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Why Risk Your Kids?
As many people pointed out, Avishai Ben-Chaim's article entitled "The Charedim: Disintegration," translated in the previous post, was strange and deficient in several ways. For example, among the statistics claimed in the article was that the dropout rate from charedi to secular is 10%, and from national-religious to secular is 25%. Both of these figures seem suspect.
However, at least for the purposes of this post, let us accept that the dropout rate from the national-religious community is significantly higher than that from the charedi community (which I think is quite likely to be true, at least for now). Recently, I had a discussion with a neighbor who pointed to this fact in order to explain why he was raising his children in the charedi framework rather than the national-religious framework. In fact, he couldn't understand how anyone could reason otherwise. Surely the most important thing is to raise your kids to be religious, so how can you raise them in a framework in which the chances of them going "off the derech" are greater?
While I was sympathetic to his viewpoint, there are (at least) two responses to be made to this. One is that if you believe a certain framework to be correct and another to be deficient, then you might choose to raise your children in the correct framework even if it contains risks greater than those in the deficient framework.
The second point to note is that this reflects two very different worldviews. The charedi worldview is that the most important priority to consider is one's own (or, extension, one's childrens') religious growth and security. Accordingly, one would never choose a path in which that is more likely to be threatened.
The national-religious worldview, on other hand, is that the top priority is not oneself (or one's children), but the nation. It is indeed true that your child is more likely to suffer spiritual harm if they go to the army and college. Yet they are also a good deal more likely to suffer physical harm, but this is not a reason not to send them on that path! We have all kinds of responsibilities to the nation - not only in the religious sphere, but also in the material realm, such as with national security and the economy. Raising our children on this path, with its greater physical and spiritual risks, is part of our responsibility to the nation, and in turn reflects the values that we wish to inculcate within our children.
Some will denounce this as false and defamatory. But I think that it's self-evident. The national-religious community is, by its very nature, more focused on national responsibilities. That's why it's called the national-religious movement.
(See too this post: The Difference Between Charedi and Dati-Leumi Rabbonim)