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Monday, October 23, 2023 

More Haredis now enlisting in the IDF

It looks like earlier reports indicating ultra-Orthodox are now volunteering more for military service at a time when jihadism struck the country are coming true, as reported here:
Approximately 120 haredim enlisted Monday morning in the IDF.

The group, which arrived at the Tel Hashomer draft office, is expected to undergo a short basic training, after which they will be placed in various positions, such as paramedics, ambulance drivers, heavy equipment drivers, or packaging food.

Since the start of the fighting on October 7, when terrorists breached the Gaza-Israel border fence and rampaged Israeli towns, massacring and kidnapping, over 2,000 haredim have requested to join the IDF and take part in the war effort.

Benny Schwartz, a 39-year-old resident of Beit Shemesh and a father of five children, enlisted Monday and told Galatz, "In times of war, every person has an obligation to give his maximum."

The IDF has three main programs for those yeshiva students who received army service exemptions but who now wish to serve. Most of these men are over age 26.

The first program, called "Stage Two Path," has new draftees undergo a shortened basic training, learn to use weapons and then join the reserve forces.

The second program has new recruits perform tasks which do not require special training or basic training, including helping with funerals, serving as cantor, and helping with packaging and equipment maintenance.

A third program which has been requested is that of non-military volunteering, in which the IDF uses civilians who wish to volunteer for specific tasks needed by the IDF.
This is a good sign. And it's worth noting that, in the past few weeks since the Hamas horror story first began, ultra-Orthodox figures have wisely avoided making any divisive statements that could be hurtful to women. Let's hope the ultra-Orthodox spiritual leaders will reevaluate their positions on how women should dress, or how to ride a bus, whether they should sing, or anything of that sort, because that kind of scapegoating is what the Hamas were going by, and using as an offensive excuse for their barbarism. If we really want to combat Islamofascism effectively, that's why Judaists can't take up beliefs that do more harm than good for women. Besides, the left exploits all such weakness and milks them for all they're worth as propaganda that ends up hurting pro-Israeli movements.

The following op-ed also spotlights the higher motivation now taking place among Haredis:
Amid the scenes of war and the horrors we have witnessed since our October 7 “Black Shabbat,” a ray of light has pierced the darkness: the activation of Israeli civil society.

A substantial portion of the activity comes from haredi (ultra-Orthodox) organizations and volunteers. Moreover, there has been willingness, even a desire, on the part of hundreds of haredim to enlist in the IDF and serve their country. Although even in wartime, tensions between non-haredi Israelis and the haredim may not disappear, the green shoots of change may constitute a leap forward in easing those tensions and generating more equitable haredi conscription rates. The Hamas pogromists thought that Israeli society was weak, but the terrible massacre in the South gave rise to a rapid and miraculous mobilization.

Civil-society organizations and ordinary citizens have stepped up to contribute in all possible ways: From helping security forces rescue civilians in the combat zone during the early days to providing assistance to evacuees from the southern towns; from equipping the IDF to supporting the medical forces, and much more.

Haredi organizations and citizens have been among those reporting for action. They feel, as Israelis, a desire to contribute to the war effort. This has gone well beyond the sacred work of the ultra-Orthodox ZAKA (the disaster victim identification organization) and its volunteers – work made exceptionally difficult and challenging by the massacre’s monstrous proportions, even for its most veteran volunteers.

A highlight of all this activity in terms of will, if not scope (at least for now), has been a series of initiatives from within the haredi community to encourage its members to sign up for wartime reserve service. These initiatives have, in a certain way, been adopted by the IDF’s Human Resources department, which has issued an appeal to people in various occupations to join the cause.

Even in routine times, haredi society is characterized by high rates of volunteerism. But the nature of that activity at this time, and especially the willingness of haredim to undergo military training and participate in the country’s defense, even in a limited way under the present circumstances, is extraordinary – nearly unprecedented.
Well let's hope more are enlisting even now, and that they'll have the courage to take part in ground battle, and even train for aerial and sea battle to boot. Also mentioned here is that there's also ultra-Orthodox women taking part:
In collaboration with the Kikar HaShabbat news site and Tatia, Yaffe launched an initiative titled "Brothers to the Front – The Central haredi Emergency Management Unit." She shared, "Merely ten minutes after the conclusion of the Simchat Torah holiday, I reached out to other influential haredi women, with whom I've previously coordinated projects, to form a unit.
That's promising too. Let's hope they're all up to the serious tasks now at hand, if we're to put an end to the Hamas once and for all.

Update: while we're on the subject, vandals scrawled antisemitic graffiti on a Chabad missionary house in Sderot:
A "Chabad House" in the southern city of Sderot, on the Gaza border, has been vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, reports said.

The graffiti included swastikas, the report said.

Footage from security cameras shows a person arriving in the middle of the night and spray-painting malicious graffiti together with, in Russian, the statement that, "You are scum and thieves."

Since the start of Israel's war with Hamas, the Chabad house has served as a key operational center, providing support and food for both IDF soldiers and local residents.

On Monday morning, Israel Police opened an investigation into the matter.

"Israel Police takes this incident very seriously, and is investing all resources and means necessary in order to investigate the matter, collect evidence and proofs, and bring about the arrest of those involved," a police statement said
At a time when Israel's facing a horrific war, it's obscene in the extreme to be committing acts like that. Only an anti-Israelist/anti-Zionist could've possibly done something that repulsive.

Update 2: also important to note is the late Lubavicher Rebbe's positions:
JEM, the media company of Chabad, distributed statements by the Lubavitcher Rebbe made at the time of the first Lebanon war.

The Rebbe then spoke about the duty of the leaders in Israel to stand firm in the face of terrorist attacks, to strike the enemy with strength and not to show weakness.

"The Rebbe also rejected the claims heard about international pressure," JEM explains. "The Rebbe stated that it is necessary to stand guard and insist on the rights of the Israelites in the Holy Land, when the people of Israel asserted the appropriate force, then the nations of the world will also respect Israel's position."
That too is a very important belief.

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