Thursday, October 11, 2007

Does anybody see how one progresses from this:

"A soldier's uniform is like the holy garments worn by the priests in the Temple when they brought animal sacrifices before God Almighty," says Rabbi Eli Sadan, head of the Bnei David Pre-Military Academy in the Samaria settlement Eli, as he reaches for a Bible to prove his point.

"The soldier, like the priests of the Temple in ancient times, should undergo a metamorphosis when adorned with an IDF uniform. The military man ceases to be solely an individual with a family, with personal interests, with desires. He becomes a messenger of the entire nation out to perform God's commandment, to serve Him."

to this:

קבוצת חיילים בני ישיבות הסדר טוענים כי מפקד הגדוד בו הם משרתים מתנכל להם על רקע דתי. במכתב ששלחו החיילים לראש הממשלה ולשר הביטחון הם טוענים כי המג"ד, סא"ל דוד (דידי) סדן, בנו של הרב בעל ההשפעה בקרב אלפי קצינים אלי סדן, גרם להם לחלל את השבת ואת יום הכיפורים - ללא הצדקה מבצעית. במכתב, שעותקים ממנו נשלחו גם אל הרמטכ"ל ואל הרב הצבאי הראשי, מתואר רצף התבטאויות קשות שלטענת החיילים נאמרו להם על ידי סדן, מפקד גדוד החי"ר לביא


Blogger Sharvul said...

Simple. The father is a fascist. The son rebels against the father.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

As usual, you miss the point completely.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So explain your point then! There are various possibilities, but it's your blog!

3:48 PM  
Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

seems clear that the son has simply applied the same lesson in the same direction. if the father preaches that everything should be batel to the sacred service of the army, then the son goes and is actively mevatel everything to the sacred service of the army.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

As usual, you did get the point.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous bar_kochba132 said...

As much as I view myself as an "anti-mamlachti" RZ, in an ideal Torah state, Rav Sadan's views would be admirable. There is no doubt he has turned out a lot of highly motivated soldiers. However, since the state has moved so far away from Judaism and Zionism (they are trying to turn the ZAHAL into an Arab-stle army in that it is not really designed to fight against foreign enemies but rather against domestic opponents of the regime), and I believe the only way, at present to save Israel and give at least some political power to us totally disenfranchised RZ's, is by democratizing the regime in Israel (Ben-I believe you are thinking along the same lines). This means reevaluating how we look at ZAHAL. Rav Sadan's views are similar to those present in Europe during the 19th century down to World War II- i.e. statements like "the army is the embodiement of the national essence", "the people are the army and the army is the people", etc . We all know the tragedies this mentality led to. For examples the anti-Dreyfusards in France said "It doesn't matter if Dreyfus is innocent or not, if the army high command says he should be convicted, then it is unpatriotic and un-French to question their motives". In my opinion, the Americans have a much healthier attitude. They say that a free people need to have an armed forced to defend their families and their liberties and so the army is a necessary evil. Their army is totally depoliticized (a US Army Colonel once told me senior officers keep their political opinions and affiliations to themselves-totally the opposite of Israel where the high command is chosen for political reliability and not for competance.) and the American public has a healthy skepticism about the military, while still supporting their fighting men when necessary. This is the attitude I think we should adopt here in Israel. However, this is far different than the values Rav Sadan is preaching.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Ben Bayit said...

adderabbi may have gotten the point, but Eli Sadan is a fascist. See rge pamphlet put out by the head of the faction of the major right-wing party that you supprt (or at least did in the past) regarding his activities during the disengagement. I believe that he used the term fascist to describe Eli Sadan and I agree with this assessment. Eli Sadan's theology essentially leads to fascism - and ultimately idol worship. He is dangerous. The fact that Yeshiva high schools let him recruit students is shocking - and it is with good reason that even his mentor Rav Tau who has a similar, but less strident theology, forbade him for a long period of time from speaking and publishing publicly.

In a previous post you mentioned something about the grandchildren who will be living here and the grandchidlren who won't. I have no doubt that just as it was the children and grandchildren of the fighting family of revisionists that are propagating the current round of disasters on us, it will be the children and grandchildren of our friends and neighbors - including in the settlements - who will remove even more Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria and even the Galilee. Your post should make it obvious what the roots of this will be.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Ben said...


I completely agree, especially with the last paragraph. But I don't understand the word "but" in your first sentence.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm perhaps you are unaware of the fact that didi sadan is a dat"lash.
it is therefore a totally irrelevent connection. (and in any case, i missed the rule saying all children conform to their parents' ideas and ideology. but the is beside the point).
not to support R. Sadan, but i think that it is extremely unfair to use what is probably a sore and personal point like this. none of us can be sure our children will continue to be religious; other ideologies aside.

in any case, this story is quite old (11/06) and if i remember correctly sa"al sadan no longer serves there.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Of course, I wasn't suggesting that R. Eli Sadan approves of his son's behavior. I was merely hinting at the general phenomenon of children taking their parents' ideologies to extremes that the parents did not anticipate. I agree that the dynamic in this case might very well be something else altogether. Readers can consider the two stories and speculate for themselves.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Ben Bayit said...

i used the word "but" b/c it wasn't clear to me that your dismissal of sharvul's analysis only applied to the "rebellion" but that you agreed with the assessment that Eli Sadan has fascist leanings.

Irregardless of the motivations of this son or that son, this ideology is fascist in nature and undermines any attempt to legitimize civil disobedience, dissent, and other legitimate methods that can - and should - be used to stop these dangerous expulsions and withdrawals. I also want to point out that when I use the word fascist I'm using it in a technical sense of the word and how a person defines his relationship to the state - not that Eli Sadan is some sort of Nazi or any other such epithet.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Ben Chorin - Ben Bayit echo chamber.

It is disingenuous not to point out the source of Rav Eli Sadan's quote re the priestly garments, which as both BC and BB know very well is neither Rav Sadan nor Rav Tau. The original statement has both a context and a meaning, neither of which are brought here - all is permitted in the service of making snide remarks. I will cede that Rav Sadan may have ahabit of applying some of these statements practically to an extent not necessarily intended by their originator.

BB and BC - why is advocating civil disobedience (as an aside - BB, since when is defying military orders "civil" disobediance?) on a mass scale that has the very real potential to led to a rift in am yisrael any less dangerous that the supposed "fascism" imputed by you to Rav Sadan? Furthermore, by doing so are you not elevating kedushat haaretz over and beyond other values, which according to many is tantamount to the same of idolatry you claim Rav Sadan's beliefs coud lead to? I'm sure you will respond to this that you advocate disobeying orders to remove Jews from their homes on libertarian or perosnal autonomy grounds, but come on....


12:16 AM  
Blogger Ben said...


1. I have on numerous occasions explicitly opposed refusal of orders. You must have confused me with Rav Avrohom Shapira zt"l.

2. Civil disobedience is an important tool that must be used judiciously. Sometimes not using that tool can lead to a much greater rift in Am Yisrael than using it.

3. Comparing fighting wars, a necessary evil by all accounts, to service in the Beis Hamikdash is interesting as a metaphor (as Rav Kook intended it) and truly bizarre as a basis for policy. If someone wants to call that "fascism", yesh lo al mi lismoch.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

And, by the way, the phrase "kedushat haaretz" has never crossed my lips or my keyboard. I am simply opposed to political opportunism, corruption, cowardliness and stupidity.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Ben Bayit said...

While I agree with BenChorin on many if not most things, I disagree with him on the issue of military disobedience (which is just another form of civil disobedience or disobeying orders). His argument is based on the "slippery slope" arguments against civil disobedience - which are generally the easiest to refute when contemplating the issue.

the only place that "kedushat haaretz" come in in terms of this issue is that indirectly it plays a role in the Freedom of Religion aspects that come in to play when ordering soldiers to fulfil orders that go against their religious dictates. Even were I to believe that there is no mitzvah of yishuv haaretz or kibush haaretz, I would still view it as wrong to give soldiers orders that so vehemently conflict with their religious dictates and that under certain circumstances soldiers should disobey such orders (see Prof. Eliav Shochetman's essay on civil disobedience and halacha for more on the aspect of Freedom of Religion and disobeying orders). But in general, I feel that these orders should be disobeyed b/c they are being given by a non-democratic regime, they violate fundamental human rights of the victims, the State of Israel has no right under International Law to deny Jews the right to reside in and establish a National Home in Judea and Samaria (the State essentialy inherited the "mandate" over these areas - see Rostov, Feith et al), and for a host of other reasons some of which were succintly enumerated by BC in his last comment.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous bar_kochba132 said...

I am afraid that "Anonymous's" pointing out that R. Sadan's son is a "dat'lash" changes everything. I don't think we can draw conclusions about his father from this story at all, after Avraham Avinu, Yitzhak Avinu, Shemuel HaNavi and others had kids that went bad. Not a few sons of prominent Rabbis became leaders of the Yevseksia or NKVD torturers or concentration camp admistrators in the USSR. This, however, does not change my views about his philosophy.

12:25 AM  

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