Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Israeli army and religion

I probably should invest more time on this topic into a real numbered musing, but I don't have the patience right now.

There are religious and especially chareidi (who consider themselves more religious than religious people like me) who say that religious people should stay out of the army, because it's not religious enough.

Of course, if there had always been more religious people in the army from the beginning of the state, the army would be more religious.

The Labor (Ben Gurion's) party was always anti-religious, so think back to why, as the state was being formed, when the Chareidi parties requested that their kids, the yeshiva students, even though at that time there weren't too many, be exempt. Do you think Ben Gurion agreed because he loves the religious? Of course not. He didn't want the religious, especially chareidi in the army. He wanted to segregate them from his people. The vast Beis Medresh industry only grew so much because it kept the chareidim out of the army.

There is no Jewish Law forbidding Jews from serving in the army!

Remember the classic Rav Goren, Chief Rabbi of the army, story. He visited the paratroopers and was told not to eat there. He asked why and was told that the food was traif. "Why" "Because there aren't any religious paratroopers." "So I'll become one," said the rabbi. And today there are lots of religious paratroopers.

The Israeli government was always happy to "shtupp" the chareidim money to keep them out of power. And they took the money, and that's one of the major problems in Israeli today.

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