Why My Haredi Friends and I Won’t Go to the Army

A couple of years ago Jewish American blogger Jill asked me to write about haredim and army exemptions. Then in April, a young haredi man left an anonymous comment on that post. I like the way that he appears open about his reasons, even though he seems to realize that  some appear … [Read more...]

Interview with My Son on Religious Accommodations in the Hesder Army Program

A while back on Twitter I got into a conversation about why most Haredim don't go into the army. Intermingling of the sexes was mentioned as one reason, and questions came up about the conditions of hesder students. My son E., who entered a hesder platoon last April, agreed to answer a few … [Read more...]

We’re All in the Same Boat: Yom Kippur in the Navy

This is a guest post by DR, the father who shared his son's experience during the Marmara incident: Exclusive Account of Gaza Flotilla Violence. We're All in the Same Boat: Yom Kippur in the Navy A large proportion of commanders in the IDF are religiously observant, and the numbers are growing. … [Read more...]

In Which the Army Makes an Unnecessary Accommodation

Image by Getty Images via Daylife Last year before Pesach (Passover), I was chatting with an Orthodox American friend via the internet. "Do you make only one seder?" she asked. The question surprised me.  I think she was confused because in the US, the Reform observe one day of Yom Tov while … [Read more...]

In Which I Become a Soldier’s Mother

No, not that soldier’s mother. Don’t expect much blogging on the subject, but one of my sons is preparing for his mandatory three-year army service. A commander from my son’s future division came to the house to answer our questions. The commander wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do, as … [Read more...]

Yom Hazikaron: A Mother Mourns for Her Son

Today marks the observance of Yom Hazikaron. Sirens went off last night and will sound again this morning,  with memorial services taking place around the country. Ynet interviewed Harriet Levin, an American whose son Michael was killed in the Second Lebanon War: "Since his birth, I knew he … [Read more...]

Israeli Army Chaplains and Sabbath Observance

Our Shiputzim posted a letter about army chaplains accompanying soldiers to the Gaza front. The letter's author, YAR, and YAR's brother, one of the chaplains, are relatives of "Our Shiputzim."I'll wait while you read it.On Shabbat, our rabbi spoke about this incident and the question of Sabbath … [Read more...]

Pictures of Israeli Soldiers Treating Palestinian Weapon Smugglers

I received these pictures today along with the Hebrew text below. For redistribution to all: Pictures of Israeli soldiers rescuing Palestinians from a tunnel (used for smuggling weapons) in Gaza. In the most moral army in the world, instead of blowing up the tunnel, they [the soldiers] rescue … [Read more...]

Haredim and Army Exemptions

Here's what Jill from Writes Like She Talks said about me: If you want to get an excellent idea of how this issue applies practically, A Mother in Israel is a fantastic blog - well-written, by a mom of five (is it five?! yes, not four, but not six I think) who made aliyah many years ago but … [Read more...]

My Son and the Army

My son had his first visit with the army for a day of tests. He didn't get his "profile," that magic number measuring the army's opinion of the recruit's battle-worthiness, because he has yet to send them the results of a vision exam. They nevertheless wasted no time in sending him a letter saying … [Read more...]