Identity, Israel, Religion

Haredi Soldiers Save the Day

It’s stories like this that may build pressure internally for an expansion of Haredi units in the Army.

Infantry soldiers in an ultra-Orthodox unit of the Israel Defense Forces’ Nahal Brigade foiled a suicide bombing attempt Wednesday, seizing a Palestinian wearing an explosive belt at a checkpoint east of Nablus.

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8 thoughts on “Haredi Soldiers Save the Day

  1. I think there will be increased demand over time by Haredim who want to join the Army. A Haredi unit option, and subsequent success stories, will only increase demand.
    Kollel until you’re forty isn’t for everyone.

  2. I’m confused (and hereby displaying my ignorance), but – isn’t an antipathy toward Israel as a governmental entity pretty much one of the requirments for being considered Haredi? I didn’t even know that there WERE Haredi units.

  3. David, my question wasn’t rhetorical. Since when have there been Haredi units in the IDF? How do they justify serving;? Don’t they, as a matter of ideology, consider Israel to be an abomination?

  4. Cipher, from what I understand, the Haredi units have begun only in the last couple of years.
    But Haredim are not a monolithic group. And there were already Haredim that served on some level, such as some of the Gur Chassidim (after marriage), prior to these Charedi units.
    The umbrella of Who is Haredi is enourmous. Essentially, almost all communities who wear some form of a black hat (excluding the Rabbis, as even Modern Orthodox Rabbis will sometimes wear black hats) are Haredi. Certainly most of them are ambivalent on some level about the State of Israel in the sense that they reject the belief that it definitely signals the Redemption (From a religious perspective) . So too, they are certainly not believers in secular Zionism. But then again, not all Zionist leaders are as secular as Rabin was.
    But by no means do they all consider it an abomination. Many don’t know what to think, but deeply hope for the best, even if they claim disdain for the state as part of their kulterkamf with the secularists generally.

  5. Don’t get caught up in a monolithic view of Haredim. Sure, many don’t think it signals the redemption but neither does Rav Soloveichik or Rabbi David Hartman. Some are parasites (although many of their wives work and so are many non-haredim leeches off the state, just because some of them serve in the army doesn’t make it right later), but some serve in the army and work and volunteer and all that. The Na”hal unit is a haredi unit. The haredi unit is heterogeneous. I suggest reading “Real Jews”

  6. I know that the Haredi sub-culture isn’t monolithic, but I was under the impression that contempt for the state of Israel (as well as for secular Jews and Jewish institutions in general), as epitomized by Neturei Karta, was a defining characteristic of Israeli Haredim. I’m surprised to learn that Chasidim have served in the IDF.
    Amechad, I’ll read Real Jews. Last year, I read a few similar books, such as Jew vs. Jew and One People, Two Worlds, but that one got by me.
    Thanks to both of you.

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