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? 


Anonymous said...

1. a large minority of rz do not really serve. mercaz harav types hardly serve, and hesder types serve only half of the normal 3 year stint.
2. i dont know why you are surprised that the interviewee was not opposed to a more religious army; not everyone is out to get you.
3. there are plenty of non-religious who serve, and most soldiers by far are non-religious.

Batya said...

1- officers and most challenging units have disproportionately high amount of kids from nz homes.

2- I'm not surprised, just like to hear them admitting it.

3- no contradiction, just that the numbers of their requesting exemptions is going up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you stated:

"a large minority of rz do not really serve. "





Please let us know what the correct figure of this "large minority" is and where it's documented.

Anonymous said...

i dont have a figure for you, but mercaz harav and lehavdil har hamor and similar yeshivas hardly serve. standard hesder yeshivas serve for only half the time a regular soldier serves, which is 3 years. few rz girls serve in the military, opting for sherut leumi instead. surely this accounts for a sizeable portion of the rz community?

Anonymous said...

The Tal Law does not refer to women.

Religious women of all persuasions understand that there are halachic complexities as well and a vast swath of opinions of outright prohibition for women serving in the army. So women are a different part of the equation altogether.

The Hesder boys, while serving less military time, have some of the highest marks from the IDF for their dedication to the cause and their positive influence of others. This is beside the fact that so many Hesderniks go on to become officers and Hesderniks can be counted on for reliability in their reserve duty chores.

Sometimes less can be more. However, the whole Hesder program, combining Yeshiva studies and the IDF, is not less. It's a 5 year program, requiring commitment from the start for all those years, which are critical years for kids just out of high school.

What's more, it's important to look at the flip-side. The majority of Jews do not learn enough Torah and a "large minority" (Me thinks I understimate) do not observe many elementary Mitzvot.

The Hesder crowd and "parts of" (I'm intentionally being very vague) the Torah learning community are holding up the fort in ways which Hashem advises we follow for the spiritual and physical benefit of Klal Yisrael in their land.

Batya said...

Shy, we agree!

Hadassa said...

The number of rz soldiers who report for reserve duty is significantly higher that non-religious soldiers, throughout their entire lives, which means that the return that the IDF receives for training a rz soldier is significantly greater than that of training a non-religious soldier who is quite content with using any excuse he can for avoiding reserve duty. One should look at the entire life of a soldier, not just the years of basic training, in order to make an accurate comparison.

Batya said...

Excellent point!

Hadassa said...

I should have written that although I have had thoughts along those lines, I did read an article that put all the facts together, including statistics. Unfortunately I remember neither the writer nor the publication. Most likely it was in Hebrew B'Sheva, but I can't remember when.