I also heard about two Israeli Haredi boys on a hike collapsing and dying from the heat and dehydration, which is terrible and shouldn't have happened.
And then, I read two articles about the accidents. I could not believe what I read: it seems that their Rabbanim in the Yeshivot have outlawed hiking (and renting cars), because both of these activities are dangerous to your health (click on the title link to read one article. )
Correct me if I'm wrong, but something seems amiss here: the Rabbeim did what ? They added a new Yeshiva course in life skills? In how to survive in a hot desert climate? Did they institute a driver's education and safety course in the Yeshiva? Apparently not.
Instead, in their great wisdom and with great common sense, they forbad the activities of hiking and driving.
Combined with the prevalence of the problem of some Haredi abuse of women on Israeli buses (non-Haredi buses, I might add), is there any debate as to whether or not they are even sane? Whether the Haredi way is the RIGHT way to be a Jew? The RIGHT way to Torah and miztvot??
I don't want to insult anyone, or denegrate anyone's way of life (unless they are attacking me and my life), but I need to open this up to debate: there is something very wrong here.
My husband was a scoutmaster in our area for many years. He was one of the, if not THE best scoutmaster this troop ever had. Our two sons went through this troup from 6 years old through high school, and both achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
It was a Jewish Scout Troop which contained Jews of all walks of life and of all denominations of Judaism--and this troop followed Halacha, from davening to keeping strictly kosher to keeping Shabbat, including building an eruv around campsites for Shabbat.
And he also taught the boys survival skills, which you can say are right in line with the mitzvah of Pikuach Nefesh. In fact, some years ago one of the scouts in my husband's troop actually helped in the rescue of stranded hikers.
And not too long ago, when he was still in yeshivah, my older son saved some kids in a yeshivah camp - who were out canoeing with no clue about water safety or canoeing - when the canoes capsized.
Why were these scouts able do this? because they had learned the proper skills, and had the Jewish Midot (Dennis Prager would use the term "moral compass") to care for other people and help them when they are in trouble.
Maybe my husband should offer to teach these Yeshiva bachurs survival skills, because their schools sure aren't doing it!
And instead of banning hiking, of all things - maybe they should ban long black kapotes and bekeshehs as inappropriate clothing for the Israeli climate in the summer?? They weren't even Jewish in origin, anyway--this type of dress was worn by Polish noblemen in the 18th-19th century! What in G-d's name is HOLY about this type of dress?!
Here is another important article from the Jerusalem Post on this tragedy.
I finished my rant. I seek your input.