If Diaspora Jews Don’t Move to Israel, They Should Join the Army of Their Country

Everybody knows that Israelis have a compulsory draft and until they reach the age of 40 years old, they must serve their country.

Compulsory draft in Israel has led to it being a dynamic country with a population willing to take risks and  has created a population with a lot of ingenuity that has led Israel to become the Silicon Wadi of the Middle East with many startups and a diverse economy.

Many people who served in combat units know how to use guns and are able to defend themselves if they are in danger in civilian life which is why many times a terrorist tries to attack someone they are always neutralized.

Places like the United States should have compulsory service just like Israel does so there will be a more dynamic and prepared population who will not only understand the security threats to their country but, also be able to have a better outlook on life and more goal oriented in tackling life.

During military service everyone matures and grows up quickly and realize they have to get their life in order after their military service so they evaluate their life during their service and come up with a serious plan of what they will do for a living after they are done.

One of the reasons that the generation of World War Two was known as the Great Generation was that after having most of the population serve in the military and received a college education thanks to the GI bill they were able to get jobs and become productive members of society and contributed to an economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s.

In the film Starship troopers there is a society of the federation where the only way for a person to become a citizen with political rights is through service just like it was during the Roman Empire.

In Starship Troopers there is a famous dialog between the protagonists John Rico and his teacher in high school which asks him what is the difference between a citizen and a civilian. Rico replies, ” a civilian is one who does not take responsibility for the defense of the Federation while a Citizens takes responsibility for the defense of the Federation protecting it with his life.”

Even though many people have grown accustom to not having to worry about their own security since the US military has created a large protective umbrella over all of Western Europe and the Western Hemisphere that many people take their own security for granted not even thinking about the millions of men and women in the armed services who risk their lives everyday to keep them safe.

In Israel every citizen has a family member they know who are constantly guarding and risking his life for his country.

People are more aware of threats posed to their country and the necessity of military operations when the government deploys the military.

In Western countries the opposite is true because few people actually join their military it causes a great misunderstanding of the security concerns of the country since many people do not know actual military personnel or have even had to deal with security threats the country faces.

For me part of my Jewish identity is being Israeli and an Israeli soldier who serves in the IDF and supports the defense of the Jewish state while also living and working in the land of Israel by paying my taxes to my own Jewish government that I am a part of rather than contributing to a non-Jewish country I do not belong to.

Regardless of what people may think about their own Jewish identity I definitely understand that not everyone is a Zionist nor shares the same ideas as I do when it comes to Zionism.

I truly believe that it is the duty of every citizen of a country to serve in their country’s military regardless of ethnicity, religion or creed.

Jewish communities abroad will be a lot safer with their own congregants going to a synagogue armed and have military experience because they would not even have to spend money on security and can have congregants just come armed to services.

One of the issues with Jews in the military are the dietary restrictions as well as religious obligations to observe the Sabbath and Jewish holidays which require them to refrain from using technology on Sabbath.

Many Yeshivas across the country should come up with a deal with the US military to set up special religious companies throughout all branches of the military which would include everything from combat roles to paper pusher roles just like in the Israeli military.

The agreements between both the US military and Yeshivas across the country will allow Jewish soldier to maintain their level of observance while at the same time Yeshivas can receive grants from the US military to prepare students for their military service significantly cutting the tuition costs that Yeshiva costs parents today.

Obviously people who are on track to be great scholars in Torah should not be drafted and would get special exemptions from military service.

Overall military service is of great importance for a person’s life and if Jews are not as Zionistic or interested in living in the biblical homeland they should contribute to the military just like any other citizen contributes and would greatly benefit their community as a whole.

About the Author
Shlomo was born in Miami, Florida in 1989 and moved to Israel in 2012. He holds a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Political Science and served in the IDF as a combat soldier in the Netzach Yehuda Battalion. After serving in the military Shlomo studied in Yeshivat Shavie Hevron where he lived in Hebron. He now lives in Kiryat Arba, is a proud reservist in the Golani Brigade, and is a blogger for the Times of Israel.