4/17/07

Surprising Orthodox Blog Praises IDF Army Service

In the Cross-Currents Blog, frequent writer, Jonathan Rosenblum, has a rambling entry extolling Israel and Israeli society. He winds it up with a giant surprise. He says,
Army service in Israel provides a degree of societal cohesion and shared experience increasingly lacking in America, where those who serve and those who don’t form distinct social classes.

I don't know much about this fella. I assume he is right wing Orthodox, like most of the guys and gals over there at CC. Maybe he served in the IDF, who knows.

His statement stands there at the close of his article, orphaned and without explanation. It begs several questions.

Does JR know that only a tiny percentage of RWO and Haredim serve in the IDF? I'm sure he does know this.

Does JR mean to imply that more of these types of Jews should serve because of the "societal cohesion and shared experience" that would be gained?

I would not bet on that. That is exactly why the rabbis won't allow there boys to serve. They might cohere and share and not come back to the Yeshiva.

I bet that JR both wants his cake and wants to eat it. When I read sentiments like JR's I am so sad. He is either genuine and yet cannot complete his acceptance of the State of Israel. Or he is disingenuous and just wants to make it appear that the frum engage in literate discourse.

Either way I am sad for him and his colleagues. They need to face the music.

Their ability to deny the redemptive meaning of the State of Israel is weakening daily. They are losing. World Jewry and Judaism is not following them as they stumble around in the darkness of their denial and heresy.

JR's final thoughts in this blog strike me as totally bizarre:

Why do I choose now to sing these praises of Israeli society? Because no matter how long the distance, a society which still recognizes a collective identity larger than the individual, in which concepts of duty and sacrifice still exist, which entertains the possibility of values worth fighting and dying for, which can overcome its own selfishness to bring new life into the world is still one step closer to finding its way back to Hashem than one in which these qualities are absent.

JR thinks it's better to be a secular Israeli than a secular American because that is, "one step closer...to Hashem."

I'd ask, Is it one small step, or one giant leap?

I'd ask, Doesn't it look like Hashem has has taken one step and has chosen secular Israeli society? How else can you explain the miraculous emergence of the State of Israel in its present form? Doesn't it look like the Haredi and RWO have not been chosen and indeed have missed out on this redemption?

2 comments:

Bryce said...

"JR thinks it's better to be a secular Israeli than a secular American because that is, "one step closer...to Hashem.""

Tzvee, when you were working on the Talmud, what did you do with this pericope:

Talmud Bavli, Ketubot 110b:
Our Rabbis taught: One should always live in the Land of Israel, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are idolaters, but let no one live outside the Land, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are Israelites; for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a God, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no God.

Bryce said...

"Their ability to deny the redemptive meaning of the State of Israel is ...denial and heresy. "

It still sounds peculiar coming from a person who believes that the moshiach (assuming you believe one is coming) is going to arrive for an *already*-redeemed people.