Friday, August 17, 2012

J.Post August 17: Growing Rifts

Sir, – As one who has profound respect for Torah learning, in addition to being a citizen who is also quite concerned about the growing rifts among our people, I was deeply disappointed when reading the article by Avi Schwartz (“Studying Torah can be a national service,” Comment and Features, August 14). Since the challenges that we face are of the utmost gravity, they warrant responses that are serious and respectful of both sides and not based on either naivete or flippancy.

To propose a program that places men in army uniforms for them to undergo a daily one hour training session with the rest of the day devoted to Torah learning is simply making a mockery of the uniform and unfortunately reveals a lack of basic understanding of the nature of the present haredi- secular schism.

While a Jewish state must recognize the vital contribution of Torah learning to the well-being of its people, it is also incumbent on the Torah world to recognize and respect the contributions that other groups make to the nation. Perhaps Avi Schwartz can answer why his designated “Guardians of our Security” cannot find the justification to include in their rituals, prayers on behalf of the State of Israel and for IDF soldiers.

Petah Tikva

[Image credit: Israel Defense Forces]