There have been two controversies in recent days where the tragic kidnapping of the three teenage boys has been given a causative relationship to (rationally) unrelated issues.
The largest selling Hareidi newspaper Yated Neeman, in their lead editorial, blamed the kidnappings on the Government's attempts to enlist hareidim in the army.
Yated explained the theory thus:
“When the government tries to reduce the number of Torah students, when it passes draconian laws designed to reduce and criminalize those who sit on the benches of the study halls, it exposes the country to tragedies,” it went on, referring to the law for haredi conscription passed in March by the Knesset.
“Statistically, every time they try to harm Torah students, something in the local harmony is disturbed,” the paper said. “When the government tries to carry out an organized abduction of Torah students from their place of learning, when it tries to kidnap soldiers from their bases and to reduce the true and only army that [gives] protection, the bowels of the land are enraged and it requests to vomit us out.”
Meantime, a leading National Religious rabbi, Rav Dov Lior, reportedly placed the blame for the kidnapping on the erosion of Jewish identity, specifically the Government's proposed changes in conversion practices in Israel.
In the past, religious leaders have been slammed for stating that specific tragedies are due to extraneous factors, such as not being observant of shabbat or personal modesty, etc.
On a more rational approach, Benjamin Netanyau has squarely placed the blame for the kidnappings with Hamas, and therefore proceeded to wreck Hamas' political,cultural and terror infrastructure throughout Judea and Samaria, effectively destroying the detente between the PLO and Hamas - although the public has yet to be presented with any linkage between Hamas and these kidnappings.
Whereas others have pointed to the lack of public transport between settlements, which has necessitated a culture of hitch-hiking....
There is more consensus about the route to returning the boys safely home.
Prayer, unity and good deeds have been called for by the families of the boys, and by religious and secular leaders.
|Around 1000 people came together in Beit Shemesh to pray for the boys|
Even arch-secularist Yair Lapid, is reported to have told the parents of the boys:
"I haven't prayed in six years. I haven't gone into a synagogue since my son's bar mitzvah. When I heard what had happened to your sons, I turned my house upside down to look for my grandfather's prayer book. I sat down and prayed."
An interesting conundrum to ponder is why we universally (even Yair Lapid) believe that religious observance can help resolve a tragedy, but we equally fervently believe (on rational grounds) that lack of observance had no hand in causing it.
Why is that?