Jewish Scene
Your values are not mine!
Yoseph Goldsmith
Published: 25.11.07, 10:02
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1. Do the Jews REALLY READ and UNDERSTAND the Bible?
Rivkah   (11.25.07)
I saw people in Orthodox and Haredim attire in many places in Israel when I have been there. They read what appears to be holy books and pamphlets. I went to Shabbat sevices at a temple named B'nai David in Visalia and at one of the services, a teenage youth who had finished his Torah studies for becoming a member gave a speech on how homosexuals should be accepted by society. Did he study the Torah? How could he give such a speech if he knew the condemnation of homosexual acts in the Torah? Now the religious Jews in Israel do not want to serve in the military. There are some real problems with morality and viciousness in the military, but King Solomon said the primary occupation of ancient Israel had to be warfare. That was survival. Exodus 15:3 says the Lord is a man of war. Deuteronomy says it is an abomination for a woman to wear that which pertains to men. What is men's attire that is forbidden to women? Proverbs in the last chapter gives a clue: "The mother of King Lemuel warned her son not to give his strength to women." The word strength in that verse means "army, defenses, fortifications". It is the combat military attire that is restricted fo men in those verses. HAVE HAREDIM and ORTHODOX JEWS in Israel become WOMEN that they do not want to serve in the military? I can understand the objections of Haredim WOMEN in regard to being in the military and national service would be better for them. But it seems to me that the Bible of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is being with-held from Jews in Israel or they choose to overlook certain verses. The fearful and unbelieving do not go to heaven. The beliefs need to be in line with God's Torah, not man's abridged versions of the Torah. Jews should demand the real thing if they are not getting it.
2. I'm disgusted
Shai ,   IL   (11.25.07)
If your ahavat yisrael matched the size of your kippah (which I assume is as large as a plate based on your criticism of Maj. Gen. Stern), you'd find a way to make this work. You've got a lot of nerve raising yourself above those who are willing to sacrifice their lives and their time to protect their brothers, including you. The chutzpah of your view is multiplied by your attitude to the Nachal Hareidi troops, who have proven themselves to be outstanding in their defense of Am Yisrael. I respect them deeply, knowing that they are not less holy than you _claim_ to be. There is no contradiction between physical strength and spiritual fortitude as our Tanach amply shows - the Avot and the Jews in the time of Yehoshua for example were known to be fine warriors, and not just pious men. If they left the job to the "chiloinim" and the "tzioinim" you'd even be writing on the site of an Israeli news outlet? Lastly, a word about your "moral code and values for which we are ready to die". Jews, in case you forgot, are here because as much as we may be ready to die for what we believe in, we are more ready to live for it. The "true", "real" and "eternal" Torah you speak of speaks with 70 versions of those adjectives, not just with yours. But one thing the Torah is clear about is that you ought not stand by idly while your brothers' blood is shed. If you are so "religious" and "pious", you'll take Maj. General Stern's words to heart as tochecha, and enlist at the first opportunity. But let's call this letter what it really is - self serving. You hide behind values, when the only thing you really value is yourself. Yes, your actions can be the very same as a pious person who refrains from the army for whatever reason, but in your case the reason is obviously self-aggrandizment - else, why write to Ynet? Trying to improve the shidduch prospects of your kids amongst the haters of the tzioinim? You're pathetic.
3. I take what I want I give nothing
Ze'ev ,   Haifa   (11.25.07)
What this "youngster" basically says is that he wants to serve in an army that is adapted to his personal need (let alone the fact that his army isn't quite an army at all). If everyone rejected to serve in IDF until it becomes what he wants there would be no IDF. Goldsmith is just another parasite that wants others to protect him.
4. What if......
rh ,   Modiin Israel   (11.25.07)
If the soldiers protecting the lives of the draft fodging Haredim said we will not protect them unless they wore a smaller kippah. Talk about kippah envy
5. What values would that be exactly
Simon ,   TA Israel   (11.25.07)
Values? I presume that includes: attacking women on buses denyiny other people their freedom and democracy Buring tyres and throwing stones. Civil disobedience Milking the system dry while contributing nothing Living off other peoples tax money, letting your jewish brotheres die in battle while you sit in your Yeshiva. And you really should learn to controll your sexual urges at the site of a woman, you make me vomit !
6. Torah
David ,   Yerushalayim   (11.25.07)
Its not a question of whether or not the IDF follows the Torah, its rather a question of who determines what the torah requirements are. In my humble opinion, the haredim are not religious Jews, they just pretend to be. Real religious Jews use the brains and the "sachel" that G-d gave them as gifts, instead of behaving like robots or programmed computers, mechanically and without thinking observing this week's chumrot. Again, read the torah and then use your brains and sachel, instead of worshipping the extreme Rabbis, who are after all, men, not G-d.
richie ,   jerusalem   (11.25.07)
Response to #1
8. A few comments for Mr Goldsmith.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (11.25.07)
Mr Goldsmith's devotion to Torah is certainly admirable but I think he misses a few points. While I am not a Torah scholar & not even observant, I'll comment anyway. It seems to me that Moses & Joshua were not Haredim. Neither were the Judges. King Saul, King David, & King Solomon were not Haredim either. Our later kings, both in Israel & Judah, fought many wars & they too were not Haredim. The struggle to re-establish a Jewish state after the First Exile was not led by Haredim. As it happens, in the whole Torah, there were no Haredim. There were only Jews fighting for their country. If all these Jews mentioned in the Torah believed as you do, the Torah would have ceased to exist long ago for we would have ceased to exist as a nation long before the Roman Wars. The Torah does not say we should die, it says we should live. We can break almost any ritual commandment to save lives. Defending our country by joining the IDF is saving our collective life. I think you are not being intellectually honest.
9. Weak argument about purported "values"
JPS ,   Efrat   (11.25.07)
"For us, enlisting means losing our moral code and values for which we are ready to die." That's a pretty lame statement, given that other Haredim enlist and serve. Not only don't those other Haredim not lose their morals and values, they come out of it very much alive. Somebody has been feeding this kid too much pseudo-Torahlistic Haredi-babble. Better he should enlist and do his best to show the IDF and his fellow soldiers how strong is morals and values are. Unfortunately he chooses to stay in the ghetto and bad mouth those who protect him from the enemy. The Torah tells Jews that from time to time they have to go out and fight against the enemies of Israel. Or maybe he and his rabbis are simply choosing to ignore that.
10. In other words: Israel ceased to exist after the YK war
S   (11.25.07)
11. since when are the Haredim "Reuven, Gad and 1/2 Menasseh?
Avi ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (11.25.07)
In a little know book, by the Haredim, we are told the story of the tribes of Reuven, Gad and 1/2 Menasheh who had better things to do than joining their fellow Israelites in fighting in the Land of Israel. Some dude called Moses told them to stop messing about and join their brothers. If the writer of this article wants to compare like with like, what about the non Haredi parents who lose their children to the haredi mind grabbers. How dare he compare it to those of us who do not sleep at at night through worry about our sons AND DAUGHTERS serving in the army of Israel?
12. One thought
gabriela ben ari ,   jerusalem   (11.25.07)
I always thought that is a commandment from the TORAH itself for every male to serve in the army (except for cohanim and leviim in duty, and we have no Temple as for now) - DID I READ MY HUMASH WRONG ??? Hareidim are missing (puposely) on the opportunity to serve and appreciate Erets Israel. Take as an example their "Kosher L'shmitah" Produce bought from none others that from our worse enemies. Go and give your money to the Nazis, same thing. Nahal Hareidi accomodates their needs pretty well. So what if many of its soldiers were not so brilliat students who couldn't study 24/7 ? They are still Hareidi and still uphold the same lifestyle they do. IDF accomodates for their find "another detail to be taken care of" - before they join the ranks. Go do the army in Poland and see how Jewish friendly it can get. They are getting on my nerves already
13. Despite the outcry the state is NOT WILLING to draft chareid
Moshe Grylak ,   Mishpachah   (11.25.07)
Despite the outcry the state is NOT WILLING to draft chareidim in the army. A few months ago, an article appeared under the heading “50,000 Yeshiva Bochurim” and warned of another acute problem: 40% of the officers in the IDF are religious! The story went on to point out that in the army’s combat unit, the percentage of religious officers is an even higher 50%. The writer’s tone suggested great concern about the developments liable to ensue from this “undesirable” state of affairs and the presence of these officers in the army’s ranks could serve as a spearhead for a religious military takeover. The writer hinted that having so many religious officers in the army sparked fear in his heart. The question arises, what exactly is he afraid of? The next day, in the same paper, secular political analysts expressed the opinion that there is no chance that religious officers would display disloyalty to the army or to the laws of the State. They noted the 100% compliance among religious soldiers to the general call-up for the Second Lebanon War, and their self-sacrifice in those terrible battles, despite the fact that their wounds were still fresh from the betrayal they had suffered at the hands of the State and the military during the previous summer’s disengagement from Gush Katif. What, then, is the warning he is trying to convey in his article with its screaming headline? If the Israeli image implies motivation to serve the Israeli people, to love the country, and defend it, then who can compare to these soldiers? And who is there today who fulfills the dictates of the Zionist ethic with the faith and enthusiasm of these young people? The writer of that newspaper story is well aware that they carry these values in their hearts to an extraordinary degree, and that is precisely why the army values them so much. What then makes him imply that they are somehow less “Israeli” than their secular counterparts? Could it be because religious army officers don’t curse, don’t use unclean expression, don’t loot the army’s property, are not involved in substance abuse, and don’t indulge in licentious behavior and the matter of their moral superiority? The answer is very simple. The write didn’t say so out loud, but his meaning is clear. The religious soldier or officer is not “Israeli” simply because he is not secular. The writer isn’t afraid of a military takeover by these soldiers, he’s afraid of a social takeover. And for him, this is a greater worry than any other. This is why there is a movement to break up the Hesder yeshivos. AND THIS IS WHY, DEEP IN THEIR HEARTS, THEY AREN’T WILLING TO DRAFT THE CHAREIDI YESHIVA BOCHURIM, DESPITE THE OUTCRY FOR THEM TO BE DRAFTED, and there is solid evidence on which to base such an assumption. For they greatly fear that if these young men should be recruited, they won't be content, at the end of the day, to serve on kitchen patrol, but will wish to rise to positions of influence. And that, of course, would be a national disaster.
14. Just like chareidim's children would not go to public school
Joseph P. ,   Jerusalem   (11.25.07)
jointly with seculars and goyim, so can Stern or the state not expect them to attend public IDF school jointly with seculars and goyim.
15. Values
Michael ,   Haifa   (11.25.07)
Your values place much emphasis on letting others die for you
16. Terry #8
Keren ,   Israel-SP   (11.25.07)
Although I agree with you in many points,we should also concord that without Haredim ,probably, the Torah would have been lost. It is the Religious comunity,and not the secular one,who truly keeps the Torah alive.This is fact. Would you care in keeping it? Few generations without the Religious community,and G'od forbid,no Judaism would exist anymore.It is kept by their merit,and that's why those wanting to destroy us,target them firstly. Greeks,cruzaders,etc,had forbidden Jews to perform the fundaments of our religion ,aiming its destruction.It was by the merit and tenacity of the Religious that it didn't happen. I personally am very grateful to them,because they sacrifice their lives-since it is not easy lead a religious life-inclusively for me.If I yet do not perform all Mitvot,I know they do and I know Torah is kept. Your problem and of many is the way Haredim wear.It is a very superfitial and frivolous way of looking to something. They have the right to follow external patterns the way they chose,as you and me can opt to different "packages". I disagree with you that they are being intellectually not honest. With all due respect,they are more coherent than you,for example,who critizes and see the the sins of the "leaders"of Israel but do nothing more than writing analises at Ynet.As me. They no.They are coherent.They act accordingly to their believes,which are ,by the way ,very correct. If you have the opportunity to talk about politics with Haredim,you'll be extremelly surprised with their integrity and coherence of mind. Government must change-as you yourself always stress-in order people wish to serve. The quality of IDF nowadays is very doubtfull,lets convene,and the cause is their'leaders',who could care less about Israel,Judaism and the life of the soldiers.Why should honest and coherent people wish to serve?
17. #13 Moshe Grylak
Shalom   (11.25.07)
Moshe Grylak, is one of the most respected religious journalists around today. He can see situations in a way that most of us cannot; he makes total sense, and I for one, thank him for adding his name to this talkback.
18. kol hakavod!!
abdullah ,   ashkenaz   (11.25.07)
Very well put. But not serving in the IDF does come with a (material) price for torah true jews. And it is important to publically pay the price for kidush hashem.
19. A sorry excuse
Robert Tilden ,   Sheridan, Wyoming   (11.25.07)
In a nutshell this man is saying that Harredi culture free from moral flaws and the IDF is full of cheats and lyers. Haredi leadership is strife with covering up for theft, child abuse, bribes at the rabincal courts, and he accuses the army of not living up to its ideals? There is a well known rational for many religious laws in halacha, such and such is not done so that others who see the action will not mistaknly think you are doing something that is not allowed. Even though the halachic logic finds a way to let the action take place, it is not allowed becuase it might be mistaken to be something it isnt. Draft dodging is such a thing. When Mr Goldsmit as much as justifies idraft dodging it makes his whole way of life, the Haredi lifestyle stink. It stengthens the idea that they are paracites and as such should be disqualified as an argument.
20. Moral values etc
edd ,   london Uk   (11.25.07)
Which Torah is Goldsmith referring to , that written by MOses, or the Talmud thatthey study in Yeshivas? And hence, if he goes by Talmudic law, then no amount of making hte army Ultra orthodox will help, becasue the Hareid rabbis claim that Israel is an illegal state, and fighting in an army is illegal , until the moshiach comes. So it is a false argument which he is putting - the intention is that he will never serve, unles Moshiach comes, and unless Moshiach is Haredi.
21. Haredi cult
Observant jew ,   Israel   (11.25.07)
The cult known as Haredim is recent. They dress like 18th century polish nobles and interpret judaism exclusively to their benefit. According to them my sons and I have to defend them and sacrifice our lives so that they can study. Did anyone ask them to study for me?? According to them they don't have to work and pay taxes, but my taxes pay to support them and their families while they hold me in contempt. You know what? They're right because I deserve to be held in contempt for letting them get away with it. This small cult has single handedly caused more Israeli Jews to turn away from Judaism than any other factor.
22. Draft them now, all of them!
guy ,   los angeles   (11.25.07)
I was drafted and served proudly. The response said nothing meaningful except that these young men feel fine with letting others defend them and in turn doing nothing to help others. If they don't want to serve, then let them move !
Chaim   (11.25.07)
And yet this Haredi sits at home on the hard-working Israelis tax money and tells us that he wont join the army because it's not Kosher enough for him. What a pathetic excuse for a Jew.
24. The law should read "SERVE or LEAVE"
Robert Goldman ,   cooper city Florida   (11.25.07)
Everyone needs to fo their fair share ! if they don't then let them leave! and do not let them come back until they have served the country! davining is not sharut!
25. YES - finally - truth!!!
ys ,   Israel   (11.25.07)
26. disgusting!!!!!!!!
A.M.L ,   Jerusalem   (11.25.07)
you were not happy that hareidim dosent join the army, now we opend this nachal hareidi, that ppl should be able to join!!!! now you still are not happy? not the point if they only act or they mean it serious their jusdaism, but they are in the army!!! what are your questions now? we must be secular??? you will never be happy unless you see us like you? no!!! we are diffrent!!! we are religous jews!!!! now i understand why the extremist religous groups arew aginst nachal hareide!!1 they are right,
27. #13 Moshe Grylak Right on!
Joseph P. ,   Jerusalem   (11.25.07)
Imagine drafting chareidim who will transform the army into a religious environment with mechitzot (division) between men and women, the removal of all indecent posters, instituting moral values, etc. etc. etc. The seculars will go nuts. And where will they get all the nuts from if their godfather, America, doesn't permit them to get it from Iran?
28. Yosef Goldsmith - you are a coward!!!
Chaya ,   Bat Yam, Israel   (11.25.07)
The Muslims claim that the Temple Mount has nothing to do with the Jews and you continue to sit in your yeshivas and study about the Beit HaMikdash. When the homosexuals came to Jerusalem, you were all out in force against this abomination. Why aren't you outraged at the Muslims for saying that the Temple Mount has nothing to do with the Jewish people??? You are nothing but cowards!!! You can go out and 'fight' against homosexuals - but our true enemy, you hide in your yeshivas/kollels!!
29. reply # 21 Amen!
Simon ,   TA ISRAEL   (11.25.07)
You are so right! When i see postings from Joseph P in Jerusalem i feel ashamed to be jewish. they have drivem people away from their jewish identiy and sense of pride through their hatred and intollerance towards their fellow jews in dividing the fatith.
30. #8 Tiery: Jewish history ine exile is longer than its army
abdullah ,   ashkenaz   (11.25.07)
1) In the over 3000 years of jewish history (from avraham a"h), the amount of time without an army and without any sovereignty over the holy land far exceeds the time with an army and sovereignty. 2) The first exile (from egypt) ended when the Jews accepted to obey the torah unconditionally, even before understanding it. 3) The biblical accounts show that in spite of the fact that am yisroel had a strong army and a superior civilization, it tended to be defeated by its neighbors when it departed from the torah religion, culminating in the last two exiles. So it is the Torah that has supported the army and not the other way round. So the author has his priorities right.
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