(nablopomo day 27)
“there is no reason that my daughters are required to do national service and someone else’s aren’t.”Those were the words of Brig.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, who is only one of three women in Israel to hold such a high rank in the IDF. She stated that because of "demographic challenges" and lower immigration, the Israel Defense Forces should start cracking down on draft-dodgers. She was partially referring to the ultra-Orthodox who receive a religious exemption from serving in the armed forces, and have twice the birth rate of the regular population, or higher.
The ultra-Orthodox receive an exemption in order to study Torah, which is fine, for scholars--but it is now out of all proportion. Even those who do not have an inclination nor an aptitude for studying and learning Torah get this exemption. Initially, it was a reaction to the decimation of Judaism in Eastern Europe because of the Holocaust, when six million men, women and children were brutally murdered by the Nazis.
Jewish life, scholars, and Torah learning were wiped out in Eastern Europe, and this was an attempt to revive the generations of scholarship in the Jewish Holy books, and continue Jewish tradition. It was important, at the time, and it achieved its purpose. Now, thank G-d, Jewish learning and scholarship have been revived in Israel and thrive there.
The time has come to change national policy and award exemptions only to those who are illuiyim--prodigies and geniuses: to those who show an aptitude for study and who have the potential to become great rabbis and sages.
Everyone else, regardless of degree of piety, should serve, either by bearing arms in the IDF, or in Israeli National Service (sherut le'umi--see previous post).
Apparently many young people (especially girls, it seems) have lied about this 'piety' in order to get out of serving:
Barbivai praised the IDF’s efforts to counter the phenomenon of young girls claiming to be religious to get out of service. She said that since investigations into such claims were launched in late 2008, hundreds of young girls have been caught and a total of 1,200 have recanted on their claims of piety.My own youngest child, my daughter "Rambo" was just discharged from active duty where she served for three years in a combat IDF unit, and attained the position of Commander (rank: Staff Sergeant). Yes, she decided against National Service, and opted to bear arms. That was her choice. But if she had chosen otherwise, she would have had to do her civilian National Service--not been exempt from everything.
Everyone who is eligible to serve, should enlist, or serve the state of Israel in some other, civilian capacity. This draft-dodging should not be allowed any longer.