an office sent them. Interesting idea.

      Delete
    7. @happygoluckypersonage Lol, you're supposed to keep Torah and mitzvos IN ADDITION to living a normal, productive, self-sufficient life, not as opposed to it!

      Delete
    8. Weaver, sorry, you are very confused. Did you go to MO schools, or did you grow up yeshivish and went OTD?

      Torah and Mitzvos are not some "additional bonus" to having a "normal, productive, self-sufficient life". Torah and Mitzvos are the MAIN thing, to be kept whether one is productive or unproductive, self-sufficient or non-self-sufficient (which BTW describes most people, even workers), whether one is "normal" or "not normal". And Torah and Mitzvos are to kept even at the price of being "non-productive" and "non-self-sufficient". I am surprised that I need to debate such a basic concept, but here we are.

      BTW, do you agree that connection with Hashem is "fluffy spirituality"?

      Delete
    9. @happy I call BS on your 'carrying the burden' argument. First, there is no such burden on am yisrael that needs to be parcelled out. Unlike defending the country or paying the taxes. It'd an individuals obligation to learn Torah and it is not an obligation to the exclusion of other obligations.
      Second, historically there has never been such mass learning. You have invented a new tradition that is not part of traditional Judaism.
      Third, its obviously one of those made up, "sounds good initially ut isn't actually valid when you think about it" lines. It has that shallow ring of frumkeit to it.
      4. The idea of using limmud Torah to avoid army service is so obviously against the whole tone of jewish morality, it doesn't need to be spelled out. Only the corrupted version of Judaism, hareidism, has this line just like it has other non jewish tropes such as being in favor of welfare fraud and in favor of general ignorance and poverty. Jess throughout history are embarrassed and shamed by you.

      Delete
    10. @Not a fan
      "Unlike defending the country or paying the taxes. It'd an individuals obligation to learn Torah and it is not an obligation to the exclusion of other obligations"
      "The idea of using limmud Torah to avoid army service is so obviously against the whole tone of jewish morality, it doesn't need to be spelled out. Only the corrupted version of Judaism, hareidism, has this line"

      Maybe familiarize yourself with some Talmud.
      בבא בתרא ז.-ח. רבנן לא צריכי נטירותא
      and are thus exempt from taxes and security fees
      Though if you'll just disagree with chazal again it won't do you much good I suppose.
      Oh the irony of you claiming that "hareidism" has corrupted Judaism never ends!

      Delete
    11. "Torah and Mitzvos are the MAIN thing"

      It's a מצוה to serve in the army.
      It's a מצוה to support one's family.

      Delete
    12. "And regarding what our Sages said (Baba Batra 8a) that Torah scholars do not need guarding, the meaning is that they are exempt from the type of guarding primarily intended for prevention of theft. But when Jews needs to be protected, then there is a mitzvah to save them, as the Torah says (Leviticus 19:16): “Do not stand aside when trouble befalls your neighbor”, and in a situation of pikuach nefesh, the mitzvah is first incumbent on Talmedei Chachamim (M.B. 328:34)." See more at http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2019/12/must-yeshiva-students-enlist.html

      Delete
    13. Plus, rabbanan means rabbanan, and not כלל הציבור

      Delete
    14. "rabbanan means rabbanan, and not כלל הציבור"
      So Nachum has most of Israel keeping Shabbos and you have the entire country being hareidi. I'm optimistic too but let's try to live in reality.

      Delete
    15. Not a fan, you guys are mechallelei Shabbos, kofer in the Torah, and think connection with Hashem is "fluffy spirituality". How dare you even deign to talk about the "tone of Jewish morality", which you obviously know nothing about?! Ephraim, same goes for you with the only two mitzvos you claim to keep. Start keeping the rest of the mitzvos and give your kids an appropriate Jewish education, and then we can have a conversation about those two mitzvos. Right now, you guys are not even in the ballpark. BTW Ephaim, do you agree that connection with Hashem is "fluffy spirituality"?

      Delete
    16. @happygoluckypersonage Nope, you just missed my point, in addition to engaging in childish insults - maybe you should write pashkevilim for a living.

      Delete
    17. Weaver, I apologize if I insulted you, I didn't mean to, I genuinely feel that you are very confused and could benefit from some proper Jewish learning. My question was sincere, I really want to know. Also, I didn't miss your point, I contradicted your point, which was so blatantly false, I didn't even need to bother bringing sources. If you really meant something more nuanced than what you sounded like, I'm all ears.

      Delete
    18. I am soon NOT into fluffy spirituality. Hahaha. You could not be more wrong.

      Delete
  25. B. Mouth, Yakov, Happy, Yosef R., I added an important piece of information to your discussion here
    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2022/10/anti-rationalism-and-charedi-vote.html?showComment=1667936700867#c6711854855202272882

    ReplyDelete
  26. "But, as Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein pointed out in response, "...How do we ask other, reluctant Israelis to pay a different price so that we don’t have to pay ours?" "

    To quote him more fully, "Still, some of the answers raised other questions. It should be worthwhile to at least ask them, either to fill in the gaps, or because we must recognize that we have an obligation to understand the pain of less observant Jews, who also feel like aggrieved parties. I will ask some of those questions, *not *because I have settled on an opposing position, but because I am still *searching *for *greater *clarity." (Emph. added.)
    -Whereas IIUC you have settled on an opposing position.

    In general the C-C article is about what to tell the Chilonim. As always, the main thing is what people need to say to themselves. If they can't, that's a real problem. What to tell others is a secondary thing.

    In the comments, RYA makes the following noteworthy statement, "If it boiled down to action, and I was pretty darn sure I was right, and I got a phone call from R Chaim Kanievski telling me to act in an opposing manner, I would swallow hard, and listen to R Chaim Kanievski."

    Certainly he would run all the points of this post by that criteria too. Not sure about the swallowing, but ultimately he would reject this post.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous at Nov.7,22 at ,9:29 PM. פרשת לך לך, first עם ישראל - כוכבי השמים with the land of Eretz Yisrael then G-d will be the G-d of his descendents, עם ישראל. I believe your approach is abot

    ReplyDelete

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