I was quite pleased to see much content in the July 20 issue of The Jewish Week regarding haredi service in Israel (Gary Rosenblatt’s column, Nessa Rapoport’s op-ed and Stewart Ain’s news report).
Indeed, all residents of Israel, regardless of religious status, must be expected to perform their duty to the State of Israel. I applaud those religious students that participate in Sherut Leumi [national service] in lieu of army service.
Young men studying in rabbinical colleges must recognize that they are living off the land without contributing to the good of the land. Is this not a parasitic relationship? The hesder yeshivot [in which participants combine religious study with army service] have the right idea.
American parents sending their teens to spend a year or two in Israel should chose an academic program that fosters either military or civic service to show their true support of the land of our people. I vote for symbiotic, not parasitic, living.