(nablopomo day 26)
It seems that at long last, there is an official call for every Israeli teen, including the ultra-Orthodox or Hareidim, to serve to help defend the state of Israel. Chief of Staff of the IDF (Israel Defense Force) Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi said recently that all youth eighteen years old should serve Israel in some capacity, if not in the Israeli armed forces, then in the police, firefighters, Magen David Adom (the Israeli Red Cross) or in Zaka.
He said that they should follow the current Sherut Le'umi, or national service model, which is that those youngsters--young men as well as young women--who do not want to bear arms for religious reasons, or are not able to join the armed forces after high school, would be required to do at least a year or two of "national service" in another capacity. Examples of this service could be volunteering in hospitals, working with disadvantaged youth, aiding the elderly,assisting in special education, internal security, and the like.
Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi said:
The chief of general staff suggested establishing an absorption base and virtual triage where every Israeli youth will pass through, with the IDF having priority over selecting teens first.
It is unthinkable that a released soldier will meet someone of the same age studying for a master's degree since he did not serve in the IDF, Ashkenazi said.
I agree. Read the story in its entirety, here.
(*in checking my links in this post, I noticed that the last one does not link to the correct article; that is an error on the part of the Jerusalem Post. As soon as it's corrected I will re-post the correct link. Apologies.)