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by Rachel Ginsberg photos Flash 90

Yair Lapid wants to yank 5,200 bochurim out of the beis medrash. Aside from the fact that a nonnegotiable principle of Torah learning is at stake, what will the army do with thousands of black-hatted conscripts?

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4 Tammuz 5773 | June 12, 2013




Within the Torah world — both in the chareidi and even in some circles of the right-wing “dati-leumi” camps — there is a sacred principle that a boy committed to Torah study can’t be yanked away from his Gemara against his will in order to fill a quota that the military never established. we’re going to lose everything that’s been gained in the enlistment process of the last few years. But the discussion is much more complex than Yesh Atid Knesset faction leader and finance minister Yair Lapid would have us think. a quarter of the organization’s total annual budget.800 to-be-determined “illuyim” — to be conscripted into military or national service or face prison. and army brass. “not to fight with the chareidim.” a chareidi-looking military is still an Orwellian image for most citizens. 56 M I S H PAC H A 4 Tammuz 5773 | June 12. And while thousands of yeshivah and kollel young men are holding their breath in anticipation of what awaits them come Rosh Chodesh Elul. a framework for married men who have left kollel and want to join the workforce. According to the organization’s 2011 financial statement. but Lapid and his hasty measures have torpedoed the very process that was moving in the direction the freshman finance minister claims to favor. Over the years.…” Parenthetically. “Where is the Israeliness?” Yesh Atid’s second-in-command.200 yeshivah students out of the beis medrash every year under the threat of jail time is a questionable solution to the IDF’s manpower needs at best — unless there is a separate social agenda in the wings.440 shekels (over $138. excusing himself for speaking so candidly through his “raw pain”). does his 19-mandate constituency really want to chareidi-ize the army. Why are we going to battle against the chareidim and sparking hatred? If this happens. So then. New Israel Fund-supported nonprofit that raised much of its budget from public contributions. director Piron took home a hefty 524. including such programs as Nachal Haredi (officially called Netzach Yehuda) and Shachar. “I refuse to live in a Jewish state that sends yeshivah bochurim to prison. nothing riles up a crowd more than discussing whether or not yeshivah bochurim should join the IDF.uce the number of chareidim in Israeli society” “The question we should be asking is not how to draft chareidim has a bottom red line: even if a bochur is no longer learning. the larger debate about if. or — as many in the religious sector fear — do they really want to “empty the pool” (the Yesh Atid people said they were going to “l’rokein et habreichah”) of the yeshivos? Amid the screams of “sharing the burden. The men who have been behind such initiatives say the army is willing to develop more of these programs in an effort to find encompassing solutions for boys who don’t fall into a neat yeshivah package. Education Minister Shai Piron. Lapid — as finance minister — has announced unequivocally that he’s not willing to fund them. he still needs a spiritually safe environment.” he gloated. So when the Peri Committee’s new “sharing the burden” draft guidelines (which the Knesset must ratify into law by August 1) called for forcing all chareidim — with the exception of 1. the entire yeshivah world dug in its heels.” he gloated. As education minister. for whatever headache they’ll have with it. threatening to vote against the criminal sanctions part of the bill before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu forced party discipline on him. Piron — condemner of the “parasites” — was until recently treating himself to public-generated funds as director of “Education for All – the Movement to Promote Education in Israel. “If we keep making these drastic policy mistakes. Yet the defense minister himself was aghast at parts of the proposed legislation.” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated. is willing to create more chareidi-friendly environments for all these new conscripts. “This is a historic opportunity. but to change the face of the chareidi world. communal askanim. railroaded through after forcing the chareidim out of the government and creating a coalition crisis if the measures weren’t approved: Even if the IDF. revealed his agenda to Ynet when he said that the batei medrash are full of “parasites” and that yeshivos are “prisons” (he later apologized.” But herein lies the paradox of Lapid’s “This is a historic opportunity. all goodwill so carefully built will crumble. and pulling 5. The caption read. This complicated web of ideological and practical factors signature legislation. and that the real purpose of the measures is not only to force the yeshivah bochurim to serve. A recent picture in one of the Israeli dailies showed a chareidi soldier crunched under a barbed-wire fence with a rifle over his shoulder and his peyos blowing in the wind.000) every year. and how. Piron is behind the bill to force curriculum modification in chareidi institutions. “not to fight with the chareidim.” a left-wing. but to bring them into our worldview … to change the culture of the country and redirect the ship. chareidim who are no longer in yeshivah full-time can be mainstreamed in the IDF has become the hot-button issue of rabbis. Nachal Haredi will fall apart. Today. 2013 M I S H PAC H A 57 . but to bring them into our worldview … to change the culture of the country and redirect the ship” Walk into a room and say “chareidim and the army” and everyone will start to yell. communal activists — with the tacit agreement of some roshei yeshivah — have created several networks for boys and young men who wish to enlist within a safeguarded framework.

legislators busy hammering out the fine points of the bill will not cut down chareidi service to 16 months. who are paid many times over what single soldiers receive but provide much less actual service? And. the law is targeting 5. such “The questions hurled at us from the Israel arena are powerful and cogent: the intervening with 16 months of army service. even for those who aren’t the biggest M I S H PAC H A 58 M I S H PAC H A 4 Tammuz 5773 | June 12.Out of Service In the Army Now While chareidim are labeled as the draft dodgers of the country.” Rabbi Betzalel Cohen. where will all those recruits be placed? Does the army have the wherewithal to provide chareidi-friendly. military strategists and political scientists are reassessing future manpower needs. The rest are mainstream Israelis. female-free environments for them? What will they do with thousands of physically low-profile inductees who’ve spent years behind their books instead of in the gym? What about shidduchim and weddings? What about chassidic boys who marry by 20? What about all the married soldiers. they can forget about enlisting chareidim in the future. but are considering increasing the Hesder military requirement. In line with “sharing the burden. and has kept its manpower in a tight range of 168. all bochurim except for 1. when the Hesder yeshivos combine three years of beis medrash years. “For years the chareidi establishment stated the reason for not going to the army is because of limud Torah. in light of exponential advances in the production of “smart weapons” and new computerized systems of command. the larger.000 to 176. And within those exemptions are included yeshivah students from the nationalist Mercaz Harav Yeshivah. and social services at the expense of thousands of professional workers who will suddenly find themselves out of work? Can such work — some of which will surely be artificially created and pointless — be a legitimate substitute for learning Torah. communications. Based on an estimated 7. Furthermore. other dati-leumi yeshivos that don’t mix military service. told Mishpacha. and intelligence. Of course.” yeshivah students are asking why they must serve an additional three years. full-time learners between ages 18 and 21 can defer their service. founder of Shachar. Deitsch and his staff — along with other organizations. and after age 21. how will the economy withstand the flood of thousands of volunteers expected to be placed in hospitals. any 17-year-old who doesn’t show up at a recruitment center will face criminal sanctions. and only about half of them are yeshivah exemptions.000 armed forces personnel for the last two decades. Some are even calling for abolishing the draft (as has been the case in most Western democracies) and making the shift to a more professional force composed primarily of career personnel.… It’s worse than you can possibly imagine.800 masmidim who commit to learn full-time until age 26 will be inducted into either military or national service. But the new bill doesn’t seem to take any of this into consideration. as the to reduce the number of chareidim in Israeli society” “The question we should be asking is not how to draft chareidim or how to draw them into the “If they don’t keep their promises.000 new yeshivah enrollees every year. in fact at least 25% of potential Jewish male conscripts have stopped taking part in military service.” Rav Yoel Schwartz gives support to one of his Nachal recruits army will probably decide that most of these inductees will do civilian instead of military service. many of them secular. But the real reason is that they want the boys to remain frum. But the IDF doesn’t seem to be too perturbed about this statistic. the answer — even from those affiliated with recruiting chareidi boys — is a resounding no. Notwithstanding the fact that many yeshivaleit would go to prison rather than be hauled out of the beis medrash.200 chareidi recruits annually for three years of service by 2016. According to the new ruling. looming question is: Can a yeshivah bochur today go into the army and still come out a yeshivah bochur? Except for some very limited frameworks. or even career training? Close to Home Still. fire stations. “We’re not talking about an ideology of Torah as much as an ideology of Yiddishkeit. who find increasingly creative ways to avoid service. and even some Hesder yeshivos that have a tract for metzuyanim who get a regular yeshivah deferment. 2013 59 . for an 18-yearold we’re talking about Torah — how can you take an 18-year-old out of yeshivah? It’s unconscionable. So to make sure the burden is shared equally. MDA.

and I’m at the top of my class. but this wasn’t an easy group to work with. It’s like a hospital. have over 2. says Rabbi Cohen. as well as jobs that are much less academic. men go home at night. With close to half the recruits “kippot srugot ” who want a stronger. Nachal isn’t the solution either” —Nachal head Rav Yoel Schwartz Nachal Hareidi. some come in stronger and go out weaker. Is the army considering such programs. Their goal is just to drag the bnei Torah out of the yeshivos and kollelim. These men were married. the men have to go out to Minchah every day. with this forced. is no place for a sheltered.” will be Shachar’s demise. and other professions. Even the much-touted Unacceptable Rav Yoel Schwartz — a renowned Torah scholar.” In 2007. which he calls “Chelm. it’s a place where boys can go either way. When there’s a doctor’s strike.” Rabbi Cohen. And even if the bases aren’t female-free. ridiculous legislation. For years askanim have been discussing such programs with the military. If you’re smart. Torah-based framework and the other half boys from chareidi families who dropped out of yeshivah. and they have all kinds of religious needs. “Originally we targeted it to kids from chareidi families who weren’t in any kind of framework. But for 21-year-olds who aren’t so into the full-time learning anymore? Then we’re talking about basic Yiddishkeit. successful as it is. accounting. Torahdig environment?” Rabbi Cohen knows the dilemma up close. “But the army can’t solve all our problems. Some come in weak and get strengthened. despite having had virtually no secular education. It’s a practical question of demographics and brainpower needs. so I don’t believe the army will continue to fund the program. female-free. less people die also.000 participants and a long waiting list for more spaces to open up. Nachal isn’t the solution either. These men will no longer be required to serve. “But this is the truth: For a sheltered yeshivah boy who wants to stay on his spiritual level. mehadrin food (usually). But still. Will rabbanim make a place for bochurim who work for the army to go back to at night? Not back to Ponevezh. I have friends who work in all kinds of fields — law. Instead of talking out solutions in a real way. there’s no place for him today in the army. they’re creating catastrophe. author of over 200 seforim. was working for the Joint in developing employment opportunities when he was called by the IDF to create a training program for street kids and dropouts who could learn a trade in the army and then enter the workforce. There is a lot more willingness to integrate chareidim. and the atmosphere is business-like. there’s no place for him today in the army. we restructured it specifically for married men over 22 who wanted to leave kollel and go out to work. with their men-only environments (officially). the rooms where they work are. lecturer in Yeshivas Dvar Yerushalayim. serious. the army isn’t going after me Moshe* is a young man in his 20s who left yeshivah to try his hand at earning a living in various fields. Today Shachar’s various programs. Employers don’t want to bother with that. Shachar Kachol — cosponsored by the JDC and the Air Force — got off the ground with 40 recruits. The government isn’t interested in going after chareidim like me. Some people die and some people get better. learners. innocent chareidi boy. Today I believe it’s different. there are opportunities everywhere. and the “spiritual father” of Nachal Haredi–Netzach Yehuda since its inception in 1999 — doesn’t have any delusions about the program he’s nurtured for 15 years. and will they stick to their promises? “Shachar succeeded because the men are married and go home at night. times for learning during the day (mandatory). every career path is open. In the end. either. They don’t want all their balaganim. and turning a win-win opportunity into a lose-lose. I’m currently taking a course in appliance repair. And that is something that doesn’t stand in the way of many of my friends. But Rabbi Cohen says he fears that the new legislation. Anyway. I think some chareidim have a hard time finding employment because employers don’t always want to hire them. anyone already 22 will get an automatic discharge. The Nachal boys may have come from chareidi homes but we picked most of them up off the 60 M I S H PAC H A . and sleeping at home (safe).’ People are looking at the army through Israel’s history and Ben-Gurion’s ‘melting pot’ agenda. who are working. The army doesn’t pose much of a problem. going into the army chareidi means you might not come out that way. either. There is a real fear — not unjustified — that all the screaming of ‘shivyon banetel’ [sharing the burden] is really ‘stop being chareidi. They don’t care about those of us who aren’t there anyway. but to some other stable.” Still. if you’re willing to work and to catch up on what you missed. and eager to apply themselves. His own 18-year-old son is not a “learning boy” but there is no program in the army today where he could be confident that his son would stay religious. but in the past they’ve never stuck to their agreements in a real way. the politicians are turning back the clock two decades. “When the new legislation is enacted. “Nachal is like it always was. even though today the politicians hold it up as the paradigm of integration of chareidi youth in the army. How willing is the yeshivah world to validate boys who want to go to work yet stay connected? In Shachar. programs like Shachar could be a solution to the thousands of expected over21 recruits — it could offer job training for young men who want to enter the workforce and be a source of brainpower for a military whose needs in technology development are ever increasing. who these days is busy setting up a technical yeshivah high school slated to open at the beginning of Elul.“The question we should be asking is not how to draft chareidi Out of Service o reduce the number of chare to reduce the number of c VOICE CROWD in the “But this is the truth: For a sheltered yeshivah boy who wants to stay on his spiritual level. T here is nothing stopping a chareidi person from going into any field he wants. stable. Some of these solutions have to come from us. Statistically.

” He noted that “We had a group in the navy. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Zingerevich. “I hope the army rabbinate will bring in some wise figure who will stop this terrible state of affairs. and demanding new legislation that would prevent a commander from issuing an order obligating a soldier to violate halachah. or as a result of. But if there are no such rabbis. they’ll never survive it spiritually. chief rabbi of the Shomron and rosh yeshivah of the Elon Moreh Hesder yeshivah. That’s why I believe we can sit down and come to some real solutions: our needs and their needs. never made meaningful threats. he said that “what is considered tolerable among secular society is absolutely unacceptable according to Jewish “The question we should be asking is not how to draft chareidim or how to draw them into the religious are often significantly weakened in the army” —Rabbi Eliezer Melamed “mainstreamed” into regular divisions. mehadrin food. military service. concurs.” he opined. a torpedo unit that worked with the submarines. we won’t have any choice and I’ll have to recommend to anyone who asks me about the IDF that he shouldn’t enlist. fearing for the spiritual wellbeing of their boys in an environment surrounded by foul language and lax morality. “The chief rabbinate has never hit such a low.Out of Service “I would never take someone who was still in kollel. Today. “One thing I never fooled myself about: I never thought I could guard the spiritual wellbeing of any soldier. At the time. a soldier ordered to listen to a female singer during a ceremony must defy orders and leave. saying the situation “is worse than you can possibly imagine. including lonely outposts that had once been all-male terrain. the army’s most insidious scourge. without a minyan.” he wrote.” Rabbi Melamed has been a champion of segregating the army. (bottom) Rabbi Yisrael Meir Zingerevich admitted that “I never fooled myself that I could guard the spiritual wellbeing of any soldier” street. After that. has become exacerbated as feminist groups — crying out against “exclusion of women” — have pushed female soldiers into all areas. Those calling for a blanket chareidi draft wave it as a solution for all yeshivah bochurim. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Ganz actually ruled that no soldier may absent himself from military ceremonies which include women singing. And earlier this year. and the chief military rabbi is personally responsible. insulated framework for these boys. it should be noted that about 20% of the religious community abandons Jewish tradition during. Following the chief of staff’s decision. leaving soldiers to fend for themselves. seemed to be following in the footsteps of the Har Brachah affair when he threatened to resign from his yeshivah over the women singing ruling. but eventually they will manage to restore Jewish dignity. they did stick to their agreements with us. but how strong can you be without friends.” According to Rav Schwartz. despite regulations that they be strictly segregated. 62 M I S H PAC H A 4 Tammuz 5773 | June 12. rabbanim who have ongoing contact with every base.. Rav Schwartz himself issued a warning to the IDF that if they don’t keep their promises to chareidi soldiers.” he opined. “Even those who remain religious are often significantly weakened in the army.” Regarding modesty issues in the army. they agreed to: no women. He wrote at the time that despite the new ruling. The issue came to a head last year when a group of Hesder soldiers were expelled from an officers’ course after they walked out of a “cultural evening” on religious grounds as women began to sing. while the yeshivos point to it as a slippery slope into the abyss of army decadence and use it as proof that the IDF doesn’t stick to its commitments regarding religious soldiers. Take a chassidishe boy out of his esrog box and put him on an army base — there’s no way he’ll end up the way he started. We closed the unit immediately. military service. and afterwards they were ordered to clean the ladies’ room. the boys had strength in numbers and could keep each other strong. rosh yeshivah of Har Brachah in the Shomron and one of the most outspoken rabbis in the nationalist camp. they brought in girls. “Even those who remain it looked like Rabbi Elyakim Levanon.. even if it conflicts with his religious observance. to the army’s credit. remembering with dread how manpower division head Elazar Stern separated the Hesder units and dispersed them among the nonreligious soldiers. 2013 . agrees. “It will be tough. leaving the politicians.” Rabbi Zingerevich told Mishpacha. retired former assistant to the IDF chief rabbi in halachic matters.’ ” He added. they can forget about enlisting chareidim in the future. ideology. he said in a radio interview that IDF rabbis are “bringing us close to a situation in which we’ll have to tell soldiers. ‘Leave such events even if a firing squad is set up outside to kill you. something more appropriate together with others like them. but no one is talking about real solutions. following soldiers’ complaints and the publication of the incident. and despite the fact that there are military rabbis who say the army’s orders precede everything. or as a result of.” Of course. especially after separate insular units were abolished several years ago.” Rabbi Melamed’s yeshivah was removed from the Hesder arrangement in 2009 because he refused to condemn soldiers who defied orders that went against their religious principles. “There were roshei yeshivah of Hesder yeshivos that supported this move. Rav Schwartz claims these challenges occurred because many of the Hesder rabbis were never forceful enough in their position. and acquiesced to the sometimes compromised position of the IDF rabbis. with exposure and temptation all around?” And promiscuity. regulations were strictly enforced for the future. And if they carry through with a mass draft where frum boys will be thrown onto army bases with chilonim. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed. but under pressure of the women’s equality lobby. they need us — our soldiers are tops — and what we stipulated. “Still. and that is one reason so many are crossing over to the chareidi side. “In order to explain just how necessary it is for the IDF to accommodate religious soldiers. the Nachal battalion — which now numbers close to a thousand — is in the crosshairs of politicians and activists on both sides. There were others who fought it with all their might. being dismissed from courses and humiliated. the thousands of religious Hesder soldiers also face conflicts over religious principles and segregation issues. it will entail sitting in jail. Before they broke the Hesder units apart. the groups broken up and to reduce mber of chareidim in Israeli society” “about 20% of the religious community abandons Jewish tradition during. and ‘sharing the burden’ outside the door. calling on the cancellation of compulsory conscription of women. Still. One Nachal group was ordered to participate in a lecture on safety precautions together with IDF servicewomen. hoping their boys would have a positive influence on the other soldiers. advocating just one year of compulsory service to break the “melting pot” agenda. So what to do about these many frum boys who aren’t learning and just wasting their time? I believe the army could prepare some sort of realistic.” Air Force Rabbi Ram Moshe Raavad introduces IAF officers to the Ponevezh beis medrash. time to daven properly.

“I put my hand on her shoulder. with separate classes for men and women. and wants to keep him in a framework so he doesn’t become a street kid? Devorah from Beitar chose Nachal Haredi. in my particular line of study in social work. ‘This is who he is. but I don’t believe they’ll get past the women issue. The strength of the women’s lobby is so pervasive that Rabbi Ram Moshe Raavad. No sanctions. to make more of themselves. as the first such student in my family. go to shiurim. Our course began with 40 students.’ ” These days. “It is important to keep up the ongoing integration of women in the army and preserve the impressive achievements they have registered over the years.’ ” Rabbi Raavad says Shachar has been a big hit with the top brass. Rabbi Raavad would get his share of back-slapping for “finally” getting those chareidim into the army. Today Rav Schwartz finds himself attacked by all sides. They think all we do is pray all day. instead? “At the beginning I made the rounds to the gedolei Yisrael — it was a sensitive project and I wanted to make sure I had their haskamos. In a wide-ranging interview with Mishpacha’s Rabbi Moshe Grylak. “This was made for men who were already out. We’re the demographic of the future.” said Rabbi Cohen. The first Shabbos he came home.’ Afterwards. and have them sit in on a Gemara shiur. surely envisioning the end to chareidi life as we know it. I don’t believe I would have succeeded without the support of Kemach. In the last weeks he’s publically threatened to boycott Nachal Haredi if there will be forced conscription under intimidation of arrest. and the army knows it. daven. a member of the Peri Committee. chief rabbi of the Air Force and rabbinic leader of the Shachar framework he helped create. but for your son. ‘Is this such an embarrassment for you?’ I asked her gently. to whom he dedicates his Torah learning — one soldier is in the beis medrash and one is on the front. and any soldier who so desires should be allowed to serve in a guaranteed separate gender framework. but about perceived gender discrimination and women’s rights. 2013 .” Rabbi Raavad explains. but for me. Chaya has several boys of draft age. ‘The worst possible scenario is for yeshivah boys to be dragged out of the beis medrash. I asked him. Rabbi Raavad reflected on the challenges he faced setting up the program. ‘There was once a Jew who saved Stalin from drowning. Beginning study in a university setting for the first time is nerve-wracking for most new chareidi students. It would ruin them. and furthermore. which she says was “the decision we came to after consulting educators and rabbanim. resigned from Shachar last year after a draft of new rules indicated that women instructors could be integrated into the program. but he wouldn’t call the other boys ‘chareidi. I spoke with one of the rabbis. this is the best thing for him and yes. “During last year’s Plesner committee hearings about creating a new draft law. It would blow their minds. there have been many other culture shocks as well: silent lecture theaters. Despite the adjustments made to suit the needs of the chareidi students.’ ” Once Shachar was off and running. making coffee for the officers. CROWD in the T If they simply handed out money without advice and professional guidance.’ ” But taking generals on tours of Shachar courses was nothing compared to the reaction he’d get when he would schlep them to Bnei Brak. He wanted a misgeret. Let’s not lose sight of our blessings. they have no idea what yeshivah life is all about. Because as intellectual as they think they are. ‘Ima. but no one would give an official stamp. I ran into Yochanan Plesner and he practically hugged me.Out of Service law. and when they got their deferments in order to learn in yeshivah. and you can be proud of him. you should be proud. and why he left. the money would be worthless. and from day one I had an ironclad policy: I would never take in someone who was still learning in kollel. In fact. he course is taught by professors and instructors from Bar-Ilan University. They all said it was a great course. ‘I think it’s just great what you’re doing!’ he told me. I wanted to give them the chance for real training. he’s happy. even activists like Betzalel Cohen are pessimistic that such encompassing changes will occur. I begged. is too great a strain for many students. “I was responsible for drafting the rules for Shachar. Devorah prays for the welfare of her son and his army buddies. I’m standing here feeling very proud of my son. “I once toured a Shachar course with Eliezer Shkedi [former commander of the IAF] and he whispered to me. because of his affiliation with Nachal. It has nothing to do with budgets or money. each one took on the name of an army recruit as his “partner” in service. and let’s face it — an army base isn’t a beis medrash. a structure where he’d have to get up early. “For years I would organize groups of officers to Ponevezh. pleaded. a real profession. who were working as sofrim or helping caterers. even part-time. the opposition both from within and from those who wanted to see the yungeleit doing “dirtier” work. that will be the end of the Nachal he so painstakingly helped create. and. ‘Why can’t you officially approve the course?’ And they said something that today I see how true it is. And despite some typical Nachal horror stories.” What’s the Choice? What’s a moth- VOICE culture shock After completing the evaluations and psychological assessments mandated by the Kemach program —with their financial assistance — Mendy Zilbershlag is now studying social work at the Hareidi College of Jerusalem.” Already. He has 18 boys in his group and they’re in a segregated barracks. and now just ten remain. women’s rights activists are expressing their fears of how the army will look with thousands of chareidim on men-only bases. Let’s hammer out a solution together. er to do when she sees yeshivah is not for her child. it would be a catastrophe for yeshivah bochurim to go to Nachal. As soon as it grows.” Women Against the Wall But giv- en the current politically correct climate and the sweeping hadarat nashim (“exclusion of women”) campaign that has made its way from mehadrin buses to the Women of the Wall. and he told him: ‘My reward? Don’t tell anyone I saved you. “It’s very complicated because it’s all about ideology. Rabbi Raavad’s resignation came one day after Chief of Staff Ganz’s order on kol ishah. stressed that chareidi enlistment quotas might hurt the current fabric of the IDF. including alternative course materials. And I answered him. But that hasn’t deterred him from his main message in these volatile times: “Let’s sit down and talk. “I believe the army has the capability to make itself chareidi-friendly.’ ” Devorah said that at the swearing-in ceremony after basic training. the financial commitment involved in supporting a large family while studying. the responsibility of the next generation is on us. encountering professional ethical dilemmas that are in potential conflict with halachah and need rabbinic guidance. There is bipartisan fear from female MKs that chareidi enlistment will harm the status of women in the IDF. ‘I see at least five fighter pilots here. MK Limor Livnat. many families are against academic study and exert immense pressure on students to return to kollel. Afterward Stalin asked the Jew what he wanted as a reward. ‘With all the craziness about the forced draft of bochurim.’ They all have iPhones [a requirement for communication]. Is this going against the rabbanim?’ He answered. even though his motivation was purely practical. yet he was nearly lynched by zealots who’ve created a smear campaign against any chareidi man caught in public wearing an army uniform.” — 64 M I S H PAC H A 4 Tammuz 5773 | June 12. which will ruin every yeshivah bochur. Before that he was selling falafel. she was standing next to a woman who looked like she was about to collapse from grief. ‘Now they need you and they’re willing to accommodate all your stringent conditions of segregation and other hiddurim. they’ll thumb their noses at your rules. Rav Schwartz continues to boost the morale of his Nachal recruits.” she told the committee. No forced conscription. while at the same time shouting to whoever will listen that if the forced draft goes through. She also hooked on to a special deal with her friend Chaya. and why bochurim would rather stay there than go to the army and go to work. So why shouldn’t they come out with something practical. No politics. They were anyway going to do the shortened shlav beit army service. Meanwhile. in contrast to the voluble “kol Torah” of the beis medrash. he said. and now he’s learning to service trucks and tractors. validating foreign opinions in academic papers. They admire the diligence and quick grasp of young men who have spent years honing their intellect over the pages of Talmud.