Monday, December 10, 2012

Tel Aviv's Anti-Chanuka Movement

Yocheved Golani who visited
 Netivot with me.
Yesterday I spent a very special time in Netivot, which is a city more in the news as being targeted by Arab terrorists than anything else.  Residents of the Israeli south are among the Maccabees of today with their bravery in the face of dangers.  Even under the threat and danger is deadly missiles, life goes on, so friends from all over the country came to see real life.  That's the message of Chanukah.  We must continue to live as strong proud Jews, no matter what.  That's one of the messages of Chanukah.

I contrast that with the horrendously named Israel anti-chareidi movement,  "Camp Sucker."

Camp Sucker movement pitches tents
Photo: Courtesy: The Campaign for the Struggle for Equality
The Camp Sucker movement in favor of universal army service will pitch its tents again at Tel Aviv's Arlozorov train station on Monday morning to protest government decision to draft 1,300 yeshiva students to civilian service instead of army service. (Jerusalem Post article)
The idea that they see being soldiers in the IDF as being "suckers" is very dangerous.  What's a "sucker?"

Informal. a person easily cheated, deceived, or imposed upon.

Synonyms: chump, clay pigeon, derision, dupe*, easy mark, fall guy, fool, goat, jestee, joke, laughingstock, mark, patsy, pigeon, sap, setup, sitting duck, softie, subject, sucker , target, turkey, victim

What a horrible and negative way to relate to our modern heroes!  Now, I also firmly believe that all Israelis must serve the country in one way or another.  My husband and sons all served in the army, the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces and my daughters all did two full and busy years in Sherut Le'umi, National Service.  Since I made aliyah already married I was completely exempt by law from serving.

A soldier who considers himself or herself as a "sucker," a fool or victim will not give the same high level of service as one who considers army service a privilege or mitzvah, Torah commandment.

That's most probably why a higher percentage of soldiers in elite units come from the Right and religious sectors of Israeli society. They are the soldiers who take very seriously the story of Chanukah, of the Maccabees of the on paper weak overcoming the seemingly stronger.

That's the על הניסים Al HaNissim Because of The Miracles prayer we say on Chanukah.
"We thank You also for the miraculous deeds and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and the saving acts wrought by You, as well as for the wars which You waged for our ancestors in ancient days at this season. In the days of the Hasmonean Mattathias, son of Johanan the high priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous Greco-Syrian kingdom rose up against Your people Israel, to make them forget Your Torah and to turn them away from the ordinances of Your will, then You in your abundant mercy rose up for them in the time of their trouble, pled their cause, executed judgment, avenged their wrong, and delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and insolent ones into the hands of those occupied with Your Torah. Both unto Yourself did you make a great and holy name in Thy world, and unto Your people did You achieve a great deliverance and redemption. Whereupon your children entered the sanctuary of Your house, cleansed Your temple, purified Your sanctuary, kindled lights in Your holy courts, and appointed these eight days of Hanukkah in order to give thanks and praises unto Your holy name."
Translation of Al ha-Nissim
I just can't see the ancient Maccabees who so successfully fought the Greeks and the Hellenists as thinking themselves "suckers."  "Suckers" are losers and losers we aren't!


Yocheved Golani said...


Batya said...


aparatchik said...

Maybe those who consider themselves "suckers" should be offered the option of swapping with a yeshiva student and spend 2-3 years studying Torah.

Alan said...

>> Maybe those who consider themselves "suckers" should be offered the option of swapping with a yeshiva student and spend 2-3 years studying Torah

the implied premise is: Hareidim of today represent authentic preservation of our 4000-year-old Hebrew-ethnic roots.

Exactly this premise,is what the hiloni'im are contesting. They are calling you out. They don't buy your claim that walking around in clothing of the 13th-century Polish nobility, or of calling it "shabbos", is an authentic ethnic-Hebrew re-enactment. They don't accept your claim of being the guardians of the Torah.

They claim that y'all are in the same loony-tunes mentality as those who think that believing or NOT believing (that Jesus died to atone all our future) is going to decide whether you pass on to heaven or hell.

You all are pretenders to the throne, and will disappear into the same historical footnote as did the איסיים

YS said...

I think you may have misunderstood the use of the term "sucker".
The people behind the protests are not saying that the person serving in the army is not inherently a sucker. They are saying that the person who is taking on a disproportional burden while his equally capable compatriot is sitting idle, is a sucker.
It is not a protest meant to belittle the person in the army. It is a protest meant to shame the person who is not serving in the army. It is also meant to frame the situation in the public eye so that the lawmakers (most of whom did serve in the army) will help force a draft for the haredi public so as not to be themselves, a "sucker".

in the vanguard said...

The Sucker group are really complaining about their own bad luck. They hate to serve the country.

If you were given a diamond, would you complain why someone else doesn't get one?

Their agenda belies what they feel. Serving the country, in whatever fashion, is for them anathema. But to feel good about their rotten attitude, and their hatred of those who have something to cherish, these whiners try and sugar-coat their attitudes with worthless reasoning.

Netivotgirl said...

Great post Batya, and it was great to see you yesterday! This is in answer to one of the comments on your post:

In the time of the Talmud, the Tanaim (Great Rabbis) all worked AND learned Torah. Today, the vast number of Jews are sadly unaffiliated with Judaism and very few study Torah. Hence I believe that Am Yisrael NEEDS both our brave boys in Tzahal AND yeshiva boys who like my sons were in shul at 7.00 a.m. and outside of a 1 1/2 hour afternoon break would learn until midnight.

However, all of the 'shababnikim' who are standing on street corners SHOULD enlist-- it might just be the making of them!

When my husband was a Rosh Kollel he mentioned to more than one 'avrech,'- "Sorry! You're not fooling anyone! Go do army service and get yourself a job!"

Rabbi Yissachar Meir (who founded Yeshivat Ha'negev) occasionally got word that someone married was working 'on the side.'He would call the man to his office and tell him, "I'm giving you 1 week to go to 'lishkat ha'giyus.' If YOU don't go, I will call and report you! You have no right to avoid army service while others are learning morning, noon and night!"

Sadly, bashing Charedim is currently fashionable and a great way to get votes. Hence everyone today hates Charedim primarily because of the media.

In true life, as the zionist wife of a man learning for the past 35 years, I can say that I have lived through many periods of horrific poverty. But it was my choice! I have worked all these years (in an Ulpana) paying taxes and raising wonderful children, Baruch Hashem. I have gone 40 years with 'hand me down coats' until I bought myself a lovely coat on sale for Shabbat. This was my choice and I am proud that my husband is a tremendous Talmid Chacham.

If we Jews were less polarized and threw less mud at one another, I believe Hashem would be happy with us. Which father can bear to see hate between his sons and daughters?

Batya said...

Thanks for all the comments, and especially to Esther who added so much.
Chag Urim Sameach.