HesderThe IDF announced the impending disbanding of all Hesder units this coming March. Hesder units are made up of religious-Zionist Yeshivah students who combine Yeshivah study and Army service. Serving in such units allows the soldiers involved to fulfil their Army service requirements while minimizing violations of Jewish religious law, like kashrut, that are commonplace in the army:

…hesder provides a convenient framework for discharging two different – and to some extent conflicting – obligations. It enables a talmid, morally and psychologically, to salve both his religious and his national conscience, by sharing in the collective defense burden without cutting himself off from the matrix of Torah…
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshivat Har Etzion

Hesder unit soldiers typically serve in the IDF for 18 months, then attend Yeshivah for three years followed by 6-7 months in an integrated, non-Hesder unit. Major General Elazar Stern, head of IDF Manpower justified his unprecedented and unilateral decision by stating that:

“In the past, these companies were desirable because the army felt it was helping religious youngsters who want to join the IDF continue religious observance in the army,” Stern said on Tuesday.

However, the situation today is different, he said. “I think this is not a good structure. The IDF is the people’s army. Each soldier brings his values and they are discussed with others. This is the best move for the IDF, and probably the best move for the State of Israel,” Stern told Israel Radio.

Way to go. Now all religious individuals will be viewed with suspicion and will be presumed guilty of disloyalty. Way to further isolate an already embattled but important element of Israeli society. Good job IDF. This bonehead move will be remembered along with other dumb stuff like ignoring intelligence reports emanating from Egypt in 1973.

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

48 Comments

  • You can blame the IDF all you want, but they bent over backwards to accomodate these men over many years. They are stopping this practice not because they’re boneheads but because far too many rabbis, particularly in the territories, have been telling these soldiers to refuse to evacuate. While they were telling their constituency to stop serving, their leadership is warning of a civil war with bloodshed and “hilltop youth” who are next year’s hesder soldiers are openly attacking and cursing soldiers.

    This was the only logical move. Also, your assessment is the absolute opposite of what will happen. Instead of being viewed with suspicion everywhere, they will become integrated with their units and forge great friendships with secular Israelis. This is a good thing.

  • They already integrate – their final 6 months of sevce are done with an integrated unit. They often come into their service all bad ass sounding and stuff and quickly learn to follow orders. Hesder units have served the country well and their soldiers have fought bravely and without reservation. This is what we call a presumption of guilt, no matter what Major General Elazar Stern says. I don’t see anyone disbanding kibbutz units for the sake of unity. Sheesh. Bad, bad move and totally unfair.

  • Presumption of guilt? Perhaps. Blame it on some of the rabbis who lead their yeshivas and who have come out in favor of disobeying orders and opposing the pullout.

    What do you want the IDF to do, wait until something does go wrong? Put the blame where it belongs, as uncomfortable as it might seem. If the rabbis want to threaten, they should take into account that many people worry, not without justification, that the soldiers under these rabbis’ tutelage may be inclined to respect their rabbis’ interpretation of what the Torah wants over what the IDF wants.

    What other choice does the IDF have, to wait until something does happen? This isn’t a prison sentence, it simply means they’ll spend their entire service in one shot surrounded by people who may or may not share the same level of observance.

  • CK – Kibbbutz units aren’t the ones threatening not to follow orders and they don’t have Rabbi’s spewing anti-government speak. Majority of National Religious don’t go to hesder anyway and get along just fine in the regular army. And CK, real integration and “gibush” happens in basic training, not in the final six months.

  • I gotta tell you TM, i’m a little surprised. I know you have a problem with religious people not serving in the army (so do I) and Hesder units allows many guys to serve while not compromising their religious beliefs (much). The regular army is simply not an enviroment most of these guys are comfortable in (i’m sure you know what i mean). Geting rid of Hesder units only makes it harder and will create more of a divide between the secualr and the religious on the army issue.

    I can understand if the army is afraid of putting these boys in a situation where their ideology conflicts with orders, but then don’t put those units in charge of evacuations.

    Whether you’re on the left and refusing to serve in the settlements or on the right and refusing to evacuate them, you’re letting your ideology interfere with orders. But no one is getting rid of kibbutz units because some of those soldiers might listen to their peace now mentors and disobey their orders.

  • “But no one is getting rid of kibbutz units because some of those soldiers might listen to their peace now mentors and disobey their orders.”

    Well, that just doesn’t happen now, does it? And there aren’t any units soley comprised of Kibbutzniks anyway. There are groups of kibbutznikim that serve together, but the Nahal garins of today are not those of the seventies. And generally kibbutz politics runs the gamut from labor to meretz, both of which do not support the leftists who refuse to serve in the territories. The hesder rabbis have been rabid in their condemnation of a gaza withdrawal and the need for soldiers to disobey their orders. The leftist refusers have NEVER called on soldiers to disobey orders. I can’t stand the f*ckers but they view their decision to refuse to serve in the WB and G as a personal choice and don’t spend any time convincing others. Can’t say the same about the Hesder Rabbis.

    And getting rid of the hesder units isn’t going to cause a divide in religo/secular army relations considering the small number of soldiers that participate in the program (A few 1000 a year I think, if even that). The vast majority of religious soldiers serve a full three years in the integrated army.

    And what exactly do you mean by “not an enviroment most of these guys are comfortable in.” Are you refering to dirty jokes and boyish behavior?

  • I have to agree with Harry about the environment part of your comment, Laya. What on earth do you mean? What is the matter with the environment? Be clear, because I don’t have a clue what the problem might be. (By the way, both of Harry’s comments are right on).

    The army is the army. It has good and bad. However, there is no question that it respects observant soldiers and tries to accomodate their observance within the context of its operations.

    I’ve always admired the IDF for giving the Hesder option. I’ve thought it enabled observant soldiers to combine their love for Judaism with service for the country. However, it’s a special treat for them. After all, like every Israeli, they should serve in the military (never mind that only about 70% do), but unlike every Israeli who serves and has to defer their post secondary education, these men are able to start this education early.

    If they now choose to evade service on the pretext that they should study instead, it will merely point to the moral emptiness of the people who participated and who pushed for this program.

    The program is failing for one reason only: the rabbis on the Yesha Council of Rabbis, and those other rabbis involved with these yeshivas. It is their shame that they are encouraging this deep rift – essentially widening a cultural rift based upon the supposed superiority and moral superiority of religious over secular Israelis – within Israel and within the IDF. Shame on them for becoming part of the settler propaganda war about the “danger” of a civil war and the “illegality” and “immorality” of the pullout plan.

    But what can you do? You have well trained fighters all receiving special treatment by being placed in exclusive units that seem to encourage their participation in activities that may undermine the IDF and Israel itself. It’s painful but absolutely right to disband these units. If you have any complaints, Laya, ck and others who feel this is a mistake, take them up with the rabbis and settler leaders who have brought about this crisis. That’s your address; they know what they are doing.

    One can’t talk about civil war and bloodshed with impunity. Consequences should, and will, follow.

  • enviroment: ie kashrut laws, for example.

    and not every hesder boy is brainwashed by hilltop rabbi’s. Don’t act like they have no capacity for individual, rational thought.

    ain li koach l’od achshav.

  • T_M,
    you theory of integration as well as diluting ‘the Rabbi’s’ powers is flawed. If anything, more fresh young slumbering minds will be exposed to thse fine idealogical minds and if there might have been a small problem of certain units totally ‘refusing’, then now these soldiers will be integrated in more units to spread the gospel in previously ‘secular’ units.

    (all this besides the fact that many secular soldiers will refuse to commit the war crimes of forcibly removing civilians from their homes)

    WOO-HOO!

    As for the Haredis, ‘everyone’ wants them to serve, but no one wants them to serve with them or have their kids serve with them. Call it racism, or cognitive dissonance.

    As for the hesder and dati-leumi; FWIW, it’s the same people.

  • I don’t say they don’t have the capacity for rational, individual thought. I do say that I don’t know which of them do and which of them don’t. I don’t know what will happen if one of the more charismatic of these soldiers decides to listen to his rabbis and encourage his fellow soldiers to do the same. There is a lot of bonding done in these units and who knows where they feel their loyalties lie. By disbanding the units, this is no longer a question mark.

    As for kashrut, unless I’m mistaken, there is rabbinical supervision over the IDF’s kitchens and cooking regulations. If it’s not perfect, I understand, but they won’t be the first or the last observant soldiers to have to deal with this matter. I’d rather err on the side of kashrut than have units educated by rabbis who advocate disobeying IDF orders.

  • Josh, my haredi family tells me their kids won’t serve under any circumstances. Candidly, they admit that it’s because they don’t want their sons exposed to the secular world that seems to offer so much more than their narrow world, because their narrow world is too precious and important to them. This is a direct quote from a very intelligent man. For the same reasons, those haredim who want to serve, end up wanting to serve together. There may be “racism” as you call it, but it’s actually directed at secular Jews who are considered second class Jews by these haredim as well as by many of the dati-leumi folks.

    With respect to these soldiers being able to spread the word about refusal throughout other units. Good luck to them. You are merely confirming that these hesder units were potential problem units.

    We’ve already has some lengthy discussions about how abhorrent I find it when you begin to sound like the Palestinian propaganda machine, so I’ll stay away from your war crimes comment.

  • laya – “and not every hesder boy is brainwashed by hilltop rabbi’s. Don’t act like they have no capacity for individual, rational thought.”

    I’m not. It was a the brother of a hesder soldier who told me that the Rabbi of his Yeshiva said removing a four year old from her home is the equivlent of raping her. He wasn’t the only student upset about it either.

    Josh – im not going to justify your dogmatic hogwash but the fact that you think that hesder and dati-leumi are the same people shows how little you know about Israeli society. And what do the haredim have to do with this arguement?

    Let me just add that kashrut is indeed an issue. Not so much in the larger bases but rather on the smaller bases and outposts. This is something that will obviously have to be addressed and dealt with appropriately. And it can be.

  • I think that this whole thing is quite sad, if inevitable and the right way for the army to go. By the way though, isn’t it scary how much this was predicted by the movie “HaHesder”? See it.

  • Dede, “haHesder” was a terrible movie.

    But thankfully you have good taste in men. Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov on the wedding!!! can I see photos?

  • Wow, I’m on the outs with the Jewlicious crowd as far as movies. First I liked Sideways, and now I have to say…

    HaHesder is one of my favorite movies.

    Yikes! :S

  • I thought HaHesder was interesting, if I remember it correctly. It was technically kinda mediocre, but the ideas expressed were genuine and interesting.

  • Hahesder was goofy. Totally goofy, but in a compelling, uniquely Israeli way.

    As for disloyalty and civil war, I mean seriously. Not ALL hesder Rabbis have called for not following orders. And as far as Hesder units go, to date they have cted in only the very best tradition of the IDF. The presumption of guilt evinced by this unilateral act is one that offends me to the core. Its remarkable how those of you who pay lip service to lofty humanist values are so quick to dispense with them when its convenient. You don’t like Orthodox religious Jew for whatever reason, and so they ought not benefit from one of the fundamental tennets of a just and civil society – the presumption of innocence.

    This is how we treat good boys who have done nothing but fight bravely and die for the benefit of the entire state?

    Ein lachem ANY fucking boosha? Have you no shame?

  • Dude, take it up with the rabbis!! Don’t take it up with us or the IDF or lay on these guilt trips as if somehow WE’RE disloyal to the idea of fair play and the fundamental tenets of a just society. People who are very close to these Hesder boys are suggesting courses of action that undermine the IDF and Israel. Period. This is completely unacceptable and very dangerous. I will remind you of Ezra’s candid answer the other day when he acknowledged that between a Jewish state and a democratic state, he’d choose the former. Guess how many of these Yesha and Hesder rabbis are depicting the situation? Take a look at how Josh uses the term war crimes to describe the disengagement. Now is not the time to play games. Now is the time to put a stop to this craziness, and the Hesder guys may be terrific people and terrific soldiers who have never done anything wrong…and now will definitely not be put in a situation where things might.

    Take it up with the rabbis. Ask them how they dare question the basic rights of the state that has given them the ability to live in a Jewish country and to build their homes where they live. Ask them how they dare suggest disobeying orders. Ask them and the leaders at Yesha how they dare speak of a pending civil war. You want to know why confidence is undermined in these young, good men? It’s not them, it’s their mentors and leaders who scare the people and the IDF.

  • Oh so guilt by association is ok too? Its been acknowleged that army experience changes these boys from ideologically naive rabble rousers to loyal soldiers. From scraggly hill top youth to amongst the cream of the IDF. You place too much importance on some statements by some Rabbis. Guilt by mere dint of association is no less offensive than the presumption of guilt.

    Nice try. Please try again.

  • You’re really not right about this, ck.

    How come we trust Israeli intelligence services when they save Israelis from suicide bombers, but you don’t take their word when they warn of massive problems with these soldiers?

    Mofaz was said to be examining a recommendation that would end the sponsorship of military preparatory academies for Orthodox Jewish students (hesder yeshivot). Many of the academies, located in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, have produced cadets who have become officers and soldiers in elite combat units.

    The report to the defense minister said that the academies were producing officers and soldiers more loyal to rabbis than to the military tradition. There are about a dozen such Orthodox military academies in Israel, financed by the Defense Ministry and Education Ministry.

    Officials said Mofaz was warned that rabbis in these academies were encouraging their students to refuse orders to evacuate Jews from their homes. They said Mofaz was urged to halt financing to at least two such academies.

  • How about this? Read it and weep.

    Four Sha’alvim students say they chose this hesder yeshiva, founded in 1963, for its high-caliber Jewish studies, the close relationship with the rabbis, and the beautiful setting. Politics had nothing to do with it, they say. Three of them maintain that if the army orders them to uproot settlements, they will do whatever their yeshiva head, Rabbi Yehezkel Yakobson, tells them to do.

    The fourth, on the other hand, says he will obey IDF orders, “with a heavy heart,” no matter what any rabbi decrees.

    “But I know I’m in the minority around here,” acknowledges Rami Meushar, 19, standing outside the yeshiva’s dormitory bungalows. Bearded, wearing tzitzit (ritual fringes) and sandals, Meushar will enter basic training next spring and hopes to become a tank crewman or an infantry fighter.

  • Oh, so now we’ve moved up to guilt by informal newspaper interview? Wouldn’t the correct, pluralistic, intelligent thing to do be to simply not involve Hesder units in the evacuation?

  • I agree with ck. Also, I found ha-Hesder to be kinda…I don’t know…bad. Were we really supposed to believe anyone would fall for the sullen girl with the bad teeth?

    Kadosh was better, as long as we’re talking about not-so-faintly-anti-religious Israel movies pumped out by Kino.

  • No ck, the problem is that these guys are well trained soldiers and there is a large number of important rabbis who are saying the evacuation is a violation of God’s laws. Come on, man, I know you get it. This has gone too far and people are actually talking about the state and the IDF in unacceptable terms and these people are the spiritual guides of these soldiers who tend to be quite devout. Who knows how they’ll act. Seriously, Josh is calling any evacuation a WAR CRIME. Wouldn’t you act to prevent a war crime if your rabbi was also telling you that it goes against god’s laws?

    Let’s face it, the settlers have segments within their population that have gone a couple of steps too far. The IDF is being prudent here. If they really wanted to act unjustly, they would put these guys under guard or confine them for a couple of months. Instead, they are dissolving what appear to be organizations that have taken on the OPPOSITE values than what they are supposed to instill in these young men.

    I have great respect for the hesder soldiers, but this isn’t a surprise. It comes as a shock to those who are within their circles because they are so far gone with their Greater Israel meshugas that they forget there is a democratic state with many citizens who do not subscribe to their values and beliefs. Think about it, they’re putting on orange stars and comparing this to “war crimes” while their rabbis are exhorting them to oppose this disengagement and the general public to reject it because it goes against…God!

  • they they they they – there ya go condemning entire communities with one broad stroke. That is exactly what I am worried about. That sort of attitude is just as destructive as the most rabid anti-disengagement rabbi’s most incendiary and disloyal pronouncement. You’re called the_middle, live up to your nomenclature.

  • Grrrr! I provide you with links to articles, with specific quotations, with incidents and things that were said right here on Jewlicious, and you come back to me with Neoconian accusations about blah blah blah blah.

    Pay attention, it’s not The Middle who closed the Hesder yeshivas. It was an observant Jew in the IDF who did. He did because the writing is on the wall. Now cut it out and go talk to some Yesha leaders…

  • T_M,
    the observant Jew who closed the hesder units was just the messenger. I served under Stern and had the opportunity to hear him ramble off his thoughts a few times and I seriously doubt that it was his initiative (unless he has underlying motives such as I suggested to have the ‘hesder’ soldiers influence the secular soldiers (and not just about this weenie retreat plan)).

    Harry
    Sorry if I generalized into having making you think that hesder and dati-leumi are the same people, but usually dati-leumi means all religious Jews except Haredim. I’m the first to admit that within the Israeli ‘knitted kipa’ community there is a wide spectrum from almost haredi on one side to people who daven three times a day, but keep the hipa in the pocket for davening and eating. This wide spectrum even exists within single immediate families – one specifically I know where the dad is not practicing, the mother is but wears pants, one boy in hesder, one girl in ulpanah, another girl secular, etc…

  • Dude, Michael, tinkerbell is awesome!

    Just to be completely clear, I don’t like/dislike hahesder for any political pro-religion/anti-religion whatever meaning. I just thought it was a good, interesting, fun to watch, Israeli film.

    Single whack-a-doos like Pini from hahasder should be dealt with on an individual basis, and should not be used to judge any group.

    This kind of statement is very, very scary to me: “Now is the time to put a stop to this craziness, and the Hesder guys may be terrific people and terrific soldiers who have never done anything wrong…and now will definitely not be put in a situation where things might.”

    T_M, you completely and totally missed the point. You can provide as many “specific quotations” as you want. That does not justify the statement above.

  • I see your comment #29, last paragraph, and think it is ridiculous in light of my comment #21.

    Meanwhile, here is some more:

    1.

    Yossi Hazan, a 34-year-old rabbi and reserve paratrooper, says he instructs pupils at Beit Yatir because instilling an appreciation of the biblical land and Torah helps make better soldiers. An evacuation order, however, would trigger a dilemma between his allegiance to the military and a desire to avoid an internecine conflict.

    “These two values clash,” he says. “I, myself, don’t know what I would do.”

    2.

    Back in an office decorated with pictures of rabbis and army generals, [Beit Yatir religious military prep school principal] Moshe Hager summarizes his Bible lesson on disobeying orders.

    “There are two legitimate opinions,” he says, citing conflicting commentary from the Jewish medieval philosopher Maimonides and a 19th-century Lithuanian rabbinic scholar that supports the refuseniks and the army, respectively.

    But when pressed about what he would do if he were called up to aid the evacuation, Hager is unequivocal. Instead of heeding the order, he plans to stand with the Gaza settlers resisting the army. “I will be [there],” he says.

  • T_M, you need to internalize the difference between “seeing” and “understanding.”

    Somewhat similar to the differences between “listening” and “hearing.”

  • Neocon,

    I’ve provided you with links, quotes, comments and sources. You’ve provided me with:

    T_M, you completely and totally missed the point. You can provide as many “specific quotations” as you want. That does not justify the statement above.

    and

    T_M, you need to internalize the difference between “seeing” and “understanding.”

    Somewhat similar to the differences between “listening” and “hearing.”

    I am very impressed with your attempt at condescension, you must think highly of yourself. However, I’m far less impressed with your ability to express a valid counter-claim. On the basis of your comments to me, shattering my argument should be a no-brainer since you haven’t bothered to dispute anything, merely to claim that what I have written indicates my inability to comprehend what I see.

    How about you use your superior brainpower to force your fingers to elucidate what you mean? Really, it will help all of mankind, and especially the slow people like myself.

  • Well I ran into a couple of Hesder boys this morning. I asked them flat out what they would do and they laughed and said that they would follow orders and evacuate anyone from anywhere they were told to. I asked about the articles that suggested otherwise and they told me not to believe everything I read – “When you are in Canada, do you believe everything you read about Israel? Do you really think we would ever raise arms against a fellow Jew?”

    So now who do I believe? I thought the situation was crystal clear! I mean what? Is it possible the media distorts stuff??

  • I’m sure the media distorts stuff. I’m sure they distorted the petition of the 60 rabbis including the heads of the hesder yeshivas. I’m also positive that Jpost and Haaretz and the Christian Science Monitor are in cahoots about screwing those hesder boys. I’m sure the people who wrote the report to Mofaz also wanted to destroy the hesder yeshivas.

    Whatever.

    I feel sad for them. I do.

    I blame the religious and lay leadership in Yesha and their key supporters.

  • My parents liked a particular expression when I was growing up: “You made your bed, you sleep in it”. In other words, if I acted in a way with negative ramifications, then I was responsible for bearing the consequences.

    If the Rabbi’s of these Yeshivot wish to spout imflammatory language, up to and including calling for seccession from Israel and/or disobeyal of orders, then they should not cry when Israel decides to take action. In this case, reducing these rabbi’s access to Israel’s soldiers. At this point, the conflict is actually getting violent, with “demonstrators” from the Gush slashing tires and fighting with police in an attempt to break up a meeting between the Israeli and Palestinean security officials. A number of policemen were actually injured. By Jews. To the extent that the people behind these demonstrators have access to the soldiers in Hesder–that is not going to work.

    At this point, my attitude is, if they want to stay, let them. Pull out our soldiers, and let them stay as residents of the Palestinean authority. We have an Arab minority; there is no reason that the PA cannot have a Jewish one.

    As for the boys being able to think on their own…of course, because everyone knows that the average 18 or 19 year old is a regular rock of armour against peer pressure and authority figures. Hello! Everyone knows that people of that age are easily influenced. Why do you think their parents want them serving with other dati’im. Hear is a hint: it is not the food they are worried about. It is the people. Them evil, non-observant Jews. For that matter, why do you think that Birthright targets younger Jews, up to their mid-20’s, and not the older ones in their 30’s and 40’s? Because the younger ones are more easily influenced. It is simply more bang for the buck. Do you really think a group of 35 year olds would start considering aliyah because a Rabbi said it was like real sex? But a bunch of impressionable 20 year olds…why yes they would.

  • Daphna, just to add to your comments. There is no question that the army likes to get its boys at 18 because they can still be “made into soldiers” with less difficulty than older men.

  • T_M: You’re either amazingly dense or you’re not even making an attempt to read what I wrote.

    I’m telling you that no matter how many little snippets of quotations you can find, it doesn’t matter, because as ck demonstrated, you can always find those snippets to support your position. I’m not giving you counter-quotations because it is worthless to do so. I’m not trying to “shatter” your argument because you haven’t made one.

    What I find absolutely ludicrous is you continually and routinely denigrate and punish entire groups based upon the actions or quotes you find from a few of them.

  • Neocon,

    Thanks again for saying nothing. From now on, just to satisfy you, I will do field research, write tomes, provide lengthy analyses by even more sources and try to videotape first-hand testimonies from the people about whom I’m writing. Then I’ll come here and post the materials. Give me about two years and I should be done with my research on hesder yeshivas.

    What I find ludicrous is that what seems obvious to many people, including those who run the IDF and (like me) generally have a great deal of respect for this particular type of soldier, have decided that there is a matter of grave concern that needs to be addressed here.

    Let me know whether you have any sort of response to that. Let me know whether one can make assumptions about a group when the former Chief Rabbi of Israel along with scores of other important and influential rabbis from that group – including the very spiritual leaders of the soldiers in question – make public statements that are unequivocal in their content and intent.

    At what point is it okay with you to make a generalization? You mean, one never can discuss groups? One can’t assess anything from the leadership and representatives of that group? So all these rabbis and all these Yesha leaders and all their pronouncements and all their press briefings and all their warnings are not the tip of an iceberg? They speak for themselves?

    You’re right. Next time a series of leaders in the American Evangelical movement make a statement, I’ll assume their membership does not support that statement. Next time an anti-abortion activist leader declares that abortion is murder, I’ll assume he’s speaking for himself. Gosh, my life has just become so much simpler – nobody means what they say and when leaders (elected or spiritual) speak on behalf of constituencies not “every one” of their constituents is behind their statements so I should assume nothing.

    I should point out that in an earlier post a couple of weeks ago, I pointed out that the Kibbutz Dati and some others came out publicly against the disengagement refusal movement, and I also pointed out that there was a petition signed by many soldiers stating they will NOT disobey orders. I guess you forgot about those comments.

    I mean, really, if you have no argument other than to say that you don’t like what I write and that I’m dense, you really have no argument. Please feel free to ignore my imaginary concerns.

  • T_M.

    I’m going to make one final attempt to clarify here. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with your position, even though you keep trying to shoe-horn me into one side or the other of this debate. You keep trying to argue against me and present more evidence when I haven’t even taken a side or engaged you. Highly agressive behavior.

    I’m not asking you to make a case, defend your position, or anything of the sort. I never came down on a side. I just saw you make a statement that I viewed to be completely irrational and a bit scary, so I called you on it.

    All I’m asking you to do is to stop judging people from a random gathering of internet quotations, on this topic or any topic. Sometimes generalizations come out. Just stop and think for one second before making them

    What a wonderful world we would have if no one made assumptions (especially negative ones) about anyone, and everyone only spoke for themselves.

    Perhaps you should have used your own posts about my “lack of arguments” to clue you into the fact that I wasn’t even trying to make one.

    Sheeeeeesh

  • Highly aggressive behavior:

    T_M, you completely and totally missed the point. You can provide as many “specific quotations” as you want. That does not justify the statement above.

    and

    T_M, you need to internalize the difference between “seeing” and “understanding.”

    Somewhat similar to the differences between “listening” and “hearing.”

    But you’re right that I misunderstood that you were not disagreeing with me or asking me to defend a position. Next time somebody tells me that I’ve completely missed the point and that I see but don’t understand, I’ll just assume they’re taking a neutral position regarding my remarks.

    The rest of your remarks insinuating that my comments are “irrational,” based upon a “random gathering of internet quotations,” and that I need to “stop and think” and do it for at least “one second” before “making generalizations” are simply silly.

    See how passive that was?

    Yes indeed, I think I’ve learned now that next time somebody plucks a line I write and comments that I’ve completely missed the point, I’ll understand that they must be right and avoid any highly aggressive behavior, uh, like responding.

    After all, they might come back at me and point out that all they meant was that my statement regarding the point was “completely irrational and a bit scary” and they “are calling me on it” but of course, they were calling me on it without expecting me to respond unless it’s some sort of “highly passive” response like, “thanks gentle reader for pointing out that I missed the point entirely.”

    Thanks Neocon, I feel older and wiser now.

  • Rather than answer anything specifically, you again lashed back at me with further accusations.

    You also failed to answer my main statement in comment 41, paragraphs 3 and 4.

    I notice you do that a lot.

  • Well, then I’ve failed to see it. You never answered anything or explained anything, all you do is try to find obscure examples of of text (my own or others) which you then try to cram back into my own definitions. I call this “arguing by google” which you do in every way.

    This will be my final comment on this matter, to prevent this from becoming one of the top posts on the home page. Feel free to respond if you feel the need to, you’ll have the final word. In fact, since none of our conversations have ever been productive in any way, shape or form, I see absolutely no need for futher communication, so this will be my final word to you in general.

  • Neocon,

    I’d respond, but Google isn’t providing the information I need.

    I look forward to reading your comments in other people’s posts.

  • Hey know what? MOST Hesder rosh yeshivas have told their students to follow orders. Why was I so surprised to find this out?

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