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Davka, The Most Religiously Observant Should Be Serving

By Batya Medad
3/14/2008, 12:00 AM
These thoughts came to me after reading Daniel Pinner's Zachor: Remember Forever. There's no talkback on the Torah articles on Arutz 7, so I'd appreciate if someone would bring this post to the author's attention. Thank you.
"And Moshe said to Joshua: ‘Choose men for us who are brave, strong in mitzvot, and victorious in war;" Torah reading for Purim morning, Exodus 17:8-17; this year being Purim meshulash, in Jerusalem it is the Maftir reading for Shabbat, the 15th of Adar II.
The negative reactions to what I wrote here about the Christian origin of deferring rabbinic students from the IDF, Israel Defense Force, have surprised me. According to Jewish Law and Biblical history, war is a mitzvah, a religious commandment. It's not a way to give legitimacy to people's violent tendencies. During the 1973, Yom Kippur War, my husband had a job in Sha'are Tzedek Hospital. Because of the war, he had to be there on Shabbat and Holidays. The rabbi of the hospital said that only religious workers could take Shabbat and Holiday shifts. That was because they had to do it as a Mitzvah, not because it didn't bother them to work on Shabbat or holidays. Defending our People and our Land is a mitzvah, too. That's why religious and also chareidi Jews must serve in the IDF. There actually has been in increase, even in such elite units as the Air Force. The more Torah observant Jews serving, the more Jewish the IDF will become. Granted, the transition won't be easy, since there are those who oppose such change. But we mustn't fear their opposition.
Contrary to the old Jewish Agency slogan,
Life in Israel is a rose garden. Just beware of the thorns.
Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!
May You Have A Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat!