|A house in Shiloh built by Jewish workers|
One of the great things about living in Israel is that you can find Jews working in every single field, from academics, to medicine, education, bus and taxi drivers, dishwashers, garbage collectors, police, military, building and more. There isn't a single field that is barred to Jews.
Guess the profession of my neighbor who blows shofar at our united Yom Ha'Atzma'ut Prayer service.
There's an explosion of joy every year as we transition, switch from mourning to celebration. The belief, faith and hope one needs to achieve this is very Jewish. Does any other country connect these two days? And has any other country had to fight so long for full independence and recognition?
The IDF Israel Defense Forces is made up of Israelis, not only Jews, and also new immigrants, like Aryeh, who made aliyah specifically with army service as his plan. It's an unbeatable way to assimilate into Israeli society, learn Hebrew and make life-long friends. The longer one waits the harder it is.
When mentioning IDF army service here in Israel, I must quote from Phil Chernofsky's "LEAD TIDBIT, Attention, real Chareidim" in this week's Torah Tidbits.
I would even suggest that the majority of chareidim (those whom I referred to in the title as real Chareidim, meaning those who truly are CHAREID LIDVAR HASHEM) are opposed to and maybe even embarrassed by the actions of the 'fringe' extremist.I 100% agree with Phil and hope that you do, too.
So how about saying so? Where is the uproar of protest within the chareidi community against to unacceptable behaviors as above?
More: Even if one believes that Torah study should exempt a young man from military service, what about a regular pubic prayer in shuls throughout the country and the Jewish world asking G-d to protect our soldiers and security forces who risk their lives to protect ours?
We all say MI SHEBEIRACHs for a person who received an aliya to the Torah, for a woman who gave birth, for sick people, for those who toil on behalf of the tzibur... there is even a MI SHEBEIRACH for people who do not speak during davening!
Shouldn't all Jews say a prayer for Chayalim - regardless of their stance on who should and should not serve?
Refusal to do so goes way beyond opposing Giyus Talmidei Yeshivot.
Can you imagine the difference in perception and attitude in the general Israeli population towards chareidim (and what they represent) if instead of virulent rantings, the protest rallies would include a prayer for Chayalim and a recognition of their role in the holy work of protecting Jews who live in Israel?
Many writers and bloggers take on an annual challenge listing things they love about Israel in the same quantity as the years of independence. Benji Lovitt is one of them, and he being a comedian always has a unique take on Israeli society.
One of the things I love here is the sale of flags and accessories. You never know where you will find them.
Taking my leave from now. I have a holiday to celebrate. May we celebrate many, many more Israeli Independence Days!
Chag Ha'Atzma'ut Sameach!!!