Bnei Brak – Rabbi Shteinman Calls on Jews to Dodge Civil Service

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    (Wikipedia.org)Bnei Brak – The haredi daily newspaper Yated Neeman reported on Monday that Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, the most senior rabbi in the haredi world, has called on yeshiva students not to enlist in the civilian service program, the framework designed as an alternative to military service for haredi men.

    According to an article published on Monday in Yated Neeman, a mouthpiece for the Degel Hatorah political party, Shteinman’s comments were made in response to the government decision on Sunday to allow an extra 1,300 yeshiva students to enlist in the civilian service.

    The article reported that “with the publication of the government decision yesterday, our rabbi and leader the great Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman gave an instruction to warn the masses against this severe and dangerous phenomenon, whose only purpose is to undermine the foundations of our existence and is against the very essence and purpose of a yeshiva student which is to dedicate his life to Torah study.”

    The paper continued by saying that Shteinman said that the haredi world had to “defend its existence” and take precautions “against all the new temptations of the leaders of the regime which damage the foundations of Judaism, whose only purpose is to create a dangerous erosion of students away from the sanctuary of Torah, and so people must be warned not to be enticed whatsoever to go to these services.”

    Unusually for an announcement of this kind, Shteinman’s words were reported in a news article on page three of the newspaper and not published under his name and signature in a public decree on the front page.

    According to one haredi commentator, the unusual format of the announcement could indicate that Shteinman is simply trying not to lose face and be out-manoeuvred by more radical rabbinic leaders who have taken a harsher line than him in the past on the issue of national service.

    At the beginning of the last decade, Shteinman gave tacit support to both the establishment of the Nahal Haredi combat battalion for ultra-Orthodox soldiers and the terms of the Tal Law, both of which were bitterly opposed by most of the haredi rabbinic leadership at the time.

    In response to the report, the Hiddush religious-freedom lobbying group denounced Shteinman’s words and said that since the rabbi inherited the leadership of the haredi world he had “continued to lead the rejectionist haredi front to any compromise or form of integration like his predecessors rabbis Shach and Elyashiv.”

    “Shteinman has again proved that there is no partner for dialogue in the haredi leadership,” said Hiddush director Attorney and Reform Rabbi Uri Regev,

    “It must be hoped that new and more fitting leaders will emerge from the haredi public, who will know how to lead the community to integrate into the economic life of the country and to share the burden of national service,” he added.

    Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

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    28 COMMENTS

      • As usual, the first to scream gevalt about charedim making any contribution to society is Alter G who I’ve come to realize is some dumb troll who simply sits at his computer and waits for any article that might suggest a middle ground. Instead, he screams NO!! jews are only meant to TAKE from society but never to GIVE. Hopfeully, this comment attributed to Shteinman is untrue since how could there be any legitimate objection to having charedi boys and girls volunteer to serve in hospitals, schools, homes for the elderly etc, if they claim some objection to IDF military service? If he really does believe that frum yidden should never do somthing to contribute to public service, than he clearly needs to rethink his position.

        • “how could there be any legitimate objection to having charedi boys and girls volunteer to serve in hospitals, schools, homes for the elderly etc, if they claim some objection to IDF military service?”

          My first reaction was “how could somebody ask questions to which answers are known to all frum?” But then I decided to give you a benefit of the doubt and assume that you really don’t know, not pretend not to know in order to besmirch gdolei bTorah. So the answers are:

          1. By definition, we are not dealing here with “volunteering.” If the secular jews-in-name-only have their way, the authentically Jewish boys and girls will be coerced into service, not volunteer for it.
          2. Yeshiva boys of that age should be learning without any distractions. Reducing leraninf to at best 3-4 hours a day in order to do some service is totally unacceptable for a yeshiva boy. I will also bring up the fact that the one engaged in learning contributes immeasurably more to the safety, security and well being of society than the one serving in the military or otherwise, but I doubt you are ready to absorb this truth.

          To be continued.

        • ‘how could there be any legitimate objection to having charedi boys and girls volunteer to serve in hospitals, schools, homes for the elderly etc, if they claim some objection to IDF military service?”

          -Continuing from my previous post.

          3. The girls can’t be coerced into any kind of service because it is ossur bhalacha to place a girl under an authority of any male other than her father or her brother. Yes, I realize that to an immoral secular jew-in-name-only such considerations appear archaic, yet it is halacha to live by, and it is unambigous on the subject.

          Hope this helps.

          • We had a woman PM of EY to whom all the frum government officials, including al the rabbonim who were employed by the government in EY worked and reported to. That was 40 years ago. Apparently you and some of the rabbonim who take this backward and ill-informed position live in some type of time warp. Wake up and welcome to the 21st century. We have women in EY who are the heads of hospitals, major publicly traded companies, colleges and research organizations. Maybe the only women you know are mikvah ladies or stay-at-home moms. Too bad for you.

            • To what exactly in anything I said in my post # 23 are you responding? Let me try and explain it to you one more time. Read it slowly. I never said that a man should not report to a woman. I brought up a halacha that an unmarried girl should not be placed under an authority of any man other than her father and her brother. And I stand by it. If you don’t see the difference, read it again.

              Maybe the only women you know are as illiterate as you are. Too bad for you.

            • Ah Shmuel. Do you feel better after making personal insults? Do you think it makes your argument better? Your explanation, whether I agreed with it or not, was cogent. It didn’t help that you decided to call #26 names. Perhaps you think calling a woman illiterate is fine. People can disagree without insults. Since I am male, will you find it necessary to personally insult me also? If you wish simply calling me an apikoris will be looked at as a compliment since it came from you.

      • Really? I know plenty of Jews who are in the IDF and sheerut leumi, including two of my own kids (and a third, in a few years). I guess according to you we’re not Jews.

    1. reality is, the idf needs manpower…everyone must serve….i support whoever doesnt serve should not benefit from tax dollars…wondwe what they will say then…run to serve?

      • That day should be a few years ago. The IDF has too many soldiers as is. The left already admits that they’re not interested in national security, they want Charedim to serve in the army, or to lose their money.

        Besides, the draft has so many exceptions, you might as well get rid of it.

      • “”Hopefully there will be a day when service in the IDF is optional.”

        Yes. Hopefully, too, the day will soon arrive when those in the hareidi world will recognize that benefitting from the sacrifice of others & never giving back—-even turning such ingratitude into a principle!—does not build character, at least not the kind a ben Torah presumably ought to aspire to.

        • Good point. Does the ruling apply to the real talmidim who are serious about learning and can always be found looking into a Gemara or the laidigayers who spend half a day walking around in the halls smoking and talking on the phone to Hashem knows who?

    2. Yes !!!!! yes !!!!! not even one week after the satmar rabbi shlit”e yelled out “where are you manhigi yisruel” in his words” מנהיגי ישראל איכם” yes rabbi stineman got up and had to say some thing just let’s seat and watch how this is gone unfold who’s next ? all this years no one said “bu” b”h לא אלמן ישראל hashem still has his army should satmar rabbi be blessed from hashem he should have the koach to fight forther למען כבוד שמו יתברך

    3. I give the benefit of the doubt to Rav Shteinman. He knows his constituency and he fears for his life. He remembers being ripped to shreds after supporting Nachal Chareidi. He must tow the line of the obscurantist parasitic chareidi hashkafah, he has no choice. But he knows it is a farce.

    4. This of course, is the same Rav Shteinman whose photo was prominently displayed on the ככר השבת graphic, with the words החילונים ערב רב alongside. It simply boggles the human mind how some are more than ready to parasite off of government handouts from a government they openly and publicly vilify, which incidentally, seems indicative of the actual ערב רב, who sought to benefit from the prominence of the בנ”י in מצרים. Really impressive, isn’t he?

    5. Seems the rav said “yeshiva students”, not “all charedi people” – so, if one actually believes in the Torah as a means of protection, I don’t necessarily see the problem. Perhaps he is specifically addressing the people that are sitting and really learning the Torah, not the whole charedi community as a whole?

      (That’s how it appears in the article, as opposed to the comments above.)

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