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Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) youth do serve in the IDF

Some Haredim do go serve in the IDF. The proportion of those who do serve is much less than the proportion of Druze, however. They claim, "The best way to defend Israel is by studying Torah" - but in the Torah it says that the best way to defend Israel is by fighting. The Druze do not say that the best way to defend Israel is by studying the Qur'an. They have a difference of opinion with God, apparently. Haredi soldiers who have fought for Israel since 1948 have often done exceptional acts of bravery. But the duty of citizens to defend their country cannot be voluntary for some and compulsory for others.
Perhaps the best way to defend Israel is by studying engineering, but engineers are not exempt from the draft, while Talmud students are.
Ami Isseroff

Recruit number 2,000 to haredi regiment says that while best way to defend Israel is by studying Torah, those who are unable to do so must join the IDF
Hanan Greenberg Published:  05.27.07, 16:12 / Israel Jewish Scene
The haredi Nahal regiment marked the recruitment of its 2,000th soldier on Sunday. The new recruit, Itamar Grilus (18) from the strictly Orthodox Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem, told Ynet, "I think that the best way to defend the land of Israel is by studying Torah, but if one is unable to sit and study all day, he should physically defend Israel."

Grilus, who traded his black suit for army uniform Sunday morning, was a student at prestigious Lithuanian yeshivot and enlisted in the IDF following his brother, who also served in the haredi Nahal.

Founded in 1999, the regiment is considered to be very successful, and has even registered an increase of 15 percent in the number of recruits this year.
 "I made the decision to enlist with my parents and my family, who support me completely." Grilus said. "I was offered by the army to join elite combat units, but I told them that if it weren't for the haredi Nahal I wouldn't have joined the army. The regiment is the only place where I can be a combatant and contribute, and at the same time preserve my haredi lifestyle to the maximum."

Grilus will undergo four months of boot camp, followed by advanced training, after which he will join one of the veteran brigades in the regiment.
'Trend must be strengthened' 
Rabbi Zvi Klobenau, head of the Netzach Yehuda-Haredi Nahal institution that founded the regiment, was also very excited on Sunday. "The enlistment of the 2,000th soldier is a milestone for the regiment. This is an operational, fighting regiment that protects Israeli citizens in general, and in the Jordan Rift valley area in particular," he stated.

"It should be kept in mind that the soldiers who joined the regiment wouldn't have enlisted in the army if there wasn't a haredi regiment committed to observing Torah, mitzvot and the haredi atmosphere," he added.
 According to the rabbi, "We have proven that it's possible to set up a framework in the army that allows the soldier to maintain a haredi lifestyle and be a full-fledged fighter, without having the one canceling the other.

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