The Rally: Kiddush Hashem or Chillul Hashem?
In yesterday's post, I explained why the rally in Jerusalem was a chillul Hashem. It was effectively a statement by the entire charedi community that they demand everyone else to take all the military risks and pay the bills, and that they don't even want to thank them for this or feel indebted in any way.
Not surprisingly, though, people who attended the rally feel that it was a tremendous kiddush Hashem. All these Jews peacefully gathering together to recite Tehillim, purely to show their love and dedication to Torah! How can that not be a kiddush Hashem?
But the common problem with all the people describing it as a kiddush Hashem is that they are using the word "Torah" ambiguously and inaccurately. I've discussed on several occasions how this is a prevalent problem. For example, various statements by Rambam and other Rishonim about the value to society in teaching Torah are distorted and taken to refer to learning Torah. Laws obligating people in the army draft - laws that apply across society - are distorted as being laws against Torah.
And this is exactly the problem with people describing the rally as a kiddush Hashem. Many people attended the rally with good intentions, or with their own ideas regarding what the rally was about, but the actual, effective message of the rally was clear. The rally was not about "showing love and dedication for Torah." The dati-leumi community has plenty of love and dedication for Torah. Plenty of people who serve in the army and work for a living love Torah. Plenty of people who serve in the army and work for a living show dedication to Torah - indeed, it can be argued that they are showing greater dedication to Torah than those who have nothing else to do.
The rally was about no charedi yeshivah students (indeed, effectively no charedim at all) being obligated to go to the army. The government decision that allegedly spurred this rally was not that every yeshivah student must go to the army - just that a certain relatively small number must go. And these people can go to yeshivah before and after their army service. Furthermore, there are plenty of people in charedi society who aren't really learning in yeshivah anyway - and yet the charedi community has never shown any interest in sending these people to the army.
So it is deeply misleading to describe the rally as "showing love and dedication for Torah." Rather, it was making a statement that the charedi community refuses to make any contribution to the army whatsoever. Indeed, as the event concluded, this was the explicit message broadcast from the Gedolim: That no charedim should enter the army under any circumstances, even to programs tailor-made for charedim. They want an army, but they demand that only other communities send their children to it. They demand that only other communities take the risks and bear the burden.
How is this not a systematic contravention of Moshe Rabbeinu's declaration, "Shall your brothers go to war, and you remain here?!" How is this not an expression of sheer selfishness and ingratitude? How is this not a chillul Hashem? Once you define the event and its message with accuracy, the answer is clear.
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