Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Jul 31, 2014

Haredi Avreichim volunteering for army service

Kikar is reporting a really interesting story, worth breaking in on the regular schedule of posts...

A group of avreichim learning in Kolels has decided they want to join the IDF and fight no the front lines.

Supposedly there are tens of such avreichim. They prefer to stay anonymous and not talk about it, under the guidance of "say little and do a lot". They say that after they join the reserves and actually accomplish things in the field, they will then be happy to talk about it.

The one person willing to talk is somebody who seems to be the representative of the group. He says he is Haredi, did army service and reserve duty, and wants to stay anonymous. He says there is no problem with an avreich who previously received an exemption from army service to now volunteer to perform a variety of duties for the army, and even to serve on the front lines. He says there are many initiatives to allow people to volunteer for duty, and even for people from abroad who have no obligation of army service at all, so why not also an initiative for avreichim to volunteer?

The way he says it makes it sound like the most natural thing in the world.

Kikar asks:
Is it appropriate to do this now, when the Draft law is hanging over the heads of the yeshiva students?
Answer: he sees no connection. This has nothing to do with the Draft Law. That discussion should not stop then from being able to volunteer. Just like people volunteer for Zaka and Hatzolah, there is no reason not to also volunteer for the IDF.
The issue of the Draft Law needs to be dealt with by the gedolim, but the issue of yeshiva students is not the same as that of older avreichim who are more spiritually stable. There is also a difference between being drafted for full army service to volunteering in a time of emergency for a short period of time.
Question: How can you call on people who are sitting and learning in the beis medrash to stop and volunteer for the IDF? It isnt Hatzolah volunteers you are callign upon.
Answer: There is no bittul torah here. The volunteers for this reserve duty will do 12 days of reserve duty a year, and the volunteering can be during the vacation periods. We see a value in volunteering for the IDF when it is a "milchemet mitzva", we see quality groups serving, and not people who have nothing to do. But even quality avreichim are not always learning 24 hours a day during the vacation times. It is a good time to take advantage of the opportunity to fulfill this important mitzva.
Question: What about halachic issues in the army?
Answer: In our framework we will ensure that the halachot will be kept and we will be very careful. There will be a separate training group, the environment will allow us to protect our values. In the proper framework, during reserve duty we will even be able to learn Torah.
Question: Are there rabbonim behind your program?
Answer: no. this is just a group of avreichim who got together, from all the sectors and types in the Haredi community. There are litvishe, sefardi and hassidic.

This fellow also explains that everyone involved is an avreich with a wife and children. They are not 18 year olds. They understand the ramifications of what they are getting into (regarding danger). Not every avreich volunteering is willing to go to the front lines - some want to perform other tasks, such as other security roles, but a large percentage of them do want tot go to the front lines [even at the risk of endangering his life and the possibility of death]. Why is the blood of avreichim redder than the blood of soldiers in the field.

I admit - I had to run my eyes when I saw this. At first i thought it was satire, but it is on a Haredi website that has not run satirical pieces like this in the past, and there is no indication on the page that it is satire. Especially when he says they want to volunteer for front line duty and endanger their lives and even die - that made me think it is satire. But then I thought maybe it just wasn't written or said properly. I cant find any actual indication that this is satire.

Also worth noting is that they are doing this without looking for rabbinic approval. This is definitely unusual for haredim to make such a major move without first obtaining rabbinic approval.

So, assuming this is true and actually happening, kol hakavod to them and I hope they find fulfillment in their volunteer work! They can make a kiddush hashem amongst those they serve with, as well as to many others who will see, assuming it all works out well, that meshing torah and Israeli life (including army service) can be done

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. They were also running adverts on Kikar, which lead to this signup form: https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1794389-adWibPB8OO

  2. I hope they understand that they can forget about serious roles or combat roles with the framework they are suggesting. Nonetheless, their labor could help and it is a step in the right direction.

  3. anonymous anonymous anonymous anonymous


    This is the stuff from Pravda. It's as true as the tooth fairy.

    (Besides, does the Israeli Army really take recruits with no military exeperience in the middle of a war and immediately send the new recruits to fight? Are they short on manpower?


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...