The Official Unofficial Response to the Unofficial Official Video

Who’s on first?

I would score this as a victory for the team that batted second.

It is thoroughly in good taste.

It also, ironically, leaves no room for the genuine anti-charedi haters. It depicts graphically just how those who choose can easily, if given the chance, transition into roles in the IDF and the workforce, without losing their chitzoniyus or their commitment to halacha.


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33 Responses

  1. Joseph says:

    I don’t get it. This should repulse you as much as the first video. The only difference is it is coming from the other side. Using the same vitriol, just reversing the imagery. I am surprised at the expressed delight of this.

    [YA – OK. Let’s spell this out. The first video depicted Tzahal, the police, and government officials (including the PM speaking at the UN regarding the Iraninan threat) going about their typical tasks – and described them as yoshvei kronos and the tasks as devarim bateilim. That was despicable. The second video assigned the pejoratives to depictions of yeshiva bochrim in decidedly non-typical roles. No one other than the worst hater would think that the pictures of bochrim lounging around was meant to imply that all or most bochrim spend all or most of their time doing that. It did not take away from the images people have (or should have) of the thousands learning behasmada in yeshivos and kollelim throughout the land. And the pictures of charedim in IDF uniforms who were davening and learning did NOT imply that they are the true and only yoshvei beis medrash – only that you can successfully take the connection to the world of ruchniyus into the way you go about your army service.

    Would it have been better to eliminate the negative images? Maybe. But it wouldn’t have worked as a response to the first video. As such, it was done in good taste – and with chochmah. (Mei-inyan l’inyan: on the topic of the positive aspects of wit applied with sechel, see Tiferes Yisrael, Avos, 3:10)]

  2. SA says:

    Nice work by whoever did this. On the other hand, it does prove how relatively quickly and easily one can get some kind of video up on YouTube, leaving the question of how “official” the earlier video was up in the air. (Though with all due respect to Rabbi Menken, I doubt either video took just two hours. Just finding the pictures/video clips is a job.)

  3. Joseph says:

    On second thought, this isn’t even coming from the other side of those from the first video. This video is coming from the same side, as the producers of the first video clearly were opposed to the rally and were slyly mocking it with a video purporting to support it.

  4. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    “It is thoroughly in good taste.”

    I didn’t see the first video before it was taken down from YouTube. However, I would strongly disagree that this video is is “good taste”. I guess it is a joke or parody but there is no way that IDF service can be considered as Yoshvei Bais Hamedrash. Furthermore depicting those in “Yeshivish” and “Chasidish” dress as wasting time at hafganos and restaurants only plays to the stereotypes of those that say “מאי אהנו לן רבנן.”. This video is mocking in intent, derogatory and unhelpful.

    Furthermore make a mockery of MKs Porush and Gafne is wrong. I do not agree with their tactics however the draft issue poses very real concerns. Never in recent memory has Shas, Agudah, Degel, Rabbonei Chabad, The Chief Rabbis, and many DL Rabbonim all come together to endorse a political prayer rally.

  5. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    “It also, ironically, leaves no room for the genuine anti-charedi haters. It depicts graphically just how those who choose can easily, if given the chance, transition into roles in the IDF and the workforce, without losing their chitzoniyus or their commitment to halacha.”

    I guess the video can show that “It depicts graphically just how those who choose can easily,(BTW how do you know that it is easy?) if given the chance, transition into roles in the IDF and the workforce, without losing their chitzoniyus”

    However what can you see in the video regarding “their commitment to halacha”?

    It is silly to think that a 3 minute YouTube clip can allay the real Rucniyus concerns of serving in the IDF.

  6. Y. Ben-David says:

    Crazy K-
    Whether justificed or not, the demonstration was perceived by many people as not specifically “for study of Torah” but rather a blanket rejection
    of military service and, any positive connection with the state and its institutions. That somehow “Torah” and “Zionism” are opposed to one another.
    This nice video illustrates that the two can and increasingly do so. Thanks to Rav Adlerstein for posting it.

  7. Daniel says:

    YA, you are getting this wrong. What is this video intending to depict?

    That serving in the army is an act of yeshiva beis medrash? That’s isn’t true. That chareidim are not yoshvei beis medrash? That isn’t true. So then whether the video is comparing people to people, or actions to actions, it isn’t true.

    And the original video was indeed correct, even if not politically tactful. The chareidim are the yoshvei beis medrash, and the chilonim are the yoshvei keranos. Moreover, even when they do important things like speak in the UN and serve in the army, they still are the yoshvei keranos, because during their other time they don’t go to the beis medrash. The video didn’t depict frum soldiers–it depicted chilonim.

    I think most properly seen, the video was comparing people to people–not implying that serving in the army is an act of yeshivas keranos. And it was correct.

    Sure, it was politically a bad move, in that it left room for the anti’s to feign insult as if it depicted serving in the army as an act of yeshivas keranos. But really, can an intellectually honest person think that was the message?

    And is this new video really your balanced approach?

  8. Y. Ben-David says:

    Looking at the photographs gives us a taset of what David HaMelech’s or Bar Kochba’s warriors looked like.
    Truly refreshing after 2000 years of being kicked around.

  9. joel rich says:

    Unfortunately I am in shloshim for my mother Hareini kapparat mishkava and so I must watch the video without the music, however I was struck by Crazy Kanoiy’s statement “but there is no way that IDF service can be considered as Yoshvei Bais Hamedrash”. In my hesped I mentioned that Dovid Hamelech asks of HKB”H “shivti bbeit hashem kol ymei chayai” (let me sit in HKB”H’s house all the days of my life), yet when we look at his life, he clearly led an active one that included many days “on the road”. Perhaps much like imi morati hk”m, wherever he was, as long as he was actively involved in trying to execute the ratzon hashem with all his resources and abilities, he was “sitting in HKB”H’s house” (lfnei hashem is the true simcha per R’YBS). One who sits in the beit medrash when not performing his duties to his people imho recieves schar for every second serving as if he were sitting there (and never battling etc.)

  10. Bob Miller says:

    So we see again that big events make different impressions on different people, depending on their attitudes going in.

  11. L. Oberstein says:

    Speaking to my Israeli children this morning, my son Sargeant Yoni Oberstein,IDF Reserves, gave me clarity. This whole fight is not about the army or jailing lomdei torah, it is about integration The chilonim want the chareidim to become part of the Israeli mainstream,as we are in the USA. The chareidi leadership fears that if they are exposed to the outside world, they will lose their children to the Haskalah . They have what to fear. In the future,instead of an isolated and self absorbed chareidi community that feels victimized by the very government that has supported them, a new chareidi model can emerge, one that has doctors,lawyers, computer people,etc. who will not be at war with Ben Gurion and Golda Meir but at peace with a new generation of Israelis.
    Yoni said that Rabbi Ruderman zatzal allowed college in his yeshiva and his talmidim are found in all walks of life.Rallying against integration is really rallying against his legacy. If it is good enough for us,why deny it to other Jews who want and need it. Of course, Yoni has been exposed to Nacahl Charedi and he has changed since he secluded himself in Lakewood East sitting for many hours at a stretch learning. I am very proud of him and agree with his definition of the conflict.

  12. Yaakov Menken says:

    SA, this second one took a few hours, but the first one was probably taken from one footage of the rally plus whatever he could quickly search. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t a professional job.

    Crazy, it’s only in good taste as a response to the first video. Since you haven’t seen the first video, you’re right. In general I think both of them detract from the key issue.

  13. lacosta says:

    to reb crazy konoiy,

    MK Gafni recently stated that if his party comes to power and bayit yehudi is out, he will advocate the dismantling of the hesder yeshiva structure
    as well as work strongly against the ‘settlements’. putting aside whether politics exempts one from biblical prohibitions of nekama,[ and recalling that Kiryat Sefer, a makom shekulo kodesh is over the green line ] , we have yet to see the current government advocating closing the Mir and destroying Bnai Braq….

  14. cvmay says:


    There was a time (when I was much younger) that differences in opinion, daas and Torah hashkafa was not veiled in anger, hostility and disrespect. In the days of Reb Moshe, there were halachic differences with Satmar and with Rav Yosef Ber, life went on and shalom alecheim was extended at simchos. In a different venue of the 60 & 70s in Yerushalayim, there were shitahs of Rav SZ Auverbach and the Bnei Brak Rabbonim, life continued and shalom alecheim were extended at simchos.

    The ‘battle gear’, drama and Media rhetoric must stop since it is killing off the prospects of Kiruv and hurting our young bnei & bnos Torah.

  15. Moshe Dick says:

    Well, I just saw this new video and, quite contrary to “crazykanoiy” and Yaakov Menken, I found it deliciously ironic as it skewers the original video brilliantly and ,of course, the piece of genius was to use the original song. Just reading the convoluted reasoning of “crazykanoiy”, you can see that this video really hit home. The video does not equate serving in the IDF as “yoshvei beth hamedrash’-what it does is show the hypocrisy of the chareidim-showing that you can learn and remain chareidi while serving in the IDF and, of course, showing how idle the so-called Chareidi “yoshvei beth hamedrash’ really are. The streets of bnai braq and jerushalaim are fileld with chareidim doing very little and certainly not learning. Yoshvei beth hamedrash indeed.And ,pray, why is the video deragatory? On the contrary, it is very helpful in showing that you can keep your peyos and beard and still serve in the IDF.
    The virulent lies that have been bandied around (cutting one’s peyos, not allowed to keep shabbos,etc) by the chareidi press are shown to be propaganda with not a word of truth.
    And, the upcoming asifah in New York is another example of people with no skin in the game shouting from the sidelines. Disgraceful.

  16. Micah Segelman says:

    I think this video is actually very sad because it depicts Haredi Yeshiva bochurim as batlanim and only the Haredi IDF soldiers as purposeful. Why can’t we have a video that positively portrays the contribution made by Haredim in the IDF and also positively portrays Yeshiva bochurim? There should be two legitimate paths with some people batter cut out for one and some for the other. Why must we always demonize the “other”?

  17. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    Moshe Dick –

    You write that the video shows “how idle the so-called Chareidi “yoshvei beth hamedrash’ really are”.

    You just prove my point, that is why the video is so distasteful, wrong and unhelpful. It presents Chareidim and Yoshvei Bais Hamedrash as time wasters. That is why this draft effort is a Chilul Hashem because it presents IDF service and Sherut Leumi as the only true service for the country. It negates the value and importance of Talmid Torah Kneged Kulam. This is why the Gedolim from Rav Shteinman to Rav Lau, from Rav Yosef to Rav Aviner, from Rav Auerbach to Rav Levanon, (who later retracted on a different point)and From Rav Kanievsy to many Rabbonei Chabad all supported or attended this rally.

    The response video is a tasteless response to a tasteless video. Its time to move pass the pettiness and giving of credence or support to hatemongers and worse.

  18. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    Moshe Dick

    “The video does not equate serving in the IDF as “yoshvei beth hamedrash”

    Pray tell what does “Modim Anchnu Lifanecha Hashem Elokeinu Shesamtah Chelkenu Byoshvei Bais Hamedrash” superimposed on images of IDF soldiers in military fatigue imply?

  19. Daniel says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein,

    Would you spell out please what you find objectionable in the first video? I shared your gut reaction, but then thought, isn’t that what the gemara actually means?

    [YA – It is not what the gemara means. Between the poles of yoshvei beis medrash and yoshvei kronos is a vast world, much of which has positive meaning. Most of us live there, once we leave kollel. Service in Tzahal and in government service (yes, I know chiloni Israelis whose selfless devotion to Klal Yisrael, work which is underpaid and underappreciated, makes me wince) occupies a praiseworthy position on that continuum.]

  20. Moshe Dick says:

    Dear “crazy Kanoiy” ; May I first thank you for your comments because I had to go back to see the video and listened to it again. I felt so proud of our chareidi soldiers and I hope that , in spite of the recent weeks and the perfidious politicians, the sensible chareidim and all jews can still work together for klal Yisroel.
    In answer to your question, I looked very attentively at the frames of the video and every time “she-samtu chelkenu bebais hamedrash” was sung, it is superimposed by soldiers davening and/or learning. I think that just once does a picture of soldiers marching appear under this part of the song. So, absolutely, ‘she-samt chelkenu be joshvei bais hamedrash”. Or is that chazal only appropriate for kollel jungeleit? No other jew can claim that?
    SO my point is valid- the video shows that you can be part of the IDF and be chareidi. BTW- the “joshvei keronos” show a prisoner (Deri?) and the antics by MK Porush and Gafni. Not exactly “joshvei bais hamedrash”

  21. David Z says:

    It’s a nice video, and one I will show to my Evangelical coworkers, but it doesn’t represent kharedi society who have not embraced these soldier b’ne tora, much less the ordinary dati soldiers (and when I saw ordinary, I do mean to diminish their sacrifice or their avodat hashem–just that they’ve been doing it linger are do not consider themselves kharedi).

    This represents what Lapid claims he wants. (And I know it’s more complicated than that–because he doesn’t even care if they’re really soldiers as long as they’r doing something “national service” besides learning tora.) How is it a response to that earlier video?

  22. Raymond says:

    This is a great video, depicting Jewish life in Israel as it should be, with their men finding a way to combine Torah learning with serving in the Army, and their men finding a way to combine Torah learning with making a living.

    However, I remain skeptical, as I suspect that a whole lot more religious Jews in Israel are of the other way of thinking, believing that Torah study somehow frees one from the responsibilities of serving in the Army and making a decent living.

  23. Miriam says:

    fyi Kanoi – the original video showed NO ONE in a beis medrash, that all the pro-Charedi footage was of bachurim standing around holding signs at the rally, or at best dancing in a circle.

  24. Baruch says:

    I proudly wear a kippa seruga, attended a hesder yeshiva and am part of a vibrant dati leumi community. But I think spreading this response is terrible. We lose our moral high ground by steeping to the disgraceful level of the people involved in the atzeret video. We should be proudly following our vision of ahavas haTorah and ahavas Yisrael, hoping that our example will eventually spread. Falling to this level to play the game on these deplorable terms is not at all the way to go.

  25. Mike M says:

    This video is excellent for regular Israeli’s to see that religious Jews of all types are serving successfully in the army and are participating in Israel’s economic life. The result will hopefully be to avoid painting all religious Jews as non-participants in the society. Not to mention this type of video showing religious Jews receiving combat training and serving in combat units should give our cousins pause before stabbing chareidi men in the street.

    Kol HaKavod R. Adlerstein and to the brave soldiers of the IDF.

  26. Baruch says:

    When my preteen is angry and shouts obnoxious things to me, I try very hard to remain composed and not speak back the same way. When some childish, ungrateful charedim put together an obnoxious video, we do not do anyone any favors by responding with an obnoxious video of our own. As Rav Kook said, our response to sinas chinam must be ahavas chinam. As hard as it is, let’s shower all Yidden (even those who made the atzeres clip!) with love and hope that it spreads.

  27. Steve Brizel says:

    This video is what is meant by Lech Knus Kol HaYedhudim, and Achdus Yisrael in practice. Only those who hate because of their ideology and are utterly blind to facts and the lessons of history would make comments in a video that ” depicted Tzahal, the police, and government officials (including the PM speaking at the UN regarding the Iraninan threat) going about their typical tasks – and described them as yoshvei kronos and the tasks as devarim bateilim.”

  28. Steve Brizel says:

    Anyone who has seen this video should realize that seforim and halachic issues re army service by all of the heroic young men are being written and addressed, but not in the Charedi world.

  29. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that the tune used to accompany the video would have been a perfect accompaniment for the recent RIETS Chag HaSemicha-where many fine Bnei Torah have vocations , but Talmud Torah remains their true avocation in life.

  30. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    It depicts graphically just how those who choose can easily, if given the chance, transition into roles in the IDF and the workforce, without losing their chitzoniyus or their commitment to halacha.

    YWN News:

    As efforts to draft chareidim into the IDF continue, commanders in the Golani Brigade were instructed to shave. They were told that failure to comply would be viewed as insubordination for failing to comply with a direct order. It was explained to them that this would lead to a judicial proceeding against them that would most likely result in a demotion. They soldiers complied and shaved their beards.
    One of the soldiers involved was on base the Shabbos following the incident, calling that Shabbos “the worst in my entire life”. He explains how he sat in shul the entire day thinking of how he was going to explain his actions when he arrives home clean shaven. JDN reports that particular soldier is known to be an outstanding soldier, and he, the soldier questions why the army in the Jewish country compels combatants to shave against their will. His excellence earned him entry into the NCO (Non Commissioned Officers) course.

    Now the soldier is embarrassed as he is clean shaven as he prepared to take command of new inductees. The soldier concludes “I am sorry for what I did”.

    Another soldier is quoted saying “I still do not understand the order. What is behind such an order? It is nonsense to say this sets a personal example which is what my commanders say. This is clear that there cannot be chareidi commanders in the IDF since they will not accept a commander who is bearded”.

    The IDF Spokesman responds: In line with IDF regulations, a soldier is permitted to have a beard providing he has a medical officer or an officer of the rank of lt.-colonel or higher and this includes permitting this on the grounds of one’s religious lifestyle. Each case is judged on an individual basis. In cases where the application has been shown to be based on religious lifestyle and not convenience, applications have been approved.

    No comment was released by IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz, who by the way is clean shaven too.

  31. Steve Brizel says:

    There is a lot of ink here and eslweher in the frum part of the web that rightfully criticizes BDS as well beyond the role of any proper dissagreement and dissenting views. Why isn’t a rally held on a Sunday in NYC that addressed a painful issue within Israel viewed with the same alarm as BDS?

  32. Ellen says:

    This takes the gemara out of context. It isn’t about Jews vs. Jews, it’s about the gift we have as Jews – that we say modeh ani because we have the Torah. Does anyone remember that photo of the Medowlands traffic – one lane to the siyum hashas, another to a sports game.

    Why are we so bent on comparing to each other? What do we need to do in order to change the dialogue?

  33. Steve Brizel says:

    Crazy Kanoiy-Look at the video -there are many Chayalim depicted both with and without beards. BTW, if you look at any of the halachic discussions re shaving, the key issue is Giluach She Yesh Bo Chasah. The use of most electric shavers avoids that issue because even the best electric shaver leaves the user with a “five o’clock shadow”, and when you open the shaver, you see a collection of particles of dust.

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