The Response Needed to the Haredi Protests Against IDF

The scenes on the computer screen were vile. Men dressed in black and white, many with hats and tzitzit flying, were raging out of control against…no, not against a Shabbat violation; not against a man holding his wife as an aguna; not against an Arab attack. No, the rioting (at one point–around major arteries of the country) was related to the IDF. The rioters were protesting the arrest of a draft dodger.

I’ll get back to that in just a minute. But just in the past day, an issue came to light about a related topic. Police have uncovered a scam that was being perpetrated in the Haredi community. Simply put, those who would potentially be drafted were “counseled”how to get out of it by feigning mental illness. “Learning” how to do that cost tens of thousands of shekel.

But, let’s return to the rioting.

If a community wishes to show its displeasure with public policy, with various actions of private or public individuals, they have the right to protest. What protesters NEVER have the right to do is to block streets, prevent emergency vehicles from moving, destroy public property, burn garbage bins or cause a public disturbance. ALL of those actions were perpetrated of late and, at the same time, caused a HUGE chillul Hashem (profanation of G-d’s name). The horrific things said about those who are serving in the army and the entire way that a percentage of the community relate to the IDF is despicable, reprehensible and deserves to be dealt with in the most severe ways possible.

I would like to propose that the following actions be taken against those who can be identified by police and/or investigators:

A) Any rioter who threw stones or other objects at police should be jailed for no less than three years, with no opportunity for parole.

B) Any family member of one arrested in note A above, who currently receives a stipend from the government to learn in a Yeshiva will have said stipend cancelled.

C) All of those in B above will be drafted into the IDF.

D) Those who damaged public property will pay the city for the replacement of said items.

E) Anyone caught having injured any security officer will face jail time and the following financial penalties:  1) Pain and suffering of the officer; 2) Medical bills; 3) Lost wages; 4) damages; and 5) Any embarrassment (Yes, the same five things Halacha dictates to be paid in cases of personal injury. The very same Halacha many of these hoodlums learn in Kollel.)

Now, before people accuse me of Haredi-bashing, let’s set the record straight: I DON’T CARE WHO THE PERPETRATORS ARE IN THESE KINDS OF ACTS. IF IT A HAREDI INDIVIDUAL OR A LEFTIST DRAFT-DODGER OR ANY OTHER PERSON! Unless you are preventing a terror atrack, there is never good reason to block streets. If Dati Leumi protesters block roads or throw rocks at police, it is the same vile problem. The penalties should be the same; the jail time should be the same and the compensation should be the same.

However, the egregiousness of the acts in the Haredi community in this case are more heinous than most other populations. In MANY cases, money is given to the community by the very same government they believe is “treif” and in whose army they wish not to serve. It is ok for the children and grandchildren of my friends to serve in the IDF and put their lives on the line to PROTECT ALL ISRAELIS and ALL populations; yet, “they” need not serve. Why not?

Please do not pretend to have a higher moral ground in this area. You can not take money from the government and spit in its face. You can not then use some of that money to pay off people to “teach” you how to act “crazy” to get out of army service. Besides, in many cases that was a waste of money. Many seemed to have learned how to do that all on their own.




5 thoughts on “The Response Needed to the Haredi Protests Against IDF

  1. It is LONG past time that individual rabanim ostracize the authority figures of hate-filled haredi groups and their followers. The perps are not living a derekh noam, and they punish the rest of us for trying to do so. Jews are known for modesty, compassion and justice. . Haredim around the globe are known for violence, pedophilia, theft, violence against Zionists – including chayalim and chayalot. It is the too-rare haredi who actually lives up to Torah’s spirit. The haredi mindset is antithetical to Torah.


    1. These particular individuals are NOT representative of the worldwide Hareidi community. You cannot point to any rabbinic pronouncement encouraging or even condoning these terrible acts. Since the times of the Bais HaMikdash, every community has its zealots, its sikrikim. They are not at all representative.
      But I must ask, where is the protest against the same despicable acts in Amona, against the rule of law, attacking police officers, and desecrating a shul and its seforim?


  2. While I agree a lot of what you said in this case, items b) and c) I’m not sure we should employ carte blanche. although, if we did that would drive home a message. Its a tough decision there because this is similar to the punishments we administer to the terrorists as of late, destroying their homes and punishing the families so that they should put the pressure on the remaining relatives NOT to become like their wayward member (one would hope)

    However, just because one individual is fighting against us (and I really do mean it, against us), doesn’t mean that all of his family shares his views. ALTHOUGH, that being said, if an individual was a perpetrator in these recent “protests” (read: attacks), then we should do a little background checking into their family. If the family is legit, then why should we punish the family whose trying to support the system, and maybe properly applied for a patur, and is a seriously learner, learning to support the soldiers. So what, we should remove a serious yeshiva student (a different position of soldier) whose davening for the safety of those on the front lines and put him on the front lines where he might be worse off for himself AND the country? It leaves what to consider.

    That being said, I think that when one gets to draft age, they should go through the process, everyone who learns in yeshiva from 17-21 during the years where they would otherwise serve should all have some form of a “basic training”, and then have their yeshiva time COUNT as their service, meaning, that if someone is one of the “mistovevim” or runs away, then they would be considered AWOL and prosecuted appropriately.

    I think it was best put by the way a friend of mine experienced it. He was a resident of a moshav shitufi back in the 1980s. Part of their cycle of tasks ensured that EVERY male had a slate of several months where their role was going into a chashuv’e yeshiva in Bnei Brak (I forget which at the moment, but it doesn’t matter) and learning. The Rosh Yeshiva, told them (and i paraphrase), that you are here to learn, and part of that learning is to support your soldiers who are out fighting in the fields. If you are not serious about your learning while here, leave and go fight. You are here to provide for the soldiers safety through your learning which in turn provides for your physical safety.

    By no means an easy situation. On further reflection, jail time shouldn’t be simple jail time, while in jail they should have a “seder” that includes limud, community service, and learning a trait so that when they come out they can then integrate back into society rather than return to be riff-raff. The problem with the jail system is that while “theoretically” it is about rehabilitation, for the most part, the tools and services are not there. we need to boost the morale of the individual. The best way to ensure cooperation and productive interactions is to first convince the individual so that it becomes THEIR want, THEIR desire, to improve. Then it is le’sheim shamayim and theres a much higher likelihood of success.
    It is with this I digress…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful comments! I do accept and agree with much of what you say. The statement by the rav in Bnei Brak is great. There is no.easy solution…but there needs to be SOME action taken. Thanks again for the detailed comment.


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