Sunday, May 6, 2012

J.Post May 6: More Than a Definition

Sir, – In his edifying article “Who is ‘haredi’” (Comment & Features, May 3), Haim Amsalem identifies himself as haredi but wants the term to be inclusive of all who “tremble” to fulfill God’s word. This, according to Ansalem, can encompass Zionists, people who work, those who “receive a well rounded education” and those who wear a “knitted kippa and colored shirts!” While I wholeheartedly subscribe to his message, I would like to emphasize several additional factors that are worthy of consideration.

Torah learning must be an important element in the description, as well as military or national service. I would recommend that haredi yeshivot initiate a hesder program that mixes service with study where one can serve both God and country [see my Feb 27, 2012 letter to the editor].

Of course, if one adopts the above programs while accepting Ansalem’s inclusive parameters, we end up with a very worthy description of the national-religious ideology with a well established hesder program that permits us to hold our heads up with pride.

Petah Tikva

[Image Credit: IDF spokesperson]