Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The religious World and the Israeli Army


Back in Tel Aviv, I went to do some shopping at Dizengoff Center. The center is, besides the Azrieli Towers, one of Tel Aviv's famous malls. Afterwards I wanted to check out one of the cinemas in order to watch the movie "2012". I like catastrophe movies although, according to the Jewish point of view, the world is not going to be destroyed on 21 December 2012. Instead, Meshiach is coming first and then we will see what is happening. There is a discussion in the Gemara of Talmud Sanhedrin if the world after Meshiach is going to be destroyed. If not, how many years is our human existence going to continue ?
In the end, G - d may destroy the entire universe and everything goes back to the state how it used to be before Bereshit (Genesis). Then, only G - d continues to exist because only He is eternal.

But back to Dizengoff Center:
When I walked out, I saw a new "Steimatzky" book store right on the side. "Steimatzky" is a very famous book store chain in Israel and the special thing about the branch I passed was that all books are being sold for 20 Shekels (approx. 5 Dollar) only.
As soon as I see books, I can hardly resist and so I walked right in. What I found were two great books about religious Israelis and going to the army (IDF - Israel Defense Force). The first books describes the first years of the "Nachal HaHaredi - Haredi unit in the IDF". The first soldiers there were actually Haredim but today, unfortunately, it has changed a lot, as the national religious have widely taken over.

The book by David Zoltan talks about the problems the first Haredim joining the army used to have. About the Shidduchim situation afterwards and a 28 - year - old Haredi who, until then, could not find a Shidduch. Going to the army is / was considered as leaving haredi society. Furthermore, the book introduces Shmulik Greenfeld, a Toldot Aharon Chassid who decided to go to the army and what happened to him in the future. Two photos of him as a Mea Shearim Chassid are shown and underneath is a picture of him in the army. I have to say that he looks much better as a soldier than as a soldier of G - d from the Toldot Aharon Chatzer (yard).

It says on the cover of the book that every Israeli should read this book and I agree. The English title is "The Yarmulke and the Helmet - The Story of the First Ultra - Orthodox Army Unit". The author is David Zoltan. I do not know if there is a translation bbecause I bought the book in Hebrew. The same as the second book called "From the Wilderness and Lebanon" written by Asael Lubotzky.
Lubotzky is a national religious "Hesder" student who participated in the last Lebanon war. In his book he describes his personal impressions and what happened to him and his comrades.

The two books are so interesting and made me decide not to go to the movie but rather start reading.

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