Sunday, March 02, 2014

Is Serving in the IDF Really a Torah Commandment?

ראש החודש השנים עשר ב' תשע"ד

The concept that serving in the Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] is a misswah (Torah Commandment) has been bantered about long enough, and it is high time that it be debunked.
Bennett: Torah Students Will Not Go to Jail, Period
Naftali Bennett
Because I said so!
Economy Minister says the planned hareidi rally against the new draft law is unnecessary. "Military service is a mitzvah, not a decree."

Elad Benari, March 2, 2014

Economy Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that the upcoming hareidi rally against the new draft law is unnecessary.

Sunday’s planned mammoth demonstration, that has been called “the million man protest,” was prompted by a series of government decisions that are perceived as hurting hareidim.

"Tomorrow there will be a big demonstration against the law to integrate hareidim into employment and army service. The claim is that the Torah world is being hurt, and that ‘criminal sanctions’ against Torah scholars are stipulated in the law. There is no basis for these claims,” said Bennett. (cont.)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Set aside for a moment that some of the roles of the Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] have included destroying synagogues, throwing Jews out of their homes and off their lands, arresting Jewish mothers in the middle of the night with their babies, etc. One could easily ask the question what kind of a Jewish army carries such responsibilities, and follows such anti-Torah (ie. anti-Jewish) orders?

Jewish army, indeed!

So, how is it that serving in the IDF could possibly be a misswah?

Sure, you could make the argument that serving in the IDF fulfills a misswah, the misswoth of protecting the borders of Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel), and by extension, the misswah of piqu'ah nefesh (saving a life). However, I do not believe this is what Minister Bennett is attempting to convey. Rather, and I could be wrong, but I believe he is using the word misswah to mean hovah (obligation), of which I am not aware of any evidence to support that it is.

The fact is that the misswah of protecting the borders of Eretz Yisra'el can be fulfilled in ways, other than serving in the IDF. Of course, these other ways would make the Israeli Government nervous, and are not about to be allowed to come about.

Speaking of misswoth, it is also a [negative] misswah not to make it easy for those residents who are not allowed to reside here, to remain residing here (Rambam, A"Z 10), let alone allow them to have autonomy within the Jewish Homeland. To an extent, the Bedouins have autonomy, and the Black [Fake] Hebrews of Dimona, Mitzpeh Ramon, and Tel-Aviv most certainly have autonomy. Now, Bennett has proposed granting autonomy to the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians.

The maps above look too similar for my taste, not to mention the Torah's.

You see, there are many misswoth and hovoth, such as keeping Jews keeping Shabbath and refraining from eating pork, shellfish, and several other foods. Yet, I do not hear Naftali Bennett shouting about Shabbath violations, and stores and restaurants selling pork and shellfish? And, I am not talking about Tel-Aviv or Haifa, as if that would matter; I am talking about Jerusalem.

I am sure that he has his reasons.

After all, only a Torah-based body can make determinations regarding which misswah battles take priority over others.

Of course, the Israeli Government is most certainly is not a rabbinical court, let alone a Torah-based body. Even those who claim that the Israeli Government has the status of temporary stand-in for a Jewish king, MUST concede that Torah Law supersedes any and all anti-Torah, human produced rules and regulations, they like to call laws, even if they had been decreed by a true King (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Wars 3:10 ).

The Israeli Government does actually have the power to decide who should serve in its military, but not by a Torah dictum. Rather, the Israeli Government has this kind of power, due to its control of vast numbers of men provided with lethal weapons, not to mention its ownership of huge structures, which can hold many people who do not do what the Israeli Government wants, and which can be locked up quite effectively. These are generally referred to a prisons.

So no cake, no eating of cake, and definitely no brownie points for Religious Affairs and Commerce Minister Naftali Bennett.


yitz said...

what Yeshiva did Bennett ever learn in to know what is a mitzvah and what isn't?
When did Bennett start to wear a kippah 2 years ago? And does he know what size is kosher? certainly not one the size of a dime!
Does Bennett's wife keep Shabbos? She certainly does not keep her hair covered not even with a scarf the size of a dime! Did Bennett give his kids a Jewish education or did they go to Public School?
Bennett certainly has no respect for Rabbonim, not even Dati Leumi Rabbonim, only for the ones he buys off and uses like schmattas such as "rabbi" Ronsky and "rabbi" Stav.
Does Bennett have any concept even of just who Rav Steinman is? Rav Steinman is a man whose veins flow with Torah, who has time and again been willing to sacrifice his life for Torah, a man who has earned the respect of Litvak, Chossid and Sefardi alike to be acknowledged by one an all as teh undisputed leader of Klal Yisroel. The acceptance of Rav Steinman by all is a sign that all Jews who respect and accept Torah are ready to accept Moshiach whomever he will be!

Esser Agaroth said...


All good points. I agree with about 99% of what you write.

Certainly, Rav Steinman is a Torah giant.

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