Monday, 23 June 2014

Did Army Enlistment of Hareidim Cause The Kidnapping?




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
This has been taken up by the National Religious and Hareidim (who issued a declaration to pray and to bring in shabbat early this past week) and massive prayer gatherings have taken place throughout the country.

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?

4 comments:

  1. The government is to to blame for teaching terrorists again and again that it is very rewarding to kidnap Jews. Terrorists learn well.

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  2. Obviously Hamas has no real power over us, they are jus t a shaliach from Hashem. Hashem does not bring nisayons like this (or does anything) for no reason. Why this is happening can be for a number of reasons and while I do believe there are Tzaddkim out there that may have an inkling to why, non of us common folk really has any clue. Can it be because of the Chareidi Draft and anti Torah sentiments and laws from the State? Of course it can. It can also be because of Chillul Shabbos, lack of Tzniut, or any number of others things that Hashem has His reasons for. It is sad that it takes a tragedy and a nisayon like this to bring us together as a nation, but maybe that is the real lesson here. We have no one to turn to besides Hashem and we are alone in this world, unique among the nations, brothers & sisters to the same Avos and Emahos. United we stand, divided we fall. Please Hashem bring our brothers back home safely and please Am Yisroel, lets stop being stubborn and show unconditional love for each other.

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  3. Baruch Gitlin24 June 2014 12:36

    Why is that?

    One possible answer is that when it comes to the causes, it seems that each rabbi or newspaper editor that [thinks he] knows why this or that tragic event happened presents a reason that's coincidentally in line with his known hashkafa on some hot button issue. For some reason, this seems to breed a certain cynicism about these self-proclaimed neviim and their "reasons."

    Prayer, on the other hand, is generic and apolitical, so calling for prayer generally seems to be free of any underlying political/hashkafic agenda.

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  4. Where there is no appropriate punishment there is no fear of punishment. The penalty for kidnapping and murder is properly death and not life in prison. The penalty for assaulting children and even adults by elders and especially religeous figures should also be death as could be learned out from similar laws in the Torah. The AArabs have not received appropriate punishment nor have many Jews thus we have the situation we have at hand

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