Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Tal Law, Postponed Again
The Tal Law, changes the army exemption for yeshiva students, limiting it and requiring some basic army service. It was passed years ago but never implemented.
My feeling, ever the cynic about certain things, has always been that the original exemption, supported by Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, had nothing to do with being nice to the Chareidim, "ultra-Orthodox" Jews, it was because Ben-Gurion and his Palmach and Haganah friends who were organizing the IDF, Israel Defence Forces, didn't want the army to be religious.
Tonight on Israeli television, one of the Tal Law supporters was being interviewed and was even asked why he wants the chareidim in the army, considering that the army would become more religious. The reply was unexpected. The man, whose name I missed, made it clear that he'd be very happy with a more Jewish and religious army. He praised the "kippah srugah" soldiers, the national religious with their crocheted kippot as the best soldiers we have.
Today, when statistics are showing that more and more non-religious youth are finding reasons for army exemptions, and the non-religious demographics are dropping, many Israelis realize that the army must become more religious, because who else will serve?