Feb 1, 2009

former IDF Colonel running the Etz Chaim cheder

Ynet has a very interesting interview with Rav Don Freiman, formerly Lieutenant-Colonel in the IDF and currently the director of the the famous Yerushalmi school Etz Chaim.

Unfortunately I don't have the time right now to translate it to English, so I hope you can make do with the Hebrew...

Freiman talks about the tough financial situation and how the school and the families are surviving, and haredim in the army,


  1. he says that most haredim eventually go to the army.

    From my own observations of what is around me this seems to be ridiculous at best.

    Can anybody back up his take?

  2. I thought so too. But he says he knows from firsthand experience, so who am I to argue? It might be a bit of an exaggeration...

  3. Here is the bottom line with Charedim and the army. When was the last time there was a funeral for a soldier and the parents wore a black yarmulka/hat? I can't remember any. In the Second Lebanon war there were a lot of funerals for religious soldiers wearing kipput serugot but not a single one for a Charedi wearing a black yarmulka. The same for the recent operation. What that shows is that there are very very few Charedim in real combat units.

  4. my first hand experince is that in all of haredi Bet Shemesh there are very few soldiers. he cannot contradict that.

    haredim who are soldiers w/o a doubt 'second class'.

    Yerusholayim is so different?

    Bnei Brak ?


    But while we are on the subject. the truth is that both sides are really at fault here.

    There is no qiestion Haredim should be serving as much as other..

    But if the army was truly serious about getting them to serve they would make the army a place that encourages them to serve by respecting their beliefs and practices.

    And these are not specifically 'haredi' issues. These are issues that seriosuly religious Mizrachi people have complained about as well.

    It is known that the army is not just a means for defending the contry - it is a 'melting pot' this is why women are forced to serve. It is time the army cut all that garbage out and started just being an army whose sole mission is defending the state. We are not living in 1950 anymore.

    OTHO, has the haredi leadership been pusing for change in the army to make it feasible for a religious person (with the intetn of then following through with mass giyus)?

  5. here you have it; a policy proposal:

    the haredi leaderhip should offer giyus in exchange for the removal of forced conscription of women (ALL women secualr as well). (of course this does not deal with the issues in the army that need to be changed for Haredim to serve on a day to day basis but that is silly details if they are serious. ) I think as a broad paintbrush it shows the direction both sides need to be headed in.


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