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I am not commenting on the substance, but I do desire to correct the grammar. You write: "Although the majority of Israel feels pretty much the same way about most major issues, Bibi’s narcissism and treachery has made him so despised..." It should be: "HAVE made him so despised."

Next, you put a hyphen in "religiously-suitable." Generally "ly" words are not followed by a hyphen, the "ly" on its own serving as the connective.

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I mentioned in a previous thread, that Gen Yitzchak Brik said in a video that the IDF can't spread itself so thin, as to protect every community in the West Bank, as well as the Northern border, and the Gaza border. He recommends that every community train an emergency squad of people trained to use weapons so as to be able to defend their community.

There's a similar form of community service, משמר אזרחי, which is sort of like a National Guard.

Perhaps ba'alei batim in Charedi communities (like mine) could help out in that way. They can't argue that they're exempt, because it'll destroy the Torah world, or that they're afraid that they'll go off the derech by being enlisted in the army for three years.

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It does exist, it's called שלב ב, that provides training up to rifleman 03, which should give enough proficiency in the use of an M16 type riffle and be part of the kitot konenut. It is meant for Charedi men who reside in the Yehuda and Shomron area, 26 to 50, and it's organised by the Charedi directorate of the IDF.

I have seen one such training, a couple of months ago: 20% avrechim, 40% Chassidim (all kinds from Chabad to Gur), and the rest a mix of what in America would be called Yeshivish and the odd Chardal that didn't enlist in his day.

Training lasts 3 weeks. Food is kosher according to the most מחמירים and they have time slots to learn Torah during the day. Shabbatot at home. The only thing they have to do is to register and go, the rest they take care for you and even pay you miluim days.

It's not a theoretical thing, it does exist. Do your part and tell people to call the מוקד *9779, and register to train, if not for the sake of all of עם ישראל at least for their Ishuvim and families.

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This is the sort of thing that lead to mixed-dancing cantonists.

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That's a great mental image though.

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"Incredibly, the attorney arguing the charedi case was a private counsel hired by the government. "

It's indeed incredible, but not quite in the way you meant it. As part of the rule by judicial junta implemented by Aharon Barak, the attorney general is allowed to flout the very government she's supposed to represent.[1] So not only does the high court get to hear cases they really have no authority to hear, the knesset has to hire outside counsel to defend them before the counsel of robed supreme leaders.

Oh, and there *was* a law passed. It was called the Tal law. But the supreme court declared it unconstitutional. Not that there's a constitution in Israel, [2] but the Bagatz struck it down as contrary to something or other anyhow. Because.......Demokratiya.

But, hey, we *need* the Bagatz to have all this authority. Otherwise, Israel might get hauled in front of some ICC tribunal. [3] Oh, wait .

[1] https://azure.org.il/include/print.php?id=390

[2] https://newrepublic.com/article/60919/enlightened-despot translated into Hebrew here https://mida.org.il/2019/06/01/%D7%90%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%9F-%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%A7-%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%93%D7%9F-%D7%94%D7%A0%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8/

[3] https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-733118

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It truly takes a special mind to look at this week's parsha, with its demand that all male Jews serve in the army, and see it as a proof for Feldman's "heartfelt, elegiac essay".

By the way, many of us who are *actual* members of Shevet Levi, whose ancestors earned that title through impossible tasks and who (at least in the case of kohanim) continue to sacrifice for it to this day, kind of resent every Tom, Dick, and Harry in a black hat claiming the honor for themselves. And that's *especially* true of the many kohanim and leviim *actually fighting* in Gaza.

Really, the way that charedim take an (incorrect) idea that Shevet Levi are exempt from service and then (even more incorrectly) apply it to themselves merely based on self-identification, and then *deny* the title to *actual Leviim* is perverse.

https://cross-currents.com/2024/06/03/bamidbar-high-security/

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Just for the record, the Attorney General's *job* is to represent the will of the Government in these matters, whatever it is. But a year or so ago the Attorney General arrogated to herself the power to ignore this obligation if she felt like it, which is why "Bibi" (actually, the Government) has found itself in the ridiculous situation of having to hire private lawyers. (This is not the first time.) It has nothing to do with Bibi's personality and everything to do with a certain side of the political spectrum in Israel- ironically, the one that bleats the most about the "rule of law"- deeming itself to be above the law, their oaths, their jobs and responsibilities, and the constitution. (A constitution, also ironically, that it itself declared.)

That the lawyer- even had it been the Attorney General- couldn't have made a reasonable case had he tried is a reflection on the ridiculousness of the situation, but that's another story.

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As a geek I know says, if you don’t agree on the axioms don’t expect to agree on the theorems

Bsorot tovot

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Great, pithy line.

I've always framed that idea that if you don't have the same worldview, there's no point in arguing about specific issues, since the opinions on the specific issues are determined by the worldview (despite any talking points that make it seem like the discussion is about the specific issues)

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Well said. Rav Yitzchak Berkovitz made a similar point in his Mishpacha article from a couple months ago (before raising R' Natan's ire with the rest of the article).

What I've been wondering about is this: assuming the Jewish people are meant to be working together towards one clear definable goal - and you can theoretically debate that, i guess, but assuming its true - how is that supposed to happen if a principle like eilu v'eilu is extended to questions of hashkafa, which defines what that clear definable goal is meant to be? You end up with different groups who can't agree on what they should be working toward, so it becomes impossible for them to work together.

By way of analogy, if one group of people wants to use a pile of wood to build a table, and another wants to build a chair, but they have to work together, they won't get anywhere, because they wont be able to agree on how to use the materials they have available.

This is very different than everyone agreeing on the ultimate goal, and then each subgroup (shevet)/community/person identifying what they can do to contribute to that ultimate goal in the best way possible. (The best example of this that I can think of is Rav Hirsch's read of the end of the Birchos Yaakov in Vayechi). This has potential for real achdus - mutual respect and appreciation while maintaining differences in approach and community. But its predicated on a shared goal/purpose.

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In negotiation theory (at least amongst long term friendly parties) everyone puts their priorities on the table and (geek man again) sees if there is overlap (the intersection of the Venn diagrams). If there is none then each I will then think about what their best alternative is to a negotiated solution :-(. Bsorot tovot

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Unfortunately, the BATNA of the chareidi community seems to be to hold the rest of the country/government hostage to their demands.

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You go too far with your comments about Bibi. For all the "despising treachery" Likud "somehow" still received to most seats in the last election

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author

Which proves what?

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That many do not consider him to be a narsasist or treacherous. The name calling turns the post into emotional politics and takes away from the logical points.

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Or at least that they consider him no less than others, or preferable to them for other reasons, which- amazingly- may actually be legitimate.

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"Then the lawyer claimed that withholding funding from charedim in kollel is negating basic human rights, arguing that even prisoners receive food." Where is their emunah? Surely HaShem will provide.

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Haven't you yet learned from the erudite kvetchers? He only claimed such things in the course of his argument, but he actually doesn't believe it.

This falls under my list, under the category,"he only said it משום איבה"

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Charedism isn't on trial, the High Court is on trial.

We have the promise of כי לא תשכח מפי זרעו, the Torah will be kept somehow. The question is, will the State of Israel merit to have a part in it? Or will the physically precarious State disappear into the dustbin of history? Like its predecessors, who claimed to be helping Yiddishkeit but found themselves dying a natural death. Kara'im and Baysusim, Dasan and Aviram.

Zionism may be on its way out, who knows?

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It's very difficult to argue with ignoramuses.

Go learn רמב"ם, הלכות מלכים ומלחמות.

Or to be extremely blunt:

"Opinions are like bottoms, every one has one!"

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Your promises are merely Midrash and Talmudic inventions. You've never read the Tanakh from beginning to end, which is why you overlook the realities of the Jewish theocratic state during the time of King Shlomo. Back then, there were no yeshivas—everyone worked and served in the army. There were no spiritual practices, amulets, or signs, just adherence to material commandments.

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The Tanakh shows the image of a Jew that grows strong in his own land, lives for it and out of it, and fights for it whenever needed.

This image is diametrically opposed to the Jew of the galut, the disenfranchised, weak Jew that is isolated first by force, then by choice, and clings to very new traditions and dress codes as essential parts of their Yiddishkeit. For some reason some have chosen this as a role model. So they don't learn Tanakh, because it would force them to think.

I fully disagree with your point that mitzvot were fully material. The very essence of mitzvot is beyond the realm of material, given their origin. Tefillin are made of cow skin, fully material, but the essence of the mitzvah clearly goes beyond the material...

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The Torah does not mention any spiritual aspect of the commandments; rather, it focuses on numerous material details regarding their observance and promises purely material rewards for following them. Spirituality, as we understand it today, was introduced to Judaism much later and was solidified through Kabbalah and Hasidism, which sought to interpret every material commandment as mystical interactions with "klipot" and similar ideas.

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Jun 4·edited Jun 4

I'm just curious, can you explain, kind sir, how a navi spoke to God? Was that not a super "spiritual experience" (for lack of better terms)?

This is the problem with people like you and Rabbi Doctor and fellow followers. You don't even know what it means to connect with God in any way and yet you sit on your high horses thinking you got it all worked out.

Dialogue is indeed futile. Until you would open up a mussar sefer and learn what yiraas shamayim is. Until then, all your truly valid points (I mean that) are thoughts in the wind, missing the forest for the trees.

I think you guys have a lot to offer to us with all our problems, if only you would try and see what we have to offer first.

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Jun 4·edited Jun 4

There was nothing especially spiritual or supernatural about God's conversations with the prophets. In the Book of Samuel, the process is described: the young future prophet hears his name being called and thinks it is the high priest Eli. Eli then explains to him that it is God calling him. That's it, no paranormal experiences: imagine being addressed over a loudspeaker, and you respond.

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The Rambam disagrees with you. And I'm not sure anyone majorly disagrees with the Rambam in this regard

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Yes, the Talmudic 'inventions' have proven their mettle against their detractors, who claimed to be relying on Tanach against the Oral Torah.

But it is telling that the way to justify the anti-Charedi attitude is to deny the TSBP. Let us know how that works out for you.

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The Oral Torah provides explanations for the commandments found in the Written Torah. For instance, there's a commandment about "tzitzit" – but how should these tassels appear? What materials should be used? How should they be braided? These details are covered by the Oral Torah. On the other hand, various Talmudic interpretations (תורה מגנא ומצלא or שלוחי מצווה אינן ניזוקין) based on biased commentary on the Tanakh are the personal conjectures of the rabbis.

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I was just thinking about that.

When רב said that בור להבלו ולא לחבטו, he had some kind of bias against חבט. Shmuel was more open-minded, and he accepted that בור להבלו וכ"ש לחבטו.

It's all about their biases.

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You sound just like Natan

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You don't need to be Natan Slifkin; just reading the Talmud will suffice. Its authors and characters were not superhumans but ordinary rabbis, similar to their modern counterparts. In medicine and other sciences, they were no more knowledgeable than the surrounding peoples, and like these peoples, they believed in ghosts, demons, spirits, and amulets. Rabbi Kanievsky promised that voting for the United Torah Judaism party would protect voters from the coronavirus, and they made similar, equally unfounded promises.

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One has to wonder why people would promise such things.

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"the High Court is on trial."

No it isn't.

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"found themselves dying a natural death. Kara'im and Baysusim, Dasan and Aviram. "

Kara'im still exist. And דתן ואבירם did not die a natural death. Come to think of it, if we take the מדרש literally, they didn't die.

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If the High Court wishes to end up like Dasan and Aviram, I have no complaints.

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Well, my kids spend much of their day learning Torah and their schools are almost entirely paid for by the State of Israel.

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Well... your kids, like millions of others, are the exceptions.

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Took me a second. Ha!

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One more option. Torah will fluorish independently alongside the state.

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We have a Divine promise about the Torah. We have no such equivalent about a state.

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True. But you seem to assume that we need to fund chareidim in order to survive.

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How ironic it is that the very thing that most Israelis actually agree on is that Bibi is the best prime minister!

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In fairness, pretty much all of his opposition don't come to his ankles. Which is not a good thing, but it's a fact.

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What are you talking about?

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I think he is talking about the recent poll in which Bibi got the biggest percentage when Israelis were asked "Who is the best PM for Israel right now?"

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Jun 3Liked by Natan Slifkin

Well, thirty-something percent is not most.

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Another reason democracy scares the hell out of me sometimes.

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Not everybody passed percentages in school, David.

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They must have a great time shopping for sales....

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"Although the majority of Israel feels pretty much the same way about most major issues, Bibi’s narcissism and treachery has made him so despised and distrusted that the only government he can form is with those whose sole requirement is money."

Ben Gvir and Smotrich are part of the coalition. There's a whole Likud party. UTJ + Shas = 18 seats total. That's less than 1/3 of the 64 members of the coalition. And the previous government, which you celebrated, https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/an-underappreciated-wonder was co-led by a guy who's grand contribution to the security of the state was writing articles in Bamachaneh, and included noted Israeli commando Mansour Abbas. Underappreciated wonders and all.

(By the way, Charedi parties are *not* exclusively concerned with money. https://www.ynet.co.il/news/article/bysmsqn40 That's simply slander on your part.)

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I think he means their sole requirement to *being in a government* is money. Or at least a big one.

Obviously doesn't let those on the other end with the same priorities off the hook.

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Comment for the author Mr slifkin:

Whatever your differences are with the haredi worldview, and what you perceive as their stubborn selfishness, you cannot seriously prefer a government of sinners and heretics to a government of the mostly religious. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

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author

Huh? Of course I prefer a different government. I regard Likud and certainly UTJ as much bigger sinners. Sins regarding society are no less severe than sins against God.

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Why on earth would you say that.

You regard the UTJ as bigger sinners than utter unbelieving atheists, who would legislate for abortion, widespread immorality, national desecration of shabbos. How can that possibly be less of a sin in the eyes of god!! Most of these people don't give 2 hoots about god. Whatever UTJ and haredi failings are, I fail to see how anyone can have a preference for atheists.

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author

I have no idea what you are talking about. Who is advocating for national desecration of Shabbos and "widespread immorality"?

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Many in the opposition are not quiet about their enthusiasm for gay choices and lifestyles, they are not quiet about public transportation and other more subtle goverment policies of chilul shabbos, and the rest of them are totally unopposed to any of this, because they probably don't even believe in god, or the Torah. The religious parties are the only ones standing up for god. They are infinitely more desirable than the alternative.

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You: "utter unbelieving atheists, who would legislate for.. widespread immorality, national desecration of shabbos."

You: " the rest of them are totally unopposed to any of this"

Goalpost moving.

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Yishayhu Hanavi says God doesn't care about Shabbos observance when there's social injustice (perek 1: psukim 11-17)

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Forget about Slifkin. He is a hopeless Reform jew. You must be new on this blog to even be surprised at this.

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FYI, Bibi is certainly a sinner and a heretic - Bennett is not a heretic (sinner, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but I can't be sure).

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Bibi is a sinner and a heretic? Do tell.

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He is an atheist.

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So are lots of people with kippot on their heads.

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Once again, we are dealing with a sect that wholeheartedly believes in every promise made by the sages of the Talmud (תורה מגנא ומצלא, etc.). Critical thinking? Empirical experience? These concepts do not resonate with them. Sectarians are notoriously difficult to persuade—J-e-h-o-v-a-h's Witnesses, for example, refused to be drafted into the army even during the Third Reich. Criticize the ultra-Orthodox all you want, but their ideology, developed over the last 70 years, remains steadfast and will not change now or in the foreseeable future.

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Well, I think it is praiseworthy the resistance against the nazis. Whoever it came from and whatever were their reasons.

Also, your parallel is really bad, the IDF is defending our country, not trying to expand and kill millions of people who would be considered subhuman...

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What I meant was that even the Nazis, who would stop at nothing, couldn't force Jehovah's Witnesses to serve in the army. Their refusal was not because it was a Nazi army, but because their faith forbids them from serving in any military or bearing arms. While it's not a fair comparison, democratic Israel has far fewer means of influencing the ultra-Orthodox, which is why we won't see them at draft stations.

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Jun 3·edited Jun 3

I think you misunderstand Shaul's comment. I assume he is saying that Jehovah's Witnesses refused to be drafted into Allied armies to RESIST the Nazis, not that they refused to be drafted into the Wehrmacht (I don't think the Nazis recognized the idea of conscientious objectors in any case...).

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I don't think people would object if there was an honest-to-goodness conscientious objection to *all* war. But the charedim have never made that claim. (They do not even claim, out loud at least, that they object to service because not-so-deep-down they object to the State itself.)

Of course, it also helps that actual conscientious objectors constitute a very small percentage of Americans (and, charedim aside, of Israelis). If it were to be 10%, the US would not tolerate it.

And, of course, the US has not been under direct attack since 1814. Israel, of course, has never *not* been under direct attack.

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Gee someone forgot Dec 7, 1941….

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I considered mentioning it. But Hawaii wasn’t a state. :-) And only one Japanese set foot on land.

The Philippines were also invaded, as were a bunch of other Pacific islands.

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If you're not aware of the treachery that led up to December 7th by FDR & the awareness that the US military had of the attack it mildly parallels 10-7 attacks

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Jun 3·edited Jun 3

It's also worth mentioning that conscientious objectors are opposed to the military action in general, and not just their participation in it.

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And in the US, they still serve in some capacity, like community service. Some even serve in combat, like as medics.

The Amish notably don’t serve. They don’t even pay Social Security. They also don’t collect it.

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The Witnesses did refuse to serve in the Wehrmacht. That's why they constituted their own category as concentration camp prisoners.

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Jun 3·edited Jun 3

Oh, interesting! Then perhaps *I* misunderstood Shaul’s comment…

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They even had their own color triangles (purple).

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That, I knew before. I was not aware that their unbending pacifism was why the Nazis singled them out.

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" developed over the last 70 years,"

Try 45.

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I'm not quite sure how the claims of the lawyer you highlighted can be reconciled with תורה שבכתב or תורה שבעל פה.

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author

Where there's a will, there's a way.

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The lawyer's claims are not necessarily the claims the Charedim themselves would make - he represents Netanyahu.

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He doesn't represent Netanyahu, he represents the Prime Minister- the Government, in fact.

That Bibi himself served in the IDF's top unit may be one reason his arguments are so weak. That and the fact that you can't really *make* a good argument here.

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That basically is a trial lawyer's job, to make the best arguments he could in the given situation. Although perhaps silence would have been a better argument than some of the things he had to say.

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Right, that's what I meant.

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RemovedJun 3
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that is unhinged

shame on you

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NS - Why is this comment not banned?

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