A guest post from my daughter, Commander Tikvah Slifkin.
Hatzlacha, keep using the obviously strong values instilled in you by your parents! When Yosef was in Egypt and all pressure was against him, his upbringing is what kept him strong (ראה דמות דיוקנו של אביו)
If this a genuinely, personal post, which features on this particular blog simply because it's your blog and it's your daughter, then stop reading here.
If the intention however, is to add some sort of argument to your "rationalist Judaism enterprise", then I think I'm entitled to respond.
The article runs through a string of Nisyoiness that are seemingly faced by the writer on a daily basis, and she seems to have been able to withstand everything that came her way, whilst at the same time continuing to Shteig in her Avoidas Hashem, and Yiras Shomayim. Not to mention the picture of the desk which gives the impression of belonging to a Rosh Yeshiva rather than to a female soldier in an irreligious unit of the IDF
Assuming it's all true, then your daughter is quite literally worthy of being the wife of the Vilna Gaon.
Contrast the above, with the pictures she posts publicly about herself, coupled with her actions of joining the idf in the first place, something even you admit carries tremendous spiritual risk (not to mention singing in front of men - if that previous post of yours was about this daughter) - and things don't quite seem to add up.
As a Rationalist, what do you think we should believe: the self praise, or the visual evidence?
Kol haKavod Tikva.
Your service is not only a service to עם ישראל but a קידוש ה'.
I hope that you are able to stay strong in your commitment to Am Yisrael and Torat Yisrael, and have a positive influence on the soldiers around you.
My daughter drafted 3 weeks ago, she is one of very few religious soldiers in her Pluga, and I hope and Pray every day that she will be protected physically and spiritually
May Hashem shield her physically and spiritually!
I am sure that some of your charedi followers (enemies) will initially be triggered by the photo of her in short sleeves
Then will read on and be awed by her many sacrifices
And will realise that being Torah observant involves more than just Tznius
Thanks for an inspiring post
Very IMPRESSIVE accomplishments ! BTW I have Orthodox Women relatives in the IDF. Maybe Commander Slifkin can form a club for Orthodox Women of the IDF, with the IDF's permission of course.
Thank you Tikvah for sharing your experiences with us and thank you for your service to klal yisrael.
But getting to the broader issue: The clear implication of this article and Rabbi Slifkin's postscript is that while strong girls like Tikvah are able to withstand the challenges that such an environment poses to frum girls specifically, many if not most girls are not able to withstand the enormous pressures put on them. This makes sense, as after all human nature is to be influenced by ones surroundings (see the rambam at the beginning of chapter 6 of hilchos deios). So the question is, while it might be that some day in the future there will be a critical mass of frum girls in the army that the challenges will abate, should this be encouraged systemically until then? Is it even necessary (most armies in the world do not draft or need women)? Is it worth the girls sacrificed on the alter to get to that point? Is it mutar al pi halacha? These questions are all related and need to be considered seriously.
Shalom. 30 years ago, the army didn't have very many frum men soldiers either. And even today, frum male soldiers are often given a hard time about religion. Not a few male soldiers have gone off the derech courtesy of the army. But I also have a daughter the authors age. And she decided to enlist. She has 2 older sisters who did sherut leumi, and the middle one is sorry she didn't enlist (She would have been awesome!) She also went to a mechina. Many people in my community still think it was a mistake. Today she is an armor instructor with 3 stripes and a skirt, and all of the other young ladies she serves with have learned about their Judaism because of her. They keep Kashrut and Shabbat in her room, they let her shower first before Shabbat, and she davens every morning as well as attending a shiur once a week given by the base Rav. Please G-d this will become the norm, but only if more and more women will serve. None of this will convince those who refuse to see that this is the direction our lives are headed. Kol tuv
If it is very challenging to remain a practicing orthodox jew in the IDF then you should advise anyone who is not very secure in their yiddishkeit to avoid it because the risks are much too great.
Why do people refer to those who enlist in the army as "drafting?" The military drafts, one is either drafted by the military or enlists on its own.
sorry, but I don't get something. Is Torah divine or not. If you believe that it is, you're being irrational, but if you believe that it is not (rational view - more in line with your father's view), why go through all the hardships and sacrifices? I'm really trying to understand how it's possible to be committed and rational at the same time. Why bother?
So proud of you, Tikvah! Continued hatzlacha!
This is the way to break down barriers and stereotypes. בהצלחה רבה
I recently read about a similar endeavor for guys to join the US Navy. It could be done.
PS thanks for the article, and expressing huge appreciation... a complete Kiddush Hashem....
כל הכבוד! I wish myself to have such children!! I wanted to ask concerning שומר נגיעה. Why is it an importance practice to you? Did you always do it? Is it an important part of your identity as a “dosit “ ? Thanks! And כל הכבוד again!