Firing for Failure
What are the consequences for failing at your job?
There's several reasons for Claudine Gay, president of Harvard University, to be fired or resign. There's her notorious Congressional testimony in which she refused to state that calls for genocide against Jews are against Harvard's code of conduct, even while far lesser speech is most certainly against it. There's her recently exposed plagiarism, astonishingly defended on the grounds that it wasn't plagiarism, just an omission of quotation marks and sources. There’s also an argument that she should never have received the job to begin with - she had virtually no academic achievements and was just hired due to DEI.
But all these are the manifestations of deeper problems. The fundamental reason for her to lose her job is that, quite simply, she failed at it. A university president is expected to oversee a safe environment and one that stands for academic excellence. Claudine Gay failed to do that.
I think that everyone here would agree. With great power comes great responsibility. With great responsibility comes great accountability.
This will also play out with the IDF after the war ends. The IDF is responsible for providing security to the residents of Israel. They failed to do that. A number of senior officers have already admitted this, and after the war there will certainly be a commission of inquiry as to who exactly failed to do their job properly. This will include both mid-level people who failed to pass the warnings on to higher levels, and higher level people who are simply responsible for everything that happens under their watch. Numerous people in the IDF will, accordingly, lose their jobs.
Again, I think everyone would agree. With great power comes great responsibility. With great responsibility comes great accountability.
Then we come to the 10/7 massacred and the charedi community. Now, personally, I don’t think that they have any responsibility for what happened. (On the other hand, they are clearly fully responsible for the fact that virtually none of the hundreds of soldiers who were killed and continue to be killed are from the charedi community - and fathers of large families, already of an older age, are in reserve duty because there aren’t enough soldiers otherwise.) But from a charedi perspective, they do have responsibility.
Erez Eshel, an army officer and a great-grandson of Rav Elya Lapian, has been trying to persuade chareidi yeshivos to enlist in the army, and at the very least to connect with the nation by attending funerals of fallen soldiers and visiting the injured. He secured a meeting with Rav Dov Landau, leader of the charedi Lithuanian community. It was recorded on video.
Rav Landau strongly opposed the idea of yeshivah students attending funerals and visiting hospitals - he said that if the yeshivah student is of a sensitive nature it would negatively affect his learning. And as for them joining the army, Rav Landau forcefully stated that “the protection and deliverance of Klal Yisrael solely derive from the study of Torah.” He says that the soldiers are not the ones doing the protecting, rather they are the ones being protected. It’s not the IDF that protects Israel, it’s charedim learning in yeshivah.
Well, then. If that’s the case, then clearly the charedi yeshivah world totally failed on 10/7. And it’s not that they weren’t learning enough Torah - there is more Torah being learned now than at any point in the history of the world. So it must be that the quality of their Torah - or some other aspect of their avodas Hashem - must have been fundamentally deficient.
So who’s taking responsibility? Where’s the hearing, where’s the commission of inquiry? Which charedi leaders are losing their status? And why should any IDF officers take the blame, if it’s really the fault of the charedi yeshivos?
You can’t have it both ways. Either you are the ones creating Israel’s security, or you’re not. If you are, then you have to take blame for failure.
Of course, nobody in the charedi world is going to lose their position or shoulder any real responsibility for 10/7. And that’s because they don’t actually believe that it was a failure in their Torah learning that brought it on. And accordingly, nor do they actually believe that they are the sole protectors of Israel, or even that their Torah provides a protection to a degree that has any practical ramifications, not against illness and not against military threats. It’s not a belief which is taken seriously and researched and has its parameters worked out and which people actually stake things on. It’s just a “belief of convenience,” for PR and for assuaging their conscience. The real reasons why they don’t serve in the army are a combination of anti-Zionism and a fear of losing control of their way of life and community.
For the sake for the security of this country, and in order to address the great inequality and wrong in the Jewish state, it’s crucial to set things clear. The notion that “Torah protects and therefore yeshivah students shouldn’t serve in the army” must be exposed as the fraud that it is.
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