Thursday, February 09, 2006

Kiwi's Questions #3

A few more questions from Kiwi:

3. The Torah says that those who curse Israel will be cursed, which would certainly apply to the Arabs, especially the palestinians. Is there any similar prophecy that would apply to those within Israel who unwittingly oppose God's purpose? Pat Robertson thinks so, but I don't trust him. If he were right, Christians and Jews should be sorrowful, not self-righteous, and praying for Ariel Sharon.

4. Why does Israel require women to serve equally in the military with men? Isn't that contrary to Jewish history and Orthodox social norms? There were women military leaders in the past, but they were the exception, as I understand.

5. Apparently in the beginning of the Zionist movement, Jews began buying property in historical Israel and restoring it. Since nobody had really claimed that land until the palestinians started whining (apparently later), why did the Jews need to buy it, and who did they buy it from?


Anonymous said...

I'll jump right to 4 & 5:

4 - The Israeli Army is a modern army. The only historical consideration it takes is that historically a lot of people have tried to harm the Jewish people. And the history of warfare, I would imagine, comes into play. As for Orthodox norms, I don't think they have anything to do with the army (which does serve only kosher food, I believe, and thank God for that!). That said, Orthodox women may indeed serve in the army - but they, like their secular counterparts, do not serve in the same units as men (like the U.S. army, I'm sure). But certainly they work together on some levels - many women train male troops, for example.

5 - The Ottoman Empire had control of Palestine at the beginning of the Zionist movement. Perhaps that empire owned parcels of land that were sold. But I think the main way was just buying land from individual land owners. That might have been local Arabs or foreign landlords.

Anonymous said...

I tried to comment yesterday, but no go.

Do women have the option of serving in a non-aggressive or community service job? If not, it seems the conservative types would have a serious problem with that, given the emphasis on traditional gender roles.

Anonymous said...

Ralphie, actually, women in today's Israeli army can and do serve in combat units.

I must confess that I am still not up on all the options, but understand that girls have a great deal of options when it comes to military/national service. Like boys, military service "packages" are based upon the combination of school grades, exams, and psychometric profiles.

Again, I am not sure of my footing here, so please forgive if I misspeak, but based on discussions with observant women about their personal choices (my 12 year old daughter is obsessed with the how's and why's of the decision-making process) it seems that many young women weigh the army package offer against their comfort zone -- for example: a young woman who thinks she may be simply serving coffee and answering the phones might opt for sherut leumi if she will have the opportunity to do something more fullfilling, like teaching in a nursery or working with new immigrants in an elementary school. Conversely, girls who are offered to teach in the army education corps or are offered marksmanship instruction, intelligence, press spokesperson, etc. and feel that they will be able to contribute something meaningful to the army witout compromising their observance often opt for military service.

Anonymous said...

So Zahava, what you're saying is that women can choose to do community service OR serve in a military non-combat role OR do the actual fighting etc? Sorry if I'm dense, I know nothing of the context here, or what "sherut leumi" means. :oP

Anonymous said...

Sherut L'eumi means "Service for my Nation", or National Service. Most national religious girls do a form of Sherut L'eumi; I think my Charedi cousins did as well, or something similar.

3. I may have misunderstood the question, but AFAIK, most people are praying for Sharon's recovery and not having a self-righteous attitude about his stroke.

4. I don't think that women always served in the Israeli Army; and, as mentioned, there is the National Service option.

Otherwise, Ralphie pretty much summed up what I'd say about 4 & 5. It could be they were buying it from the Turkish government, too.