3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> Orthodox Judaism's Claim to Military Exemption

Orthodox Judaism's Claim to Military Exemption
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Minister Ty Alexander
(Ty)
  3/5/2024
After the Hamas attack last year, there has been more tension in Israel about the Haredim or Orthodox Judaism's claim to have exemption from Israel's mandatory military service for all citizens. A Times of Israel article the other day highlighted this again and were was some confusion why Haredim should get exemption and much disdain about it as well, so I made the following comment in the article titled: "‘We will die and not enlist’: Extremist Haredim block major highway for hours".
A lot of people here wonder why the Orthodox don't want to serve in the military and claim divine exemption. The Haredim news said, “Nobody can force us to abandon the Torah,” which doesn't just mean studying scripture. They are also thinking of God's exemption for the tribe of Leviim/Levites who were excluded from the military census of ancient Israel during the time of Moshe/Moses before taking the Promised Land (Bamidbar/Numbers 1:47-54).

The tribe of Leviim was excluded because they were assigned as priests and the duty of taking care of the Tabernacle/Mishkan (the mobile tent temple for God’s presence and other items for religious services). That is their primary exemption from the Torah.

However, there is no more Tabernacle or temple or the ark of the covenant for God’s presence, and no more priestly duties for those things or rites assigned by the Torah, because God took them from the people to be superseded by that new covenant in which Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah prophesied (Yirmiyahu 31:30-33/Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Judaism believes that new covenant had not yet come because they do not believe their Mashiach/Messiah had come but is coming soon. How you have erred, Israel. But let us imagine the Old Torah remains the divine law for God’s people.

Why should the Haredim or any Orthodox Jew be exempt from military service today? If they claim the Torah exemption, then they must be in the Tribe of Leviim. How many are in that heritage?

Yet remember the military exemption was called for the times of the mobile Tabernacle. In the Tanakh/Bible, there is no mention of military exemption for the Leviim after the people settled in the Promised Land.

However, there is mention of the Leviim to be counted for the fighting men after the people settled in the Promised Land. It was when David was king, but the count was not made because David’s commander did not want to count the army from the beginning, understanding it was sin to trust in material things (numbers) and not to trust in God’s protection (Divrei Hayamim I/1 Chronicles 21:6).

I’m sure the Orthodox would jump upon this sin of David and non-count of the Leviim as showing God’s exemption for them, but the Tribe of Binyamin/Benjamin was also not counted when they should have been (Divrei Hayamim I/1 Chronicles 21:6).

So here we see, King David expected the men of Leviim to fight, and didn’t he ordain the new rules for the Leviim when plans for the temple in Jerusalem were being made? (1 Chronicles 23:1-24:31)

And furthermore, it was God’s command in the Torah for the cohanim/priests to support the nation’s military, as God said, When the time to fight comes near, the cohen/priest shall come forward and speak to the people… Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid or panic or terrified for Adonai your God is the one who is going with you, to fight for you… to save you (Devarim/Deuteronomy 20:2-4)

The Haredim and Orthodox have erred to think they have God’s exemption from military service today. Let them serve their nation as all others do, in the name of El Elyon (God Most High), for if other Israelis cannot claim the Torah’s exemptions to fight because of cowardice, marriage, or having a new property (Devarim/Deuteronomy 20:5-8, 24:5), then why should the Orthodox be given exemption when the Torah is unfulfilled in them?

Israel Justice System Mandates Haredim Military Service 4/1/2024
Haredim moves to keep religious exemption from military service and financial support have failed after lengthy negotiations and last second attempts. The Israeli military is now required to start mandating service for Orthodox Jews[1.1], and I praise God for that because it is long overdue amid crumbling public satisfaction and support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his government which tried to keep exemptions and government stipends (payments) for the Haredim. Netanyahu is increasingly unpopular because of his handling of the Gaza Hamas War, Palestinian casualties and humanitarian crisis, and failing to prioritize the return of Israeli hostages that were taken by Hamas.

A recent article stated that Netanyahu blamed Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara for dividing Israel when she stated that there should be no further efforts to circumvent the high court's orders to end stipends and start military service for Orthodox Jews[1.1]. But when the Haredim only amount to 13% of the Israeli population[1.1], yet demand special treatment when in the initial post, I stated they have no divine exemption, who is truly to blame for dividing Israeli society?

The first post also noted that the Haredim threatened to leave Israel if they were made to serve in the military and other news stated they threatened to resign. What is better for Israel? Remove cancer that is responsible for much of the nation's tumah (impurity) or let it continue to defile the people? It was because of the Orthodox's extreme and long-term failures to lead Israel righteously in their government and rabbinical stations that make them most accountable for bringing Israel and Judaism to where they are now, and so they are the ones the people should blame for dividing Israel.

May they be replaced by truly righteous and discerning leaders and teachers of God's laws in the name of Mashiach Yeshua and El Elyon, God Most High. Amen and amen.

If you are confused about why the rabbinate or Jewish religious leaders are most accountable for the people's sins, then see Daughter Israel, Make Right Your Ways and God's offering to All in Judaism.


References
[1.1] Jeremy Shaon and Times of Israel Staff. "AG says army must start process to draft Haredim, warns against trying to bypass court". The Times of Israel. 2024 Mar. 31. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 1.
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/ag-says-army-must-start-process-to-draft-haredim-warns-against-trying-to-bypass-court>


God's eye is not blind to hypocrisy 4/25/2024
Updated 4/30/2024

Last week, I saw an article saying how the Israeli government made a statement that opposed Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara. She urged the government to obey the high court's order to begin drafting Haredim and stop paying stipends, but the government stated they do not need to start mass conscription of the Orthodox nor stop paying yeshiva students (students in qualifying Jewish religious study) until the end of the year. The article I noted in the last update about the attorney general's comments stated the Haredim's religious exemptions would expire on the first of this month, April.

The Israeli government's reasons to postpone conscription appeared to merely be excuses when I have seen other articles noting that their military needs more soldiers. They also claim they need to determine if they could "absorb" yeshiva students, which implies that the Haredim need special treatment. They only amount to about 13% of the population[2.1] while the military had no complaints to conscript everyone else. The government's actions to ignore the high court's order and postpone action only show how their leaders and their orthodox backers continue to be hypocritical about being highly ethical. What I see are more examples of unrighteous judgment in their leadership that I have spoken against before.

My comments to The Times of Israel article, "Government says it isn’t required to draft Haredi men, nor end funding to yeshivas", was as follows:
Minister Ty Alexander: Authority that does not respect its own governing and judicial authority is hardly better than a dictatorship and will not keep power unless they resort to complete authoritarianism.

Just rulings are the work of God, but for leadership to be evil in seats of honor is hateful to Him (Mishlei/Proverbs 16:11-12)

And what's more, soon after I made public comment about the government's position, I saw another article about the Haredim trying to enact regulations "under the table" that failed to pass in the legislature[2.2]. The new rules would give them much more power over rabbinical appointments in local governments and reduce the number of female appointments from 40% to 33%. That article was only published the day before the other, but I noted the common theme of orthodoxy trying to circumvent legal and righteous governing, so I made the following comment in the article, "New regulations would expand Haredi control over municipal rabbis, sideline women":
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-regulations-would-expand-haredi-control-over-municipal-rabbis-sideline-women>
Minister Ty Alexander: In a comment to another Times of Israel article today, I noted how corrupt authority is an abomination. That was also about the rabbinate's refusal to submit to lawful authority, where here, they try to change regulations because they could not do it through lawful process.

And so I must repeat a comment I made in the other article: Just rulings are the work of God, but for leadership to be evil in seats of honor is hateful to Him (Mishlei/Proverbs 16:11-12)

If these things were not enough of an outrage, this past weekend I noted articles criticizing how the United States was announcing they would sanction the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, an Israeli ultra-orthodox unit, for human rights violations[2.3, 2.4]. This is a unit of Haredim men made to cater to their religious needs, even giving them extra time to study scripture. Their "special" requirements are likely the reason the IDF says they need to determine if they could actively conscript many Haredim.

In the days following that article, I saw Israel and many religious supporters of Israel condemning the possible sanctions, but I did not see any good reasons why the sanctions should not be enacted. People of God should know better than to give preferential treatment, for we are told to not judge unfairly. Do not favor the poor or show preference to the rich. Judge your neighbor fairly (Leviticus/Vayikra 19:15); Judge the people with righteous judgment (Deuteronomy/Devarim 16:18). It is not good to show partiality to the guilty, nor to deprive the righteous in judgment (Proverbs/Mishlei 18:5), and do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).

However, as of this date, the political pressure from the Israeli government to not sanction the IDF seems to have worked, at least for now. The United States has not confirmed the sanctions, which would keep funds and training away from the sanctioned unit (As of 4/30/2024 the U.S. has not sanctioned any IDF unit, but has noted other Israeli units with ethics violations[2.6]). This is poor judgment as it would hardly hurt Israel's image further to go through with the sanctions, because they have already damaged their international reputation with many failures of leadership. The United States backing off this hurts its reputation, meanwhile, Israel denies accountability, again. More hypocrisy and unrighteous judgment in leadership.

The allegations for the sanctions were thoroughly investigated in the past two years[2.5] and Israeli Labor Party leader, Merav Michaeli is quoted, "Instead of wising up and dealing with the situation, we get yet another dose of denial and foot-dragging, lies and covering up the bitter reality. The Netzah Yehuda Battalion should have been disbanded many years ago... the battalion legitimizes settler violence and kills Palestinians for no real reason and abuses Palestinian detainees. To defend the Netzah Yehuda unit as an integral part of the IDF casts a heavy shadow over the entire IDF and damages its credibility"[2.5].

The correct actions to take are clear, but Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, said it was "utter madness" to sanction the IDF while Israel is fighting for its existence[2.3]. Furthermore, the Israeli government wants to move the Netzah Yehuda unit into national security and the police force. The preferential treatment and unjust judgments were clear (no serious penalties were given to soldiers involved in unethical violence, which was why the United States was going to announce sanctions under the Leahy Law), so I made the following comment in The Times of Israel article, "Israel aghast as US said poised to sanction IDF unit with history of abuses":
Minister Ty Alexander: Smotrich said it is “utter madness” to sanction the IDF while Israel is fighting for its existence. It is not Israel's existence I am worried about. What is madness is that the IDF not discipline their soldiers according to higher standards of morality that is expected for any who claim divine stewardship. But then, they claim to conduct warfare and their military by the highest ethical standards possible. And what have we seen from the Gaza Hamas War? Much of the world has turned against Israel for her poor stewardship.

If Israel’s general leadership fails to conduct themselves by high standards, there should be little surprise at the conduct of ultra-right units who deem themselves to be of higher divine standards than everyone else.

And now they want to move these holier-than-thou people into the police force and national security? By the standards of a righteous nation, their units would be destroyed and replaced, and all soldiers found to be part of immoral actions sent to state military prisons. Absolutely shameful.

Israel does not need these kinds of soldiers or units. All must participate in accordance with the standards of the whole. And if you claim to fight for God, you will be held to higher standard by Him.

Military service is not yeshiva, either, which obviously has not given Netzah Yehuda any better moral conduct, for they do not know how to walk in God’s commands to not harm your neighbors - Judge your neighbor fairly… Do not stand idly when the life of your neighbor is in danger… rebuke your neighbor without bringing sin on yourself… Love your neighbor as yourself. Those are the words of El Elyon, God Most High (Vayikra/Leviticus 19:15-18). Let there be no more pandering to orthodox or any other unjust spiritualism in the military, in the name of Yahovah El Elyon. Amen.
The injustice done by authorities is not hidden to God. May Israel and her allies walk in higher standards of righteousness before they condemn themselves further, in the name of Mashiach Yeshua. Amen.


Addendum 4/30/2024 - I noted a new article where the United States stated five IDF units were investigated for ethical violations[2.6]. Most of them were given "remediation" or some kind of training and guidance to correct them. That was not the biggest issue, though. The biggest problems were in the reader comments, which largely denied any wrong and accused the United States of hypocrisy for pointing out military ethical violations. It is true that the U.S. military has committed many ethical violations throughout history, but that does not mean Israel is free to do as she pleases, so I made the following comment to the article "US says 5 IDF units violated human rights: 4 have remediated, one being reviewed":
Minister Ty Alexander: Depending on the violations, "remediation" may not be sufficient. Look at what "remediation" has done with bad police officers that needed far worse penalties, removal from service, and even prison time. Does George Floyd come to mind?

The U.S. might not be perfect in her military's history, but at least today, they actively investigate and prosecute soldiers who commit crimes.

Judge fairly. Do not favor the poor or show preference to the rich. Judge your neighbor fairly (Vayikra/Leviticus 19:15); Judge the people with righteous judgment (Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:18). It is not good to show partiality to the guilty, nor to deprive the righteous in judgment (Mishlei/Proverbs 18:5).

So do not turn away your eyes when your own does serious wrong, you and the people will come to greater harm for it.


References
[2.1] "Government says it isn’t required to draft Haredi men, nor end funding to yeshivas". The Times of Israel. 2024 Apr. 18. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 25.
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/government-says-it-isnt-required-to-draft-haredi-men-nor-end-funding-to-yeshivas>

[2.2] "New regulations would expand Haredi control over municipal rabbis, sideline women". The Times of Israel. 2024 Apr. 17. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 25.
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-regulations-would-expand-haredi-control-over-municipal-rabbis-sideline-women>

[2.3] "Israel aghast as US said poised to sanction IDF unit with history of abuses". The Times of Israel. 2024 Apr. 21. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 25.
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-aghast-as-us-said-poised-to-sanction-notorious-idf-unit-netanyahu-a-moral-low>

[2.4] Barak Ravid. "The US is expected to announce sanctions against IDF unit for human rights abuses". The Jerusalem Post. 2024 Apr. 20. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 25.
<https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-798035>

[2.5] Tovah Lazaroff. "Netanyahu: Absurd for US to sanction IDF soldiers as they fight terror". The Jerusalem Post. 2024 Apr. 21. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 25.
<https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-798048>

[2.6] "US says 5 IDF units violated human rights: 4 have remediated, one being reviewed". 2024 Apr. 29. Retrieved 2024 Apr. 30.
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-says-5-idf-units-violated-human-rights-4-have-remediated-one-being-reviewed>


Haredim Extremism Amounts To Rebellion and Infidelity 6/21/2024
An extremist Haredim group blocked Route 4 near Tel Aviv and made comments that God wanted me to address. If you have been with this ministry a while, you also likely know the number 4 represents Hope, so I also see Jewish Orthodoxy making an attack on Hope here, especially Hope From God. My comment to the article at The Times Of Israel, "Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox block highway in protest against IDF enlistment" follows:
Minister Ty Alexander: The extremist Orthodox group here numbers 60k while the Haredim numbers about 13% of Israel. That amounts to 1.2 million Haredim able to get state funding and claim exemption from national service. If one-third of them are males of service age, that amounts to 411k perfectly able men saying they don’t need to serve or protect the country, and furthermore, expect state (public) money to study Torah; something you do not need funding to do.

I can tell you now that Israel does not need 411k more rabbis, and the Haredim and all Jewish teachers have no ability to fulfill the Torah as God stated it. Most are not even from the Tribe of Levi as required by the Torah.

It is no wonder anger grows against them, yet they threaten to overthrow the government if their preferential treatment is not upheld? And they state, “We didn’t found the state and it’s not our job to help it with its problems.” Truly an abomination.

Don’t they realize God founded and protects the state they live in and if they have no duty to serve or help it, then they are renouncing citizenship and God, so I say, if you renounce them, then you cannot demand representation nor help from them. What would God do to such rebels and rabble-rousers when He walked with Moshes and the ancient Jews?

If anyone does not provide for his own people, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. What people and house do you claim if it is not Israel?

High Court Confirms God's Judgment For Haredim Draft 6/25/2024
Updated 7/1/2024

This week, Israel's High Court of Justice (like the U.S. Supreme Court) unanimously ruled that the government must start drafting orthodox students immediately and stop state funding for them[3.1]. They determined there was no legal framework for the government to keep holding off on this decision which first came last year. There is also no legal foundation for military exemption for Jewish teachers in scripture as I explained in this thread.

Praise be to Yahovah Sabaoth (of hosts), El Elyon, God Most High, that righteous judgment was made. It is not only correct and treats all as equal, it is God's will and desire. Let His further desires for the people be made manifest. Amen.

A comment in The Times of Israel article, "In historic ruling, High Court says government must draft Haredi men into IDF", also noted that Torah study is invaluable and protects Israel, and also made an incorrect assessment of the Battle with Amalek, which needed comment (additional edits in red; later comments added 7/1/2024):
Avi: The study of Torah [Law of Moses] protects the State of Israel. But we must still have a viable army. And so as a "yeshiva man," [person of Jewish study] having learned in a mainstream yeshiva for over 50 years (and I still go to learn in the morning before going to work), we must have qualified Haredi men joining the IDF. There are some, but there are not enough. Moshe Rabbeinu [Moses our Teacher] sent Yehoshua [Joshua/Yoshua], his closest disciple, to lead the army against Amalek. Moshe did not tell Yehoshua to sit and learn while the nation was at war. And not only that, the Sages say that Moshe was taken to task for "passing the buck" to Yehoshua and not leading the army himself!

But while Haredim do need to serve, the religious community needs to here from our brethren that Torah study is invaluable.

Minister Ty Alexander: The study of Torah does not protect Israel. God does through the blessings He gives by His promises, and those promises in the Torah, no one can fulfill anymore and so it is by the curses of the Torah that Israel and Judaism has suffered all these millennia. Learned students of Torah should know that. It is also by no small amount that the study of Torah by Judaism has greatly hurt Israel and all Jews because your sages knew not, and today still, do not know God or His ways and so err greatly and teach the people in great error so as to have all the nation sin.

Adonai [The Lord] sent a word to you, Israel. You heard it but did not receive it, for your ears are stopped. And so, Adonai cuts off head and tail from Israel. The head is the elder and esteemed ones. And the one who teaches falsehood is the tail. For those who guide this people are leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are destroyed; for no one knows the voice of El Elyon, God Most High. Therefore He does not rejoice over their young people, nor does He have compassion on their needy, young and old alike. Yet, in spite all your troubles testifying this against you, you refuse to receive His messages, and so His anger does not turn away, and His hand is still stretched out. This is how it is with this generation.

And to show further what I said about your vaunted teachers not knowing or teaching right, God did not take Moshe "to task for passing the buck to Yehoshua." God punished Moshe for striking the rock for water rather than simply speaking to it, while the battle with Amalek was won because God was with Moshe and not the army. If you do not recall why the army could not win without Moshe's actions then go back to Shemot/Exodus 17.

[following comments added 7/1/2024]
Avi: So the greatest commentor on the Torah, Rashi, disagrees with you. I think I will go with him! Rashi states (quoting earlier sources) that the reason Moshe's hands became "heavy" was that Moshe sent Yehoshua to war rather than going himself.

The striking of the rock is a much later episode (38 years later) and has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Avi: i don't respond to people who have no idea what they are talking about, or at least write as if they don't.

But to the general point: of course, it is G-d who protects us. There are many factors that inspire and augment that protection, including the study of Torah.

This is clear from the story of Jacob. Because Jacob was away from his parents, Isaac and Rebekkah, for 36 years, he was punished and Joseph was taken away from him. Yet Joseph was taken for only 22 years. The reason is, as our Sages teach, that for 14 years Jacob was ensconsed in Torah study. "Bizchut haTorah -- in the merit of Torah study," he was not penalized for those 14 years.

Minister Ty Alexander: Yes, the striking of the rock at Meribah was much later but how much later we do not know. The water for the people in Shemot/Exodus 17 is not the Meribah incident, but I remembered the Meribah incident as definitely when God "took Moshes to task" and Aaron as well, though, it is not recorded that Aaron did anything wrong other than be co-leader by Moshe's side.

Still, my comment about Moshe being the one who brought the army success against Amalek is still valid. There is no evidence Moshe's hand became heavy because God was against him or because he was being penalized. Raising his hand for hours during the battle simply made him tired. Why don't you try to keep a large wood staff held up all day and see what happens? My point was that it was God who was with Moshe by anointment and blessing that determined the fate of the armies. Without Moshe, ancient Israel would have failed and exterminated because the people brought much headache to God for their stubborn faithlessness.

It is erroneous assumptions and speculation about scripture taken as fact, like you and your sages share, that is the basis of false teachings, and that is the domain of darkness, not God.

And once more you show yourselves in great error when in you talk about Jacob/Israel being "ensconsed in Torah study." What should I say about people who say such things when the Torah was not yet given in the time of Jacob and Joseph?

moshenewman: the study of torah brings gods blessing

Minister Ty Alexander: My point was that simply studying Torah is not what gives God's blessings but it is acting in it as God decreed; NOT as how your sages and current teachers interpret and teach. They did not and still do not have the authority to change Torah, and so, it is impossible to fulfill anymore, as I said, which is certain to curse the teachers and people alike.
My comments were also repeated for another Times Of Israel article about the same topic, "Ultra-Orthodox parties slam ‘dictatorial’ High Court for ruling Haredim must enlist."



Reference
[3.1] Jeremy Sharon. "In historic ruling, High Court says government must draft Haredi men into IDF". The Times Of Israel. 2024 Jun. 25. Retrieved 2024 Jun. 25.
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-historic-ruling-high-court-says-government-must-begin-drafting-haredi-men-into-idf>

Further comment to Orthodox Jewish Leadership 7/11/2024
The Times of Israel article, "Top rabbis order yeshiva students to ignore IDF call-ups amid brewing coalition crisis", noted some shameful comments from the Haredim leadership to absolutely refuse the government and high court's orders to start conscripting them. My reply to this is copied here:
Minister Ty Alexander: Haredim calls to "remove the evil government" and labeling the national army as their enemy is dangerous for a group that claims stewardship of God's nation, which Israel is, despite any corruptions real or perceived by any group, including the Orthodox. Israel carries the namesake of God's ancient nation and remains His nation, so refusing to cooperate legally and morally with the government's correct and reasonable decrees with threats of dismantling the government can be deemed rebellion against God. Do you want to be put in that domain?

The Haredim leadership said they'd give "legal and spiritual assistance to refusers," but where does refusing and circumventing good and correct decrees put people? God hates those who judge unrighteously, giving favor and preference unfairly (Vayikra/Leviticus 19:15; Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:18; Mishlei/Proverbs 18:5). Those are words of Torah that still hold force.

Like others who commented here and see the truth, the Haredim and corrupt leadership is most responsible for the woes of the nation, so what will happen if the Orthodox leave? Their woes will follow whenever they go, for the curses of the Torah are true and real and do not have any territorial boundaries; wherever Judaism fails fulfill the whole Torah, there its curses will be. When you see this, my kinspeople?

And so, trying to live as you have, by what is impossible to fulfill anymore, should lead you to seek a different way.

Claiming that "the destruction of the Torah" will come from Orthodox conscription is a useless argument when Judaism has already destroyed the Torah by her works of Halacha; unapproved and not written by God. Judaism, whether Orthodox or not, has already suffered "secularization" that is unable to be made pure, so claiming Orthodox ways will be secularized by participation with the rest of Israel is hardly concerning.

The sea of black hats and black shirts is more concerning, as others have commented, the Haredim want to make Israel a Jewish Iran dictatorial state. The sea of black does not speak for God and life, but speaks oppression and death. And the grumblings of the Orthodox leadership sound alarmingly similar to another proud statesman and his followers who were also fooled into thinking they are "obliged to give their souls" for patriotic cause but were corrupted by much darkness. Be careful who you "fight like hell" for, because your allies may actually be fighting against God as well.



3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> Orthodox Judaism's Claim to Military Exemption


 


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