24 of the Ninth Month 5768
I am SO sick of this guy, "this guy" being Maj. Gen. Elazar Stern, chief of IDF personnel.
This is the guy who reprimanded Hananel Dayan for not shaking IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz’s hand at a ceremony where Dayan received an award. Dayan explained to then President Moshe Katzav that he was unable to shake the Chief of Staff's hand, as his family was expelled from Gush Katif.
This is the "kippah-wearing" guy who did not think twice about implementing the Israel government's expulsion plan, the words of the greatest religious Zionist rabbis of our time, such as the late Rabbi Avraham Shapira ZTZ"L, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Head of Rav Kook's Yeshiva, apparently meaningless to "religious Zionists" like Stern.
Religious?! Last time I checked, "religious" Jews are supposed to be concerned with Torah and halachah (Jewish Law).
And now, this guy is in the news again, mamlakhti (state-oriented) idiocy spewing from his mouth, as per usual.
It has taken me so long to report on this, because I periodically had to stop writing, because it made me SO angry.
Stern: Draft Evasion 'Creeping' into National-Religious Camp
Gil Ronen, Israeli National News, 21/11/07
Stern spoke of what he called "creeping draft evasion," and said that the phenomenon has begun permeating the national-religious camp, "out of ideological considerations and also as a byproduct of the Disengagement." (read more...)
Sure, he has a point. The Expulsion from Azza, which he calls the Disengagement, did cause many Jews to wake up, and re-examine their priorities, realizing that the flawed system of attempting to reconcile Israeli governmental idiocy and sometimes [I'll say the word, you'd like to say yourself] evil is on its way out as a viable shitah (approach) for life as a religious Jew in the Land of Israel.
But, what he brushes off as "ideology," I call Torah.
Jews are questioning the compatibility of Torah with Erev Rav-controlled Israeli policy, and Stern is not going to like their conclusions.
Since the creation of special Nahal Hareidi units in the IDF, Stern said, there was no longer any obstacle to service by hareidi-religious men. "The Nahal Hareidi has pulled the rug out from under the hareidis' excuse for not serving," he said. "There are conditions there that are unparalleled, even in [the hareidi neighborhood of] B'nei Braq. You don't see women there, not even a kilometer away. The food is glatt-kosher and the prayer services are compulsory. There is sack cloth on the fence so that they don't have to see a female secretary, even from 300 meters away." And yet, Stern complained, "we have not been not able to fill [the quota]. We have between 500 and 600 combat soldiers and we could have turned it into a regiment." (read more...)
You and I all know guys who served, and currently serve, in Nahal Haredi. They are great guys, and quite a few of them do not identify themselves as being haredi.
Oh, sure if they walked around some mamlakhti neighborhood, no doubt they'd get a few smirks in their direction. I, myself, was considered a "doss" (pajorative term for haredi) in the town mamlakhti town of Ofra.
My kippah, although srugah (knit) is too big and black for them,...apparently, as is my belief that sitting squished next to women in the back seat of a car is inappropriate.
But, I digress...
More and more, Nahal Haredi is turning into the only viable option for religious Zionists who want to and/or have to serve in the IDF, especially now with the chipping away at the Hesder Yeshivah Program, of which Stern is no fan.
But, what Stern fails to understand, or perhaps he understands all too well, is that the atmosphere of Torah observance, albeit important, is not the point.
I will get to this point shortly. But, first, here is more on the Hesder Yeshivah Program, from the same Israel National News article:
The 'hesder' yeshivas, which combine religious study with army service, were not spared from Stern's tongue-lashing either. He said too much of their activity, like that of the Nahal Brigade's soldiers, was socially oriented, and that the IDF can no longer afford that in the present situation. "The IDF Chief of Staff has already asked the hesder yeshivas to increase the period of service from 16 months to 24," he told the audience. "Bearing in mind the IDF's needs and the security needs, we think this should be considered positively." (read more...)
At first glance, his proposal sounds pretty innocuous, doesn't it?
But, what Stern neglects to mention is his personal involvement in the piece by piece, dismantling of the Hesder program.
Hesder Yeshivah students are no longer allowed to serve in the elite Golani or Tzanhani (paratrooper) units.
Thanks to Stern, more and more Hesder Yeshivah soldiers are thrust into working together with female soldiers. One of the reasons many of these religious Jews entered the Hesder Program was to avoid this.
Their ideas about Torah study and refraining from fraternization with women, in Stern's mind probably "dossi," and archaic, are only a front for the core reasons I believe Stern wants to diminish, and eventually phase out, this program.
The real reason Stern fears the Hesder program is its loyalty. Before the Expulsion from Azza, many Heads of Hesder Yeshivoth, risked their jobs and risking having the yeshivas' financial and physical doors closed, when they signed onto letters calling for soldiers not to participate in such a horrendous act as expelling Jews from their homes. Many such letters invoked Torah.
This declaration promoting Torah over the State is considered dangerous by the Sterns and the Navehs, and the other mamlakhtim, feigning the belief that this philosophy threatens to break about the IDF itself, thus putting the entire country at serious risk during attack.
Even MK Effie Eitom expressed this view. Don't look all surprised either! You remember this, as well as I do. Of course, my guess is that he's changed his mind on that after the Expulsion from Azza, and after getting clobbered in Amona. He has even flirted with the idea the idea of transferring Arabs out of Israel, an idea once considered "extreme."
Fortunately for IDF generals like Stern, there plenty of mamlakhti "rabbis" who were wishy-washy enough, if not downright against the refusal of soldiers to execute orders which run counter to halachah, that only 62 soldiers had to be jailed,...ONLY 62!*
Half of IDF's New Combat Officers are Religious
Gil Ronen, Israeli National News, 26/08/07
The entry of the religious Zionists into the officer corps began after the Yom Kippur War, says Caspit, when Major-Generals Ya'ir Naveh and Elazar Stern entered service, and "continues with the pre-military academies, which send a sizable percentage of their graduates to the Officers' Course." The "Hesder" yeshivas, he says – the seminaries that combine religious study with a shortened army service – do not contribute many officers. (read more...)
And what are these "pre-military academies" which are so highyly praised by Stern.
These are what we call the Mekhinoth in Israel. In most of them, undying loyalty to the almighty state is taught not alongside Torah, but mixed in with Torah, these mamlakhtim appearing to see very little difference between the two.
No wonder Stern praises the Mekhinoth. They tow the party line.
The statistics quoted above may very well be true. I would not be surprised.
The truth is, Stern does not want completely Torah-true, religious soldiers in the army, let alone in the officers' corps. Sure, many of the mamlakhti officers of Stern's ilk, are actually quite "frum." But for the most part their loyalty to the State is on a sufficient level,...for now.
You see, I have faith, that even the mamlakhti officers and soldiers have the potential to wake up from their State-sponsored brainwashing. And, if they do, then Stern is in big trouble.
And, what about the Nahal Haredi? Just like Stern does not want Torah-loyalist, religious Zionist officers in his IDF, the Left does not really want haredi soldiers in the army. Nahal Haredi has turned precisely into the body the left has hoped for. It is now the Left's excuse for harassing haredi communities. Here is one young haredi man's assessment as to why Nahal Haredi is not an option for him:
Your Values Are Not Mine!
Yoseph Goldsmith, YNET, 11/9/07
Yoseph Goldsmith, a haredi youngster, responds to Major General Elazar Stern's comments regarding the wide-spread phenomenon of draft-dodging among ultra-Orthodox; says that when the IDF follows Torah's laws – ultra-Orthodox will enlist. (read more...)
Imagine if the number of army deferments for haredi men were significantly reduced today.
Do you think Shulamit Eloni YSh"W would stand for her grandchildren serving in a regular army unit with strict kashruth regulations, a mezumin at the table, after a d'var Torah, of course, in a barracks with increased scrutiny of orders given to do melakhah (work/actions) on Shabbath, and three minyanim per day?
Are you kidding?
She would immediately rally her Labor and Mere"tz cronies in the Kenesset to create a special Nahal Hiloni (secular) unit, so that the "rights" of her grandchildren could be protected!
Regarding Nahal Haredi, Stern says, "See?! You have your segregated, army unit. Now you don't have any more excuses!"
I am for a reduction in deferments from army service, too. But, if it means protecting my sons from being indoctrinated into Stern's vision of a regime with loyalties to the almighty State over loyalty to God and His Torah, then I, too, would try to find a way to have my serve serve Am Yisrael, while being protected from such anti-Torah influences, rampant in the IDF of today.
I have no doubt that many of you would be surprised, no, SHOCKED, when I tell you that the anti-IDF sentiment I hear in the Shomron is not that unlike the anti-IDF sentiment I hear have been hearing Me'ah Sha'arim for the past 10 years.
Try as I may, to make clear my rantings about this guy Maj. Gen. Elazar Stern, my anger and frustration continue to confound my attempts. I am not just frustrated with the hold of such "religious" men over the IDF. I am frustrated with the "religious" Zionists who actually believe the IDF command is deserving of our blind loyalty.
So, what IS the point of my rantings? What is the bottom line?
Consider yourselves warned. You are going to have to make a very important decision. Your children are going to have to make a very important decision.
Is it worth sending your children into the depths of mamlakhti brainwashing, confusion over Torah vs. State loyalties, opportunities for premarital sex around almost every corner, and, of course, the almost definite likelihood of being placed in the difficult position of having to refuse orders to participate in the dismantling of Jewish homes and the expulsion of their occupants?
Have you adequately prepared them for such challenges?
Are you fully prepared to place your sons lives and souls into the hands of this guy?
I am really so sick of this guy! Aren't you?
*This 62 number does not include the Golani Brigade, whose head stated that they would not participate in such an atrocity as the Expulsion. As a result of these words, the Golani Brigade was never ordered in. Likewise the Nahal Haredi unit was not called in, for fear of massive refusal of orders, thus risking great embarrassment to the IDF, and perhaps even encouragement of more refusals of orders.