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Layabouts or Heroes?
There is currently an uproar erupting over a video of Sunday's rally that I referenced in yesterday's post. Presented as the "official" video, it features a soundtrack and adds footage that degrades soldiers, police, and the prime minister as being worthless layabouts. The original person to post it on YouTube took it down, but you can view it here:
Over at Cross-Currents, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein has written a post denouncing the video. But many people are claiming that it is unfair to present this video as representative of the rally. Instead, they claim, it just represents an aberrant individual. Rabbi Menken argues for a conspiracy theory that it was produced by someone intent on discrediting charedim. Are they correct?
There is no doubt that many people who attended the rally are appalled at the video. However, it cannot be dismissed as the work of an aberrant individual, or as the work of anti-charedi activist, for two reasons.
First is that the video was proudly posted at Kikar HaShabbat, and the upper left corner of the video displays the Kikar Shabat logo. Kikar HaShabat is a major charedi website. They even re-uploaded the video after it was taken down from YouTube. Hence, the video is definitely being promoted by people supporting the charedi cause. And while many of the comments there express disgust at the video, there are many others who express support of it.
Second is that the video was not created in a vacuum. When you have a society that condemns all efforts to draft its own people into the IDF, and that refuses to ever express gratitude and respect to the IDF, the natural consequence is that people will express ingratitude and disrespect to the IDF.
This Sunday, there is a similar rally planned for Manhattan. Anyone planning on going should realize that the above video is the natural consequence of charedi society. (And by the way, why is it advertised that the event will have Shomrim? Why do they need Shomrim, if they have yeshivah students?) At a rally here in Bet Shemesh tonight, MK Gafni referred to Prime Minister Netanyahu as a rasha!
Meanwhile, regarding those IDF soldiers that are disparaged in the above video, and for whom most charedi shuls refuse to say a tefillah, here is an amazing video from yesterday of the IDF taking over a ship transporting rockets from Iran to Gaza:
The commandos on this mission are still not back in Israel yet. Some of them are married, with families anxiously awaiting their safe return. If your shul does not say a prayer for the soldiers of the IDF, please encourage them to do so. You can download the text at this link. If they refuse to say the prayer, ask them why - and perhaps choose a different shul.