Even though there is nothing new in the arguments, this time around, something did attract my attention, and I quote the Maj.-Gen. Stern: "The existence of the Haredi Nahal regiment refutes the claim that ultra-Orthodox life and the army cannot be combined. They have conditions there that are even better than in Bnei Brak," Stern said, referring to a heavily Haredi town in central Israel, "they see no women, not even at a kilometer's distance. Now society must play its role and encourage (Haredi youths) to serve in the army."
I was almost convinced. But, there are problems with the magic solution Stern outlined: To the best of my knowledge, the Haredi Nahal was established as a rehabilitative setting for Haredi dropouts. And… success rates are not something to brag about. Stern should talk to the commanders about their painful failure before trying to convince more ultra-Orthodox to join in.
Because Stern is a religious man, we need to speak out loudly and clearly against his claim and stop the naïve from believing his words and thinking that it is possible to combine ultra-Orthodox life and the army. The reality is very different – his values are different than ours! His ideals are not ours! And his goals are not ours! We have the Torah to live by, the Torah that is true, real and eternal. We live our lives by the Torah alone!
For us, enlisting means losing our moral code and values for which we are ready to die.
Stern and his likes, on the other hand, transform their values according to the latest trend. With the tiny Yarmulke on his head, Stern lectures us on what's right and wrong. There are too many parents in the ultra-Orthodox sector who sit Shiva for sons who died a spiritual death while serving in the army.
Stern also ignored other key issues that are crucial for an observant man: Kashrut, Shabbat, and the militaristic viewpoint that emphasizes physical strength over spiritual fortitude. So, dear Maj.-Gen., hear this:
When the IDF decides to follow the Torah's laws, my friends and I will gladly fulfill our duty – i.e. Bar Kokhba's army – until then, I'd rather die in the tents of Torah!