Tuesday, June 18, 2019

IDF Radio: Charedim Not Needed in the Army

"You ask: 'Do we need more Chareidim in the army?' The answer is: No. About three thousand chareidim enlist every year – most of them into combat units; any more would just cause more [administrative] headaches. Every chareidei framework costs tons of money and inhibits our new project of increasing the number of women in combat units… In two years, the number of soldiers in the army is [expected] to grow to a surplus of 17,000. 17,000 soldiers that the army does not know what to do with. A committee has been established to find a solution for all those extra soldiers – how to let them go. In two years, we are looking at a surplus of soldiers… Everyone knows that the army has no need for chareidi soldiers… They cost too much: every chareidei soldier costs double that of a regular one. This whole debate was unnecessary." (Yossi Joshua, Military Correspondent for “Latest News,” on IDF Radio)

So if the country doesn't need the Charedim in the military, if in fact, having Charedim in the military is a waste of tax dollars, then why was formation of the government held up by Lieberman's insistence of having more Charedim entlist? (Already 30% enlist.) Is it because the purpose of Zionism is to destroy the Torah as R' Chaim Brisker said?

Do you want to say Charedim have to share the burden? How about the Chilonim share the burden? Charedim are the ones keeping the mitzvos, and not just for 2.5 years, but for life. Overall, the Charedim make a much bigger contribution to society than Chilonim do.

Oh, so you say that the Chilonim don't believe in the Torah. Well, I for one, don't believe in the military, not the way Israelis do. Why does the 100th biggest country in the world need the 5th most powerful military? 

Surrounded by enemies? Israel has had peace with Jordan and Egypt for 40 years. There's no enmity with the Mediterranean sea. Syria has its own problems. What's left, the border with Lebanon? There has been peace there as well for decades, since Israel ended its occupation of Southern Lebanon. Israel has not been invaded by another country in nearly 50 years and even that war was avoidable by diplomacy. The last invasion was 70 years ago and even that one was caused arguably by Ben-Gurion's declaration of a state following heavy political pressure and terrorism to force UN Resolution 181. Israel has started nearly all of its wars. It's an Israeli thing: aggression, militarism. Why should the Charedim have to shoulder that obsession?

The notion that Israel’s wars were wars of self-defense and that its limited military actions were primarily “retaliatory” in nature rests on shaky foundations. Many Israeli politicians and institutional historians have tried to sell the world and the Israeli public for decades the conception that Israel’s military actions were primarily actions of self-defense. 

….most of Israel’s wars were the result of deliberate aggressive designs or flawed conflict management strategies. At least one war (the Yom Kippur War) could have been avoided by judicious diplomacy. Israel’s war experience is a story of folly, recklessness, and self-made traps. None of the wars – with the possible exception of the 1948 War of Independence – was what Israelis call Milhemet Ein Brerah (“war of necessity”). They were all wars of choice or wars of folly. (Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land, p. 552.)

Maoz, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Correlates of War Project at the University of California, Davis and Distinguished Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, is the former head of the prestigious Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University and the former academic director of the IDF M.A. (graduate studies) program. He is not somebody “who doesn’t get it,” who has no right to speak because he does not know the State of Israel and its unique situation, a charge that auto-defenders of Israeli government policy like to say about all critics. He is a man who the Israeli military itself made the academic director of its graduate program. 

What's really going on here is a religious war. Zionism vs. Torah. Militarism vs. Torah. It's the final battle of world history. The eruv rav against faithful Jews. Which side will you be on?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Linked post: Nusach Ashkenaz in the Center of Chasidic Davening from TREASURES OF ASHKENAZ


"As is well known, one of the major dividing lines between Chasidim and non-Chasidim, and a source of tension at times, is in the area of נוסח התפילה. While Chasidim (with some exceptions, as we have posted about in the past – see for example this post, as well as this post) overwhelmingly discarded the ancient נוסח אשכנז, adopting in its place a so-called “נוסח ספרד” or “נוסח אר”י”, those faithful to the holy מסורה of אשכנז emphatically rejected such change.

"What is interesting and noteworthy, however, is that even among major Chasidic groups to the present day, there are major elements of nusach Ashkenaz still in use.

            Ashkenaz in the Nusach of Belzer Chasidim

"The Chasidic group of Belz is one of the oldest (going back over two centuries) and largest Chasidic groups in the world, and has been a major force for a very long time." continue

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lehovin: An Insider’s Look at the Bnei Yeshiva Draft Process

Lehovin, parshas Behar 27, Main, p. 9

Menachem Shtauber is a 29-year-old Israeli criminal law attorney in Yerushalayim, where he lives with his wife and three children. After learning in Yeshiva Kol Torah, he began the study of Israeli law, and after serving as an army lawyer, went into private practice, where he specializes in representing both religious and secular individuals experiencing problems related to the military draft. He is widely regarded as the top attorney in the country in this area of the law.

Is there a real problem today of yeshiva bachurim who are in danger of being drafted by the Israeli army?

There are hundreds of such cases in which a bachur has been stripped of his ma’amad ben yeshiva, his exempt status as a yeshiva bachur. I’m not exaggerating – as an attorney, I’m careful to speak with precision. We’re not discussing the talmidim of Rav Shmuel Auerbach or others who don’t cooperate with the military authorities at all. We’re speaking of regular yeshiva boys who went through the registration process but have been denied their exemptions.

For example: A boy comes from a family that has great financial difficulties and during bein hazemanim, he works a bit in order to help his family out, even just for an hour. When that boy comes to the draft office and they ask him if he’s ever worked, if he acknowledges working for an hour bein hazemanim, they tell him, “So you work. You’re not a yeshiva bachur. You will go into the army.”

All these conditions that are used to remove a bachur’s status, such as the prohibition on working even for one hour or traveling overseas for more than seven days, were they enacted in order to ensure there would be enough yeshiva bachurim to fill the yearly quotas that require the drafting of thousands of charedim? 

I can’t say if it’s to fill quotas, but there’s no question that it has been done with a goal of drafting as many bachurim as possible. There is an office for shiluv Charedim, for the integration of charedim in the army, which was set up for this specific purpose. This isn’t something hidden, the army publicizes it. People can debate whether this is good or bad. That’s a separate question. But these are the facts, and you can’t argue with facts. It’s more comfortable, however, for people to bury their heads in the sand and say that all is in order, when in fact it isn’t.

In the past, these conditions on a bachur’s status weren’t scrutinized and enforced anywhere near as exactingly as now. If a boy wanted to fly overseas he did so and they would leave him alone. Now, if a bachur travels overseas and returns mere hours after the seven-day deadline – it’s all over. This is being done in order to increase the numbers of charedim in the army.

I have quite a number of bachurim I’m representing who had their status removed for having volunteered outside of regular yeshiva hours – such as on erev Shabbos or bein hazemanim -- with organizations like Hatzalah or Yedidim (which is like Chaverim in the U.S.). The State would rather they do nothing than that they volunteer for these groups.

Is it true that there are people paid by the army to circulate among bachurim to influence them to enlist?

Yes, of course. I know such individuals personally. I don’t know if they receive money for each bachur they convince to enlist or they receive a salary, but there certainly are such people—charedim in every way -- circulating in the olam hayeshivos. The State is interested in having charedim integrate into society and they use every means at their disposal. 

What is going on currently with the drafting of girls?

I am more involved with cases of bachurim than of girls. But I can tell you that just days ago there was a Supreme Court ruling in a case in which a young woman named Moriah Sheli sought an exemption despite having been late in submitting her tatzhir dat, declaration of religiosity.

The court rejected her petition, and in the opinion, they stated that the fact that the number of religious girls entering the army continues to rise is proof that there is no intrinsic contradiction between a girl being religious and serving in the army. This is a very ominous development, because it undermines the entire basis for religious exemptions.

Ever since a Supreme Court case about three years ago in which a non-religious girl sought an exemption claiming she was religious, the army has begun giving even unquestionably religious girls – including very Charedi ones – a very difficult time. I represent girls who are regularly summoned to the draft office for a ra’ayon dat, an interview to determine their religiosity –something that never occurred in the past. At these interviews, they are bombarded with questions that even you and I might have a difficult time answering under pressure, seated before intimidating army officers. They are questioned about obscure points of Jewish law, such as which brachot to make on various foods and the order of precedence of brachot, or are told to recite tefillot by heart, starting from the middle of a paragraph. There are many girls who lead religious lives but don’t attend Torah shiurim and aren’t familiar with halacha, yet these girls are forced into the army as a result of such interviews.

Can you describe a bit about the experience of being in the army?

I served in the army and I still do milu’im. The moment one enters the army, one’s hashkafa changes, he begins to feel himself a part of Israeli society. A charedi bachur who enters the army will not remain as he was – there’s no one who denies that. He is exposed to different types of people and different cultures, and sometimes he begins to adopt those as his own.

Some claim that there’s no draft crisis because, after all, “no one is ever taken directly from yeshiva into the army,” and they challenge those who claim there is a crisis to find such instances. What is your response?

Perhaps they’re right that bachurim aren’t generally taken physically from yeshiva straight into the army. But the way the process works, once the army removes a bachur’s exemption and he is forced to fight against being drafted, he will indeed end up in the army unless organizations like Ichud Bnei Torah HaSefardim and others can hire attorneys to secure his release.

So, while a bachur may not be dragged physically from his shtender to the army base, being stripped of his exemption means that, barring special intervention, a process has begun that will lead to his being forced into the army. I have represented a number of bachurim who were imprisoned after losing their exempt status and as a result ended up giving in and going into the army.

I have a question for those who say that bachurei yeshiva are not being caught in the draft: Why is it that Degel HaTorah itself has someone named Rav Godenthal, whose entire job is to work on freeing bachurim who have been caught up in the draft process? He is very busy, so obviously there is a major problem in this area. People in America have a very great advantage in that they’re not caught up in the politics here, so they can see the picture of what’s going on here from a detached perspective, unlike people here who are biased by the fact that whole identity is tied into the politics. I’m not politically involved and I’m not connected to one side or another. Although I may wear a black kippah, I don’t see myself as a standard charedi. We need to face the facts: There are problems and we need to deal with them. If someone wants to say, “There are problems, but we don’t have the ability to deal with them,” that’s also a possible response. But what’s not valid is to say there are no problems.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Is the end near?

Let's review recent events. The sitting Prime Minister of the so-called Jewish state, the most popular and powerful leader since Ben-Gurion, tweeted: "The State of Israel will not become a halachic state." The former Defense Minister, A. Lieberman, holder of probably the 2nd most powerful position in the country, announced similarly, "we are against a halachic state."

The PM's tweet to which his son said essentially 'amen'

Let us remember that the Jewish nation came into being at Har Sinai and endures only via the halacha:

It was not the land that Moses had been commanded to proclaim to his people at the outset of his mission as מורשה, as the inheritance they were to preserve (Ex. 6,8). The Law, to be translated into full reality upon that soil, was to be the true מורשה, the one true, everlasting inheritance, the one true center around which the nation and its leaders were to gather as one united community. Herein lay the goal and the destiny, the character and the significance of the people. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch "The Kehillah," Collected Writings, Vol. VI, p. 62)
Through the halacha, we connect to Hashem. Without it, one gets stuck in the goshmiyus which becomes a bad replacement. The land becomes a false god. Even the Jewish people can become a false god. Of course, Zionists aren't interested in the Jewish people, only Zionist people as we saw during the Holocaust and afterwards when relief efforts for Jews were often thwarted by Zionist organizations unless they were directed at Jews who would move to Palestine or later Israel. I know a man who was told by Yad V'Shem, the Israel Holocaust museum, that they were only interested in Holocaust victims and survivors that were connected to the State of Israel in some way.

Then the Prime Minister appointed the first openly homosexual cabinet minister.  

first gay.JPG

Meanwhile, last week the formerly holy city of Jerusalem held its 18th annual homosexual pride parade of 30,000 people. The city hangs up rainbow flags for them. 

jeru gay.jpg
The parade route in Jerusalem with the rainbow flags installed by the city. Rainbow flags are a global symbol of homosexuality

And Jerusalem police are hiring trans-gender officers.

And I know Dati Leumi people who propose that we alter the nusach of the tefillah "build Yerusalayim" because the city has already been rebuilt and made Jewish. They call this Jewish.

Let us recall that the very Bible that the Zionists use to declare ownership of the land prohibits homosexuality.
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. Vayikra 20:13

Today, Tel Aviv is holding it's annual gay-pride abomination parade of 250,000 people. That is 4% of the Jewish population of the country. If 4% of Americans showed up for a parade, there would be 13 million people. The gay-pride parade in San Francisco, a city which is world famous for its acceptance and promotion of homosexuality, gets only 50,000 people. Metro San Francisco is home to 4.7 million people. Metro Tel Aviv with 3.8 million people gets 5x the participation in raw numbers. 

Yesterday, Haaretz published an article stating that the State of Israel leads the Western world in late term abortions performed if there is even a small chance of even minor birth defects. HaGaon Moshe Feinstein zt'l, posek hador, ruled that abortion in general is murder and absolutely prohibited to prevent birth of a baby with birth defects. (Iggros Moshe- Choshen Mishpat- 2:69) Furthermore, he ruled that even amniocentesis is forbidden if it is performed only to evaluate for birth defects for which the parents might request an abortion. Abortion is permitted only to save the life of the mother.

Since 1948, the State of Israel has performed well more than 1 million abortions. 

"There are three who drive away the Divine Presence from the world, making it impossible for the Holy One, blessed be He, to fix His abode in the universe and causing prayer to go unanswered... [The Third is] he who causes the fetus to be destroyed in the womb, for he destroys the artifice of the Holy One, blessed be He,, and His workmanship.... For these abominations, the Spirit of Holiness weeps." Zohar, Shemos 3b.

Here's how they do abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy at which time the fetus theoretically can live outside the womb. They kill the fetus by injection of a substance into its heart, then give birth to it. 

Talmud Yoma 9a:
Why was the first Sanctuary destroyed? Because of three [evil] things which prevailed there: idolatry, immorality, bloodshed. 
One wonders if the end is not very near. How much more of this will the Master of the Universe tolerate?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Only in Israel

"This morning, a girl entered the Lishkas HaGiyus on Rechov Rashi in Yerushalayim. She went to arrange a petur from the army. The army demanded she first pass a rayon dat, a test to prove she is religious. The officials were unsatisfied with the results and refused to grant a petur. They demanded she immediately begin the enlistment process. The girl refused to enlist and broke down sobbing. Meanwhile, her plight became known, and a large tzibbur of hundreds rushed to protest and to prevent her transfer. Baruch Hashem, after a number of hours she was released. To give an idea of how easy it is to fail a rayon dat, consider one of the famous trip-up questions; what were the names of the two houses in the times of the Mishnayos? Give up? Bais Shamai and Bais Hillel, of course. Didn’t get it, sorry, you are obviously not religious and must enter the army." From the Sentry

Only in Israel. It's amazing the heartlessness of some of the people in the draft office and all those who cheer them on. Making a young girl sob. Bullies. I'm sorry to say it but having a heart of stone is not uncommon in Israeli society. The founders of the country hardened their hearts towards Hashem and Jewish tradition. Then they developed a militaristic identity which their descendants want to impose on everyone. Along with that comes a hatred for everyone, Arabs, Europeans, liberals, 2 billion Moslems, Charedim. They are all out to get us is the claim. It becomes a hate fest. Aliyah salesman talk about the sabra, rough on the outside and soft on the inside. I believe that's a relic of a time long gone by. If ever you meet a Sabra in Israel, usually he's over 60, and his father was from Poland or Yemen. The new generation is 70 years deep into militarism. And many of them are quite scary. 

Now who came to this girl's rescue? I have seen it before. It was men in long coats, long beards, and long payus. It was men who ignoramuses sometimes actually label as anti-Semites because they protest against the state, the secular state whose democratically elected Prime Minister of many years opposes halacha. Meanwhile, the so-called anti-Semites are the ones who mobilized on behalf of this poor Jewish girl. Safe to say there wasn't anybody there with a knitted yarmulka. It was men who worship Hashem and love His people who came to her rescue. If you worship Hashem you will love His people. If you worship the state, you will love the armed enforcers of its heretical policies.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Your dad is sleeping now

"Your dad is sleeping now." This is what was said to comfort the young daughter of the 36 year old paramedic Mohammed al-Judeili. An Israeli sniper killed him as he was tending to the wounded at the Gaza separation fence last month. The sniper shot him in the face. The Israeli snipers have now killed 4-medics. Do we say that these medics were planning to scale the fence and sack Tel Aviv while carrying their medic bags and tending to the wounded?

If this little girl's weeping doesn't break your heart, then I feel sorry for you for you have lost your way. 


"You should pray for the welfare of the whole world and feel other's pain. This is the way of the righteous. David HaMelech said, "And I, when they were ill, dressed in sackcloth, I afflicted myself with fasting." (Tehillim 35:13) Do not pray and beseech God only for your own needs. Pray also that all humanity should live in peace. When there is peace among governments, there is peace in the world."

Rabbeinu Yona of Girona, on Pirkei Avos 3:2. Rabbeinu Yona, d. 1263, who is referenced several times in Tosfos, was the teacher of the Rashba. He is the author of the classic Gates of Repentance.

The land of the Divine Torah is there for the people who live in it. Its most valuable product, the purpose and goal of the whole of God's Blessing directed to it, is every human life nourished by it, through its means able to dedicate itself to making God's Torah into a realisation. The land is only given on the condition of every human life respected as being unassailably sacred to the Torah. One drop of innocent blood shed and no notice taken of it drops a stitch in the bond which connects the land with the nation and both with God. (see verses 33 and 34). This holding human life to be so sacred is to be made evident immediately on taking possession of the land in the division of it by instituting the arrangement which the Torah had already referred to in the fundamental laws of Torah social life. (Ex. XXI, 13). 

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on Bamidbar 35:10

“Compassion is the feeling of sympathy which the pain of one being awakens in another; and the higher and more human the beings are, the more keenly attuned they are to re-echo the note of suffering, which, like a voice from heaven, penetrates the heart, bringing all creatures a proof of their kinship in the universal God. And as for man, whose function it is to show respect and love for God's universe and all its creatures, his heart has been created so tender that it feels with the whole organic world bestowing sympathy even on beings devoid of feeling, mourning even for fading flowers; so that, if nothing else, the very nature of his heart must teach him that he is required above everything to feel himself the brother of all beings, and to recognize the claim of all beings to his love and his beneficence.”

Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch, Horeb,125

Monday, June 3, 2019

Israeli Society's Antisemitism Problem

“On the Israeli side, the Jewish population in Palestine, the yishuv, was 90% secular at the time. And the leadership of the yishuv was almost totally secular. The military leadership, the political leadership. It was a very secular society. You get an optical illusion when you look back from 2016 when Israel has become much more religious or a larger part, segment of its population is religious. But in 1948 the people who counted and actually the vast majority of the population was of course non-religious. In fact they were children, or actually the people themselves, who had rebelled against religion. This is what Zionism was all about, partly, against rebelling against the old world of their fathers, which was a religious world. They rebelled also against God. So they didn’t approach the war at all as a religious war, not the generals, not the politicians, not Ben-Gurion, not Sharet, not Allon, not Dayan. They were irreligious people, maybe even they were anti-religious, so the religious people saw them.” (Benny Morris on “A New Look at the 1948 Arab-Israeli War,” Wilson Center, 43:15)

As Benny Morris, one of Israel's top historians, tells us, the country was founded by rebels against Jewish tradition. So, one would not be crazy to worry that such people would produce a society that is hostile to religious people. Listening to former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and his cheering section over the past two months, we see that is exactly the situation.

Israel is a strange place. If a 1st grader in Chile were to ask why the Israeli authorities razed a Palestinian school, she'd be pounced upon as a vicious antisemite. The Israeli press would never let up on her. Israeli politicians from every party would denounce her from the Knesset floor. She would be barred from ever entering Israel.

However, Mr. Lieberman just spent two months in a full blast assault on Charedi Jews in Israel that was reminiscent of you know what. “If the word Haredim were replaced by ‘Jews’ – we would say that it was an article from Europe,” Shas leader Aryeh Deri noted, adding “The only thing missing was him saying we have big noses or don’t bathe.”

It took a Charedi man to say it. The non-Charedi part of the country has been silent if they haven't been cheering Lieberman on. No doubt they love quips like these:

"we won’t allow for the whole country to become Shtreimel wearers”
 "the time has come that something be demanded of them in return for once”
"We are in favor of a Jewish state, we are against a halachic state."

Lieberman is very concerned about so-called Charedi power and he wants all of Israeli society to know it. Again and again, he referenced "Charedi coercion" even as he single-handedly held up  formation of a new government and forced the country into expensive new elections. A headline in the self-proclaimed fair and liberal Times of Israel said, "Liberman is right to protest ultra-Orthodox coercion". Yaakov Katz of the Jerusalem Post wrote, “FOR TOO LONG, this country has been ruled by a haredi minority.” Charedim don't get a break on any side within Israeli society. The right hates us. The left hates us. The center hates us. Meanwhile the Charedi parties agreed to compromise offers. Reportedly, Lieberman issued unprecedented political demands for political appointments. He claims he took a stand against those rascally Charedim and their power.

Last I checked, there are no Charedim on the High Court, nor have there ever been. There has never been a Charedi Prime Minister.  No Charedi President. There are few Charedim in the Prime Minister's cabinet. Here's the list of the outgoing cabinet.


Three of the thirty are held by Shas, one of them the Ministry of Religious Affairs -- thats 10 percent, not exactly dominant. Do you see anybody there from those alleged power-brokers of United Torah Judaism? No, you do not. I have tell you that you don't see it because you might imagine that you do. After all, doesn't everyone know the Chassidic rebbes dominate the country? Do we actually have to examine whether it's true?

No Charedi has ever led the Bank of Israel or any bank. There are no Charedi billionaires based in Israel. In fact, Charedim are amongst those with the lowest income in the country. There are no major Israeli newspapers or television channels that are led by Charedim. If there is a Charedi in charge of any of Israel's major corporations I can't picture him or her. Is there one? Are there two? I suppose it's possible. Anything is possible.

And then there's the  military, the most powerful institution in the country. There has never been a Charedi Chief of Staff or Defense Minister. The leadership of the military generation after generation is quite clearly not populated by Charedim. Has there ever been a Charedi general or police chief of a major city? On and on it goes. But somehow, those Charedim are so powerful that we must all stop them. We must make a stand. 

But what about social control? Lieberman is concerned that the country is headed towards theocracy.  Does a gay-pride parade of 250,000 people take place in a theocratic country? Do 10% of pregnancies end in abortion in a theocratic country? (I am not condoning either of these.) One wonders if Lieberman has ever visited Tel-Aviv. The bathers on those beaches don't appear to be under any theocratic control -- neither do the men and women on the streets of Tel-Aviv. Is is amazing how Israelis can brag about how different they are from the neighboring Arab states and at the same time complain about theocracy. Has Lieberman been to Haifa? A restaurant owner there told me that the city won't allow him to build a Succah. Yes, there's a control problem in Israel, but it isn't Charedi control.  

There is not another country in the western world that would tolerate such a barrage of hostility against religious Jews --  those streimel-wearers -- as what we just saw from Lieberman. Since 1945, there might not be a country of any kind that would allow it. Only in the so-called Jewish state is such antisemitism embraced.

Antisemitism you say? Yes, antisemitism. If being "anti-Israel" makes one antisemitic, then so does being "anti-Charedi." Charedim are too Jewish for some people, particularly those who work in the fashion of the founders of the country. Charedim are reminders of what they were rebelling against. Sure, you can be a little Jewish, but these loonies take it way too far, no?

One of the big challenges for Charedi olim is enduring the anti-Charedi sentiments that blast from every pore of Israeli society. In America, the clerk at the gas-station in Iowa might stare at your yarmulka for a second. She might even give you a blessing as an African-American woman did to a friend of mine in Virginia. She said, "I heard that anyone who blesses you is blessed. So I'm going to bless you." That's America. 

Then there's Israel. Olim come trying to escape the antisemitism they are told is erupting all over the world (so they are told) but walk in many cases into a hostility worse than the kind their great-grandfathers remembered from the 1920s in the Ukraine.

It's hard to unpack hatred which itself is an illogical impulse. In the Charedi world many say that the hostility stems from feelings of guilt about not living Torah lives, but that's a theory, impossible to prove.  And of course a Chiloni will object to that idea as what's to feel guilty about? If you ask Chilonim, they'll refer inevitably to military service. Evidently, in their eyes the only meaningful way of contributing to a society is via a government program. Those Charedim refuse to serve. (Actually, 30% of Charedi males enter the military.) 

I have been been waiting for years to hear somebody ask respectfully, why do they refuse? This rather than the knee-jerk impulse of condemnation: they are bums, they have no gratitude, they want us to do the work. Instead ask why. Pose a question. We learn when ask questions. 

The Charedim clearly are not bums. You trying waking up everyday and spending an hour in prayer no matter the weather or how tired you feel. They are not undisciplined people. They live a life that is chock full of rules of the kind that Lieberman abhors. They fast five times a year. Let him try that. They are not disloyal people. They are upholding the traditions of everyone's great-grandparents. They live conservative lives.  

I wasted considerable time over the last few weeks reading at least three-dozen articles in the mainstream press on Charedim and the draft and did not see one single Chiloni writer ask the question. Why do Charedim not want to serve? Why?

Since you did not ask, I'll tell you: they do serve. They serve God. The question is why do Chilonim refuse to serve. See, it's the same question for the controversy over the draft is a religious one. 
The military was founded and designed in large part as an assimilation mechanism into secularity. The very anti-religious David Ben-Gurion referred to the military as "the melting pot" through which “that human mixture which is flowing from many exiles, [can] be smelted, refined, and purified of its foreign and worthless dross.” As writer Zvi Zameret notes, “this dross no doubt included many of the commandments that condition behavior between man and His Maker, commandments which Ben-Gurion did not value.” The Israeli military was designed to create secular Israelis. Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz explained it well in his article, “Forget Judaism – the Military Is Israel’s State Religion.” He wrote, “But as far as any form of Israeli secularism, or religion, goes, the IDF is the most powerful one Israel has today. It’s the closest thing we have to a state religion. It’s certainly the strongest stream of Judaism.”

This is what Charedim are opposing. We have our reasons. I promise you, we aren't bums and ingrates. Military training in most countries is designed to train young people to follow orders from strangers and to kill. People don't naturally do such things. The military does this by breaking them down. The Israeli military uses those same conditioning mechanisms to brainwash soldiers in ideology that Charedim find abhorrent - that no divine being protected us in exile and that only the guns and tanks of the IDF will ever do it. For those who are unschooled in religious thought, this is an heretical idea. It pervades Zionist thought, Israeli society, and the military in particular.

To Charedim, religion is life. To the founders of the country, getting away from religion was life. They built the country in their image. See the problem? It is a massive cultural contrast. But it isn't the Charedim coming after the Chilonim for the most part. Yes, there is rabbinical control (more Dati Leumi than Charedi) over marriage licensing and certain activities on the Sabbath in many places, but not much more than that. In the sum of things, Chilonim have way more control over the country than Charedim do. It isn't even close. And the Charedim aren't coming after the Chilonim even remotely on the scale that Chilonim are coming after the Charedim via educational  policy and most of all via the draft. 

And the Charedi response to that? To employ the most tired of Israeli cliches, the Charedim have a right to defend themselves. They see the military as heretical and a threat to their values. This isn't just about Torah study, it's about an entire way of life.

Given that the the State of Israel has not been invaded by another country in half a century, the Chilonim really need to consider just letting it go. They already see the Charedim as living in another century, in another world. Look at them as a nation apart like they do the Arabs who also don't serve - don't serve the military. As I said, 30% of Charedi males enter the military. It's enough already.

But what about money, don't the Charedim extort money? Tell me, did you go to private school? Most of the private schools I have seen in Israel are Charedi schools. And even the ones who get state funding are mostly privately funded. This is another one of the little truths that are not spoken of in Israel. Charedim bring in billions of shekels from overseas. Israel doesn't exactly have a Western European welfare system. If Charedim are eating and living under roofs, it isn't because of the largess of the Israeli government. It comes from working and from overseas donations. And by way, one of the reasons more Charedi men don't work is because working eliminates their draft exemption. The Israeli government is the biggest cause of Charedi unemployment.

Have you ever seen Charedi school buildings? On the outside of any building of any substance you'll see references to places like Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles. That's where the money comes from, not from the Israeli government. Many Charedi children attend school in trailers.

Not so the secular Israelis. They have lovely buildings, paid for by the Israeli government, well taxpayers ultimately. Somehow this isn't called extortion. It's just normal. Kids go to public school. But if Charedim ask for half the money that Chiloni schools get they are branded extortionists. 
On and on it goes. The doublespeak, hypocrisy, and ignorance directed at Charedim in Israel indicates that the founders of the country succeeded in creating a European society -- and by that I mean an antisemitic one with its very own version of blood libels. 

Nevertheless, Israeli politicians and journalists will continue to brand people all over the world as antisemites for daring to ever utter the slightest criticism against Israeli anything, except when it concerns Charedim. And not only that, certain Israeli Chilonim will lead the way on those attacks. Reportedly, the Knesset seats for Lieberman's party are projected to increase from 5 to 9. His antisemitism, ah anti-Charedism, struck a chord it seems with some Israelis. May God protect us from the antisemites.