Monday, January 19, 2009

The Religious Soldier

It’s still true. The most dedicated soldiers are the religious ones. The pride I have in that does not come cheap. Four of the ten soldiers killed in the Gaza War were religious Zionist Jews. They are still the ones who volunteer the most for dangerous combat duty. And they are still the ones most willing to sacrifice their lives for their people.

I hope the secular Israeli still realizes that.

Serving their country and their willingness to die for it does not minimize their dedication to Torah. That priority is not sacrificed. What is not a well known fact about Hesder boys is that they are not eligible to be officers because their Hesder learning schedule does not provide enough service time to allow officer eligibility. And yet they do not give up learning Torah .

There are indications that this will change. But in the meantime - if this is not L’Shma’ - if this is not what being a committed Jew is all about - then I don’t know what is.
I hope the Charedi world realizes that.


Due to a gross misreading of the Jerusalem Post article upon which this essay is based I have deleted the rest of this post which turned out to be inaccurate. I apologize for the error. Sometimes I rush to publish a bit too quickly. This was the case here.

I only want to add that every soldier who has served his country deserves equal praise, whether religious or not. The only point I was making is that the proportion of Religious Zionist Hesder boys - and now apparently non Hesder Religious Zionist boys as well - who sacrifice for their country far surpasses their proportion in the general population. And they deserve recognition for that.

Modified: 1/19/09 7:33 PM CST