There are tens of thousands of ultra orthodox people living in Israel who believe that the state shouldn’t exist and have no problem screaming it from the rooftops. I am not sure that the best thing to do with these tens of thousands of Israel haters is to stick a uniform on them, give them a gun and send them off to guard the borders.
I mean what happens when a soldier is too religious to recognise the logic behind standing guard during Shabbat? What happens if he’s too religious to eat army food and starts starving himself to death? What happens if a parking lot in Jerusalem is open on Yom Kippur and the rebbe demands he go on strike? What happens if he hears that there is a woman within 100 miles? The list of disastrously comic possibilities are endless!
Not that I was a particularly big fan of the Tal Law either, in theory it was utterly discriminatory against, well you know, normal people and I am glad that it’s gone. Now it has been confined to the annals of history the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead is clear for all to see.
In the analysis put forward in the TOI by Mitch Ginsberg, the Rabbis (the ones who think that dressing like they’re in the 14th century is a good idea) aren’t about to roll over and allow the cream of their youth to be shown how nice the light of day outside the yeshivah actually is.
So now instead of funding them to study all day it appears as though I am going to have to fund a form of army sponsored national service, where military age ultra orthodox will be doing…more of the same?
The truth is that the ultra orthodox world won’t be able to survive contact with the real world. No more than a fraction of those who do 2-3 years military service will be interested in going back to the ghetto, assuming they are allowed by their elders, or forced by the army to serve in regular units and I think that everyone knows it, hence the resistance to it. However there are other elements that will conspire to prevent Haredim serving in the regular army alongside everyone else and so we are unlikely to find out whether that assessment is correct.
Anyone who has ever been on an army base knows that there are already too many jobnikim for the amount of positions available and in the most part (and clearly there is a minority that this might not apply to) ultra orthodox youth aren’t educated enough or of the mindset where they would be able to fulfil a combat function.
With the end of the Tal Law the fight with the ultra orthodox is upon us whether we like it or not so lets fight it properly. I urge the government to go all of the way instead of coming to some nonsensical agreement that changes nothing.
Lets take the military age ultra orthodox into the army and spend three years working on actually integrating them into society. Lets teach them all of the subjects that have been denied to them their whole lives, lets teach them enough that they have a choice in how to live once their service is finished and then watch as the greatest obstacle to our beautiful country’s prosperity collapses.