Beyond the Cusp

June 26, 2018

There are Correct and Incorrect Means to Haredi Enlistment

 

The IDF is in a bit of a jam and the political arena is not being helpful. The bit of a jam is over the IDF refusal to promote Brigadier General Ofer Vinter, a Kippah wearing, religious Zionist officer. Those in the religious Zionist community are left wondering if perhaps his religious observance and Zionist philosophy were behind this refusal. On the other side of the equation is that Brigadier General Ofer Vinter was not exactly a normal officer in some critical ways. He was not much of a supporter of the containment mentality of the official brass in the General Staff and was more of the kind of personality that when given an objective would clear a path by cutting a wide swath to his goal. Where this philosophy is to be lauded on the battlefield and much endeared him to his troops, it does not fit well with cool-headed planning of distant goals. There was also the pressure from the left in Israel who became enraged when it was revealed that when commanding the Givati Brigade during 2014 Protective Edge engagement against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Vinter wrote in his battle orders that his unit “was fighting an enemy which defiles our God,” words used by David against Goliath, and ended with the Jewish Shema prayer. None of his officers or enlisted troops was upset by this including the secular soldiers and all stated that this gave them greater strength of purpose and was quite uplifting. I was an infantryman and being given spiriting and uplifting words before an engagement is exactly what one desires from their commanding officers, but that was lost on those desiring making political hay. Still, Brigadier General Ofer Vinter was also seen as not having the best managerial style and was said to even have shortcomings and though he was a creative warrior, he left behind a disorganized staff headquarters. This was likely what weighed heavily in this decision but that is likely to be ignored by those who supported his promotion from the religious Zionist community. After all, it is not like there have not been Kippah-wearing officers in command positions before as the picture below from the taking of the Western Wall during the Six Day War depicts.

 

IDF Rabbi with Celebratory Cigar and Torah Scroll Entering Old City

IDF Rabbi with Celebratory Cigar and Torah Scroll Entering Old City

 

What does this have to do with Haredi enlistment will soon become evident. The Knesset is once again wrestling with writing a new draft law as the Supreme Court has set aside the last law claiming it was discriminatory. The Supreme Court has apparently been attempting to force the Knesset to draft Haredi youth in the same exact manner as they do everybody else. That is all well and good except that has not been the law in the past and Haredi has, for the longest time, been completely deferred from being drafted. We applaud the efforts to move the Haredi community to become more engaged with normative lives within the Israeli community if for no other reason than because they are an increasing percentage of the population and it has become necessary for them to lead more normative lives as it will soon be impossible to provide for them entirely as they rise in proportion to the rest of the society. The thought is if they are drafted, they will become more exposed to the remainder of Israeli society and more of them will find work and lead what is a normal life rather than spend all of their time studying Torah. Leaders in the Haredi community have largely opposed any attempt to take away what they believe is their special character as the new priesthood representative of the Kohanim in ancient Israel. They ignore that they already present a higher percentage of the total population than the Kohanim ever were in ancient Israel and as such are becoming too large a strain on the economy. The problem is changing the rules from the former extreme to the other extreme is not exactly the most efficient or productive means of making this change and there are other factors as well.

 

One would think that the IDF would be working to make selected units more accommodating for Haredi to serve while not forcing a lifestyle situation which is unacceptable to their teachings and way of life. Unfortunately, the IDF has been doing exactly the opposite. They have made some combat units which had been exclusively male into coed units, which is something which the Haredi will fight against being forced into serving. There have been a number of public events where women were presented and would sing, something that the very religious men are forbidden from attending, where the religious men were told they could not briefly leave the presentation until the women’s singing presentation was completed. These cases were brought to the attention of the General Staff who decided that these commanders were within their right to force these men to remain for the women’s presentation as to allow them to leave would be upsetting to the women. You can see where this is headed. There has been a growing suspicion that the General Staff are against making any allowances for the very religious at the same time as the political front is trying to force some of the most stringently religious into serving in the IDF. If you want to bring the Haredi into the IDF, might not it make sense to create an atmosphere where they would not be offended right out of the gate?

 

Where they could make a soufflé, the General Staff is making scrambled eggs and claiming it does not make a difference, they are still eggs. That will not go well and if the IDF cannot make room for the Haredi to remain within their comfort level, then their rabbis will advise refusal to serve, which some already have done. Should the Haredi refuse draft notice en-masse, the political class had better also make a budget for a very large prison in which to hold these draft resisters. Writing a draft bill which demands that all Haredi of draft age be enlisted into service will serve neither the IDF nor the Haredi community. There must be a deferment allowance for a number of Torah scholars whose study of Torah would provide benefit beyond esoteric benefits as described in prayers that they bring peace to the world. Even the idea that their study of Torah will bring peace to the world, thus far it does not appear to be working which means either they are not doing it correctly or something else is definitely wrong. One complaint we have heard is that should one drive through the Haredi community during the day, they would see numerous young Haredi males simply out and about and in coffee bistros and engaged in many activities which do not appear to be Torah study. We have not tested this theory, but have seen pictures which give it credibility. Perhaps there can be found a middle ground where those Haredi who graduate from their Yeshiva with exemplary grades and have shown a propensity for original thought and interpretation of Torah to be granted deferments. The percentage and grade expectation for this along with a requirement for letters recommending their deferment from at least three of their teachers could be arranged with the Haredi Rabbinate. But forcing the entirety of the Haredi to suddenly be drafted is completely untenable.

 

IDF Crest Insignia

 

There is another side to this as well, and it too has to do with the budget. The IDF takes a large slice of the budget which makes complete sense when we look at the rioting currently occurring on the Gaza border and the potential for threats from Syria and Lebanon. It is a well-established fact that Israel need be on a war footing at all times with a ready reserve to provide support and bolster the numbers of in uniform soldiers often at a moment’s notice. But the IDF is currently fully manned according to reports we have read and in some fields has more recruits than are necessary even during times of active conflict. Even the infantry ranks are well manned, especially in the most elite corps. Simply put, currently there is no crying need for additional forces, especially in the numbers drafting all Haredi would provide. Thus this does not need to be done as if there were some emergency requiring such an increase in manpower for the IDF. Would the effect of providing more reserves prove advantageous? Well, of course, but not to the effect that such a move would provide and one must also weigh the cost societally. Angering an entire sector of society which would also produce ripples through other areas is not exactly prudent. Yes, the Haredi need to be brought into the mainstream. This can be performed intelligently starting with having certain changes in their education system introducing additional STEM course requirements to at least introduce them to some of the more useful tools for joining the mainstream preparing them for having a decent chance for finding employment. To bring about radical change, there are two ways of doing so. There is the gentler and less likely to cause adverse opposition way or the way my uncle taught me to swim by throwing me into the deep end of the pool. Do the members of the Knesset really desire to take the sink or swim route or the coax and offer incentives route. The problem is some are using this political football to try and bring down the coalition and force elections. That is another side which has nothing to do with Haredi, Torah study or anything but the religion of the left to destroy anything which they do not control. But that is for another time with an issue which is not so socially charged.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 14, 2018

New Multiculturalism Declines Orthodox Faith

 

Anti-Semitism is rife throughout Europe and spreading like a wildfire throughout urban and metropolitan America. Apparently multiculturalism does not include Orthodox Jews or any other Jew who stands with Israel, their faith, the Torah and the tenets of their faith. The new multiculturalism also rejects Catholic Orthodoxy, Christian Evangelicals, religious Christians and anyone who stands with the Bible. To be completely honest, they do not much like the United States Constitution either or anything originally written on parchment. Do not even mention stuff originally carved in stone, like the Ten Commandments. Our new multicultural society has a whole new set of rules and they are quite open-minded and accepting. Their one rejection is those who refuse to be as accepting as the mainstream multiculturalists. You have to understand, it is all about their rights and the rights of all those who choose to expand the societal structures and tear down the old walls which were too restrictive for the new multiculturalists. And we beg forgiveness ahead of time for any insult one might feel or find in what follows as we are not as sensitive as society now demands.

 

We are now a very sensitive society and we feel for everybody and everybody has rights. The LBGTQ and who knows what other letters are to come have rights. The transgendered rights are very fluid as one can feel like anything at any point in the day and switch a few moments later, that is their right. The gays and lesbians have rights and must be permitted to have marriage as a social arrangement such as civil unions are insufficient, it must be marriage because the Biblical definition must be challenged and destroyed. The old constructs must be challenged and destroyed utterly and completely. Nothing of the old must be permitted to stand, and that includes anybody found holding on to those antiquated, obsolete and hateful standards on which Western civilization stood supreme for these past numerous centuries. Military service is out and the soldier must be reinvented and the military services are the new Petri dishes where societal changes are tested. Women in submarines, on the front lines and in every last place where only men dared tread before and if they cannot meet the requirement, then change the requirements until even the most tender woman will pass if she decides to join. The requirement for a Ranger to run eight miles twice every day of the week, are you sure it has to be eight miles, and twice a day, for real? Perhaps you meant yards for the ladies who want to have that Ranger patch upon their shoulders. As we stated, the standards of the old must be bent and broken to accept the new openness where everybody had rights, well, except the right to limit anyone else’s right to be and do whatever they please, that would be standardism, a forbidden ism.

 

Ism’s are another problem for the multiculturalists. They abhor the vast majority of ism’s, and for many we agree. They oppose Fascism, a wise choice, and classism, racism, sexism and other exclusive ism’s as do we. They claim that these destructive isms’s are all the children of religious belief because religious belief is what led to all the wars of history, well, Judeo-Christian beliefs led to all the wars of history. They have replaced ism’s with their defined freedoms. Fascism was replaced with social justice, classism was replaced with social justice, racism was replaced with social justice, sexism was replaced with social justice, every ill has been cured by social justice. And exactly who gets to decide what is social justice, well; everybody provided their definition is all-inclusive and free of any rejection beyond rejecting those who wish to apply standards. Standards are evil and are replaced with rights to defy standards. This is a very happy-go-lucky new world where you can be whatever you want to be without any pain, suffering, accomplishment or even proficiency. We are waiting for the last of the standards to fall, those standards which require physicians to be licensed, lawyers to pass an exam, pilots to be certified and all those other restrictive qualifications so many of the choicest professions require for people to practice these trades. How so limiting these items are. We will wait patiently as the new multiculturalists get around to breaking down these barriers to the right to choose whatever profession you feel qualified to hold each morning when you wake, or afternoon if you choose to sleep in. One might even decide to change professions at lunchtime. Oh the world will be so much freer once those requirements to practice so many professions are removed and anybody can be whatever they choose.

 

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it

 

It is all about you, or actually the I, where I is individuals and individuals have rights, all rights, and no responsibilities. That makes the world so much more open and accepting. Open and accepting, those are the new bywords we are to live by. Don’t hate, simply accept. Follow that credo and you will be feeling on top of the world by noon today. With everyone free to be free and every I for individual gets to decide everything about their life and who or what they decide to be, what could be more liberating. So what if the new pilot of the Jumbo Jet you are flying on never flew even a paper airplane before this morning, he decided he wanted to pilot a Jumbo Jet and who are you to tell them they cannot be your pilot, remember, universal acceptance. You need surgery, well we know just the person, they decided over lunch today they wanted to be a surgeon and they will do your operation for free, just sign this release form, remember, universal acceptance. Doesn’t this make you all squishy inside with the new world without standards where anyone can be anything they want? It is just so liberating to be rid of those stuffy old standards.

 

Rights without responsibilities are just so darn liberating. We should have special days celebrating our new liberated world. How about an international be whatever you wish day. Never mind, that is every day in this standards free environment. Oh, wait; we do need environmental standards because all pollution is evil. We will need a standard whereby polluters are punished for destroying the Earth and injuring Gaia. We have adopted some things which we do believe in such as our actual atheistic religion because having an omnipotent and all-seeing, all-knowing Supreme Being would be just so like before. We want everything to be new. We have decided on being atheists who believe in Secular Humanism, a new ism we accept. This is a completely new faith where we follow a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, social justice, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision-making.* We celebrate the human being as the highest form of life, intelligence, knowledge and atop of all things. This is a whole new philosophy and is absolutely nothing like ancient Greece. Why would we bring up Greece, especially ancient Greece? Sure they allowed all forms of sexuality and the freedom to choose whatever one felt they should be and all those other rights but they had a slave class, people who were denied full rights. We would never do that except for those social-luddites who insist on imposing those old religious standards rejecting the freedom and rights which we believe. They want to hold society back from becoming totally free with their insistence that rights come with responsibilities and that what we do matters and they believe in a Supreme Being, how so year zero. They do not deserve to be full citizens in our new reality as they would be such a bummer and bring us down from our responsibility free lives where we can be whatever we decide whenever we decide. Especially those who want to drag those ancient Judeo-Christian ‘actions have consequences’ definition of life, unacceptable, completely unacceptable.

 

This new secular humanism morality is based on the 1960 and 70’s “If it feels good, do it.” There were so many phrases back then. Things which still work today such as, “Life is what you make it.” Of course we look at that somewhat slanted making it more like “Life is what you want to define it to be.” This is still as the base concept, just liberated a little. The problem with the new social construct comes when you add in children. But the education system has figured out the way around having lessons restrict the children. So they are now giving them lessons in how to feel including feeling different. They educate children pre-puberty about being transgendered, gay, bisexual and all about sexual liberty in modern society. Burdening children with this almost immediately before they reach their teen years, like life itself does not mess with their minds during those years. Prepubescent children are unaware of their sexuality and teaching them about such things only serves to confuse them and lead them to believe they are transgendered or gay or lesbian or whatever unusual thoughts they may have as a result. Then their hormones and bodily changes kick in and there is no wonder so many children end up needing help, but even the help only serves to further confuse them as the modern approach is all about feelings and how no feeling need be suppressed. Schools need to teach children how to think and solve problems and not how to feel and be empathic to everyone around you and support their feelings. When your teachers teach that there is no such thing as evil or restrictive rules except that you must allow everyone to be who and what they choose to be. Then the teachers show preferences for the children with the most imaginative realities for themselves, often realities which cannot be continued into the real world. But soon these students with nothing in the way of logical problem solving will be the ones leading the Western World and deciding its fate.

 

These morality free and open-minded students will have minds so open that nothing is beyond imagination and since they are taught that nothing is inherently wrong, it is no wonder that they simply accept everyone as is. What is amazing is how these children are able to operate in the real world, but then many of them have proven they are unable to cope. This is the reason for “safe paces” on our college and university campuses along with therapy rooms where they can be placed in a stress proof environment with calming music, puppies and kittens to cuddle, overstuffed pillows to sit or lie upon and counselors to reinforce the concept that you are strong and you are just great as you are, even if as you are is someone unable to cope with the simplest things in life. The thing is the students are given some very strict standards they are required to follow to the letter. Their liberal, leftist teachings are to never be challenged and they are not to be required to ever accept any alternative to what they have been taught to feel. If and when a speaker has been invited to speak at their college, university, community, club, organization or even at their place of employment, this is never to be tolerated. They must be petitioned against until the invitation is withdrawn and upon failure of such the event must be prevented by any and all means necessary and should such a speaker actually make it to their event, they must then be shouted down having their speech drowned out making their words unintelligible to those who came to listen to their talk. This has become standard procedure across many college and university and now in high school and even earlier such people are booed off the stage at the insistence of the teachers. The students are also taught strict obedience to those who are more, or most, knowledgeable. Never must a disparaging word be uttered in their presence. Many colleges and universities also have added a free speech zone where any conservative or standards centric student can rant and rave about their old and now discarded as barbaric concepts to their heart’s content as no matter how loud they scream these small places are well out of the range of any to hear their protestations. They may as well invoke the Cone of Silence from the Television show Get Smart.

 

Cone of Silence from the Television show Get Smart

 

Perhaps the way forward is to actually allow everybody to choose his or her own morality. The problem is these new libertarians, self-professed as they may be, have also decided that there will be standards after all. Unsurprisingly, their standards are simply defined; it’s their way or the highway. They will not tolerate even the lightest deviance from their defined perfect world. Every form of deviance must be permitted and accepted and any attempts to live by the old standards are to be shunned and forced out of the view of the society. Judeo-Christianity may be practiced freely within your own home with the shades drawn or in your house of worship, but such is banned from the public sphere. Nobody is to be judgmental unless it is to judge any conservative stalwart as mental. Conservatism needs to be eradicated from all life, particularly political life. This has been the new standard for the Democrat Party which is why on virtually every piece of legislation proposed, they have voted in complete uniformity as if their leaders have cast their votes for them. Even if a bill would benefit their home constituency, if the Democrat hierarchy decides the bill is conservative and supportive of the old world or damaging to their craven new world order, then it must be uniformly and unanimously rejected. The same goes for the appointment of conservative jurists or even strict constructionist jurists to any national judgeship. The Democrats will reject a judge even if their decisions have been exacting to the law as they want judges whose minds are more liberated from stuffy old laws and who can find new rights and new liberties in the existing laws expanding their plurality strewn society into sectors before unimagined. Abortion on demand was one such right which was discovered in the Constitution under the Roe v. Wade which was a decision handed down by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, considered one of the most liberal leftist courts in modern history. The consenting seven justices were Harry Blackmun, Warren Burger, William Douglas, William Brennan, Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall, and Lewis Powell while the dissenting two justices were Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Byron White. Six of the seven voting in favor were appointed by Republican Presidents, something to note for posterity. This was the landmark case which led to a number of additional cases where rights were discovered hidden within the laws of the land. This was also the case which opened the Supreme Court to the new social outlook for maximizing rights while removing responsibilities. This decision took away the consequences to having unprotected sexual encounters or not planning or choosing wisely in one’s sexual habits thus removing the responsibility for such restrictions on how one lived and replaced this restraining responsibility with the consequence free means for removing the consequence of sexual encounters, namely procreation.

 

The right to abortion has had a devastating affect on the public, particularly in Europe and Russia where the population is decreasing as abortions combined with abortifacients and birth control measures to women having two or less children with many choosing against marriage, or at least permanent marriage, and having no children to restrict their choices in life. Life is now more free but as a consequence the society which has broken into this state after a long and successful run as the top of the chain, most wealthy, technologically advanced and leading the world only to now have a swindling population even in the United States of the very peoples who had accomplished much of these fetes. Western society has reached a magic plateau which in a few more years, if things which us old school fools believe are broken are not repaired and solutions found to make our society worth preserving through required sacrifice, then the new, sacrifice free, standards open, universally accepting and judging all cultures equal will wither and soon die on the vine producing nothing and affecting nothing replaced by whatever proves to be the strongest of those remaining. Currently those appear to be Islam, Chinese Communism with a touch of Capitalism or some other unforeseen group which could prove to be the Hispanic society which will inherit the productive might of the United States. The death of Western Culture has been the conscious choice to place personal pleasure over any societal future. No standards and no limits appear to have produced its limit, the lack of progeny to carry their wonderful new lifestyle forward. The only group reproducing near, at or above replacement rate has been those who have that old time religion, imagine that.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* Secular Humanism defined on Wikipedia

 

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