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Aug 29, 2012

Haredi Women Cannot Be Arrested

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


 noun \-ˈtī-təl-mənt\

Definition of ENTITLEMENT

a : the state or condition of being entitled : rightb : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program
: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges

A lot of the problems that the general public has with the haredi community, I think, all come from one same issue - the sense of entitlement in the Haredi community. At least on certain issues the Haredi community thinks that they are deserving of whatever resolution is appropriate for them, be it the automatic discounts for arnona, be it automatic exemptions from the army (which is why they are so upset that the army sent draft letters to yeshiva bochurim, and why they recently made a big ruckus about bochurim not signing anything in the draft board office), and this last example of a woman who was arrested - how dare they arrest a haredi woman!

A haredi woman, a Chabadnik it seems, went into the army offices because she wanted to travel abroad. Never having arranged her exemption, which is one of the easiest things in the world for a haredi girl to do, she first had to check with the army office whether she would be allowed to travel or if there is some restriction on her. When she asked her question, the army clerk said, we've been looking for you, you are under arrest.

Turns out, though the details are still sketchy, this woman never bothered to arrange her exemption. The easiest thing in the world for  haredi woman to do. Through her high school or seminary, a letter is sent to the army declaring her as a haredi woman and the exemption is just about automatic. Yet she never bothered to do it. She perhaps figured she just does not need to go to the army, or maybe she was a baalas teshuva who had been AWOL for other reasons and only later became haredi (though there is no indication of that in the original article - just the opposite as it says she was raised in a haredi family with a haredi education). Either way, she did not bother arranging her exemption, and was therefore AWOL.

That was one sense of entitlement.

Then she was arrested. After all, she was AWOL.

The askanim and politicians got involved. I have no problem with that, as that is what they are there for - to help people form the community who have these situations that need their intervention, and this is clearly such a case. I am sure it is no picnic for her to sit in jail overnight, and she could definitely use their assistance in getting her out and getting her situation resolved. What bothered me is the public statement put out by those askanim.

The MKs who got involved, and then the outrage by the Haredi media, show the sense of entitlement. They say as a haredi woman she should never have been arrested. It is shameful that she was. it is an attack on her modesty to have made her sit in jail.

In other words, she did something wrong, something illegal. She could have easily gotten her exemption, but she did not. Yet the army, in their opinion, is not allowed to arrest her, just because she is haredi. I dont even know how the army is expected to know she is haredi, if she never bothered to declare that, as she never filled out the forms. So she just shows up one day with her sheitel and they are supposed to automatically ignore the fact that she was AWOL for x number of years?

(source: Kikar and COL)

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  1. Just for reference, getting an exemption is not quite that easy (almost though). The young lady in question has to appear before the rabbinute office, declare herself religious (she may but not necessarily be asked for a report card or school letter to show she's attending or attended a religious institution and she may or may not be asked a few very basic questions about yiddishkeit) and receive a certification of religiousness. She then goes to the draft office with her draft notice and certification and automatically receives a p'tor.

    Not all rabbinut's handle it, for example the Beit Shemesh rabbinut sends you to the Jerusalem rabbinut for the certification.

    (As told to me by my daughter who just went through it.)

  2. i'm glad that barak has time to deal with stuff like this.

    1. What does Barak have to do with this?

      Wait, I thing I understand. You don't like Barak, so you're somehow trying to allege that he wastes his time with nonsense (which you know that people far below him handle, and doesn't even register as a faint blip on his radar screen) to indirectly express your distaste for him. Got it.

  3. nope, i have nothing against (or for) barak. i just saw in the articles that the MKs called on barak to deal with this issue.

  4. Chareidi ChutznikAugust 31, 2012 7:39 AM

    What an absolute disgrace. To charge someone for something illegal is one thing, but incarceration for this "crime" is completely overboard. There is no doubt she is a married, religious female who will not be serving in the army. She simply did not fill out the right form. Big deal.

    is Israel really a civilized country? I am reminded of the oleh chadash boy in the north that was arrested and then abused in prison some years ago.

    Another reason not to make aliyah?

  5. not another reason to not make aliyah. it is another reason to follow the law.

    yes, all she did was not file her paperwork for two years. Yes, thats all it is. Yet that makes her seriously AWOL, just like anybody else who is AWOL. just because she is haredi she shouldnt be punished for being AWOL for two years?

    civilized? yes it is. civilized countries have laws, and civilized countries enforce them.

  6. and yes, I do feel bad for her. I hope the askanim can get their act together and help her get this resolved. That has nothing to do with the fact that she deserved too be arrested for being AWOL. How hard would it have been to file the paperwork the way she should have in the right time?

  7. " I am reminded of the oleh chadash boy in the north that was arrested and then abused in prison some years ago."

    That's an extraordinarily vague accusation to make. The sceptic in me leads me to ask you who what, when, where, why and how? Nothing special: just the usual journalistic question template to dig out the f a c t s.

    "Another reason not to make aliyah?"

    No, just another reason to follow the old rabbinical maxim of דינא דמלכותא דינא - even (and particularly) in Israel.

  8. She just got 24 days behind those iron bars!

  9. I just read this today after hearing (yesterday) a radio interview with a politician/askan who was involved with this case.

    If he is telling it accurately, it was more complicated than was made out above. Apparently at one point she changed lifestyle somewhat and signed up to do army service. By the time she was meant to be inducted she had become frum again and decided not to go. She just didn't turn up. In the years since then she didn't do anything to resolve the issue and when she did finally try to do so she found herself in trouble.

    Her situation was worse because she was already in the system as being meant to serve.

    The radio interview came after she was allowed to go home for Shabbos this week...

    1. actually if the info in the interview is accurate, than it is much more simple than the story as first presented. she was obligated to serve, chose not to and chose not to do anything about it.
      if this is the case, than she has no case.


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