By Michael Broyde / A few short days ago, my son Aaron Broyde graduated from קורס מ”כים, the entry level squadron commanders course in the Israeli Defense Forces — and Aaron Broyde is a wonderful source of pride and joy to his father. He joined the IDF nearly two years ago on August 5, 2009 and that too was a source of a great deal of pride and joy to me as well (link). But yet, I sit here today with mixed emotions, feeling somewhat sad, a bit embarrassed and exceptionally overjoyed. First, I am sad that I am not there with him watching and celebrating his accomplishments — I went to his basic training graduation and my wife was with him for this graduation, but I know that I should be there with him to rejoice in his accomplishments. What kind of father does not attend his son’s graduation into a squadron commander? The simple and sad answer is “one who lives very far away,” and that makes me very very sad. As my son embarks on a new and novel journey into an adventure I’ve never experienced, I am an absentee father. I recounted this to one of my friends in a similar situation, and he shared with me his dour reply — “this” he told me, “is life in the Diaspora when you have children living in Israel.” I felt like weeping.

The Conduct of Children is a Message to Parents

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The Conduct of Children is a Message to Parents: Some Thoughts on Aaron Broyde’s Graduation from קורס מ”כים, The Entry Level Commanders Course in the IDF

Guest post by R. Michael J. Broyde

Rabbi Michael Broyde is a law professor at Emory, was the founding rabbi of the Young Israel in Atlanta and is a dayan in the Beth Din of America. He can be reached at [email protected]

A few short days ago, my son Aaron Broyde graduated from קורס מ”כים, the entry level squadron commanders course in the Israeli Defense Forces — and Aaron Broyde is a wonderful source of pride and joy to his father. He joined the IDF nearly two years ago on August 5, 2009 and that too was a source of a great deal of pride and joy to me as well (link). But yet, I sit here today with mixed emotions, feeling somewhat sad, a bit embarrassed and exceptionally overjoyed.

First, I am sad that I am not there with him watching and celebrating his accomplishments — I went to his basic training graduation and my wife was with him for this graduation, but I know that I should be there with him to rejoice in his accomplishments. What kind of father does not attend his son’s graduation into a squadron commander? The simple and sad answer is “one who lives very far away,” and that makes me very very sad. As my son embarks on a new and novel journey into an adventure I’ve never experienced, I am an absentee father. I recounted this to one of my friends in a similar situation, and he shared with me his dour reply — “this” he told me, “is life in the Diaspora when you have children living in Israel.” I felt like weeping.

My personal feelings are hardly worth posting; we all sometimes miss events in our children’s lives — my oldest daughter recently reminded me (again) that I missed her kindergarten graduation, some twelve years ago. We hope our children forgive us or at least understand our absences and I hope Aaron does in this case.

In truth, I also feel embarrassed. The Zionist dream is living on in my children and I am hardly a part of it. Aaron and I speak on the phone regularly, email on occasion (but it is hard in the IDF), I send him articles and the like on his international wireless Kindle, and we all buy him gifts showing that we miss him — and love him — but I see his life moving in a direction that I chose not to move my life — into Israeli society — and I am embarrassed that I did not make that choice. He now sometimes speaks English like an Israeli (saying “eh” instead of “um” when formulating thoughts), he most clearly thinks already like an Israeli, and I suspect he will soon be driving like an Israeli too. His future is in Israel. Mine is here. Is the future of Judaism in Israel for the foreseeable future? Is Jewish life in America in decline? Maybe I should follow so many of my friends and move there, too? Or course that is not the path I have chosen, and I can justify it (even religiously) if I need to: My life, career and community are in America and my sense is that most of the things that I can accomplish in Judaism are here too. But I see and understand his sense that perhaps the future has passed me by. I hope not.

I am also overjoyed to watch as my two older children begin the process of outgrowing me, and I am looking forward to all my children embarking on the journey of outgrowing their father. As I watch my two adult sons build lives which I am but hardly part of, I feel the deep sense of accomplishment that I always understood was embodied in the Talmudic stories that end with the phrase נצחוני בני נצחוני בני, (“my children have triumphed over me”). The deep sense of joy and accomplishment that a father feels when he looks at his adult sons and senses that they are on a path to accomplish much more profound than he even could, produces this sense of joy in watching one’s children grow up. Whether it is watching one son learn in ways that I can hardly keep up with or another wearing a uniform and holding a gun, I have this deep sense of joy and accomplishment in being surpassed by my own children.

When my children were little, and I thought about that “someday” when they would grow up, I thought how nice it would be if they came out just like me. As I grow older and develop a more critical sense of my own limitations and failings, that outcome would only make me sad. I am overjoyed that I have a son who is a soldier in the IDF — that my children are prepared for a life that vastly exceeds me in accomplishment: some of them (maybe not only one) living in our homeland in Israel, or exceeding me as a scholar, and each and every one of them growing to be something far better than his father ever could be. Without my limitations in vision or skills and unbounded by the restrictions of the time and place that I grew up in, I seem more potential in my children than I see in myself.

I am proud to have a son who is a sergeant and a squadron commander in the IDF.

About Michael Broyde

69 comments

  1. Very wise and very touching. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Great, so your son can now join the ranks of people who send soldiers into combat or onto the violent Arab streets while ordering them not to shoot. Or alternatively, he can order people to destroy homes in Judea and Samaria. Mazel tov.

  3. Whoever Baruch is, his comment is an embarrassment to this site. (Hiding behind anonymity, he can’t be personally embarrassed, but he should.) I am sure that the vast majority of readers agree with MJ’s comment, as do I.

  4. Of course R’ Broyde, in the US, is doing plenty that will contribute to the MO community in Israel as well as that of the US.

  5. Second JK and MJ’s comments

  6. Why is this man happy that his kid is joining a foreign army? It sounds like a lack of loyalty and hakarat hatov to the country which actually does protect the flourishing of Jewish life. I would of course have no problem with an Israeli child fighting Israels wars. If he needs to kill a Palestinian child to protect himself, its regrettable but it may happen. But what business does an American child have pulling the trigger on a Palestinian one? Is an abundance of feeling now enough to justify entering someone else’s fight?

  7. “The deep sense of joy and accomplishment that a father feels when he looks at his adult sons and senses that they are on a path to accomplish much more profound than he even could, produces this sense of joy in watching one’s children grow up. Whether it is watching one son learn in ways that I can hardly keep up with or another wearing a uniform and holding a gun, I have this deep sense of joy and accomplishment in being surpassed by my own children.

    When my children were little, and I thought about that “someday” when they would grow up, I thought how nice it would be if they came out just like me. As I grow older and develop a more critical sense of my own limitations and failings, that outcome would only make me sad. I am overjoyed that I have a son who is a soldier in the IDF — that my children are prepared for a life that vastly exceeds me in accomplishment: some of them (maybe not only one) living in our homeland in Israel, or exceeding me as a scholar, and each and every one of them growing to be something far better than his father ever could be. Without my limitations in vision or skills and unbounded by the restrictions of the time and place that I grew up in, I seem more potential in my children than I see in myself.”

    Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above-there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children

  8. I have my own private interpretation of נצחוני בני and that is Hashem is saying הנציחו אותי בניי as in perpetuated my Torah (“me”). (Because in that story the sages assert their right to tora sh’beal peh)

  9. His future is in Israel. Mine is here.

    Your son is your future, so some of your future is in Israel!

  10. chakira: ולפי שהוציא את עצמו מן הכלל…

    mycroft: *Must* you be so cynical?

    Lovely piece.

  11. Risa, Rav Yitzchak Blau once showed me one of the meforshim who understands נצחוני בני as my children have made me eternal. I really wish I remembered who it was, but we were all taken by it at the time.

  12. Rabbi Broyde,

    The future of the Jewish people IS in Israel. American Jewry IS on the decline.

    That’s no reason for you to be sad.

    You raised a child with proper Jewish values and perspective. None of us make decisions in a vacuum. Aaron only reached the level of “oleh chadash”, “chayal”, and now “m’faked”, because YOU gave him a Torah upbringing.

    He only felt motivated to fly to the other side of the planet and take up his role in our Jewish future because you taught him to care about it.

    The Vilna Gaon tried to make aliyah. It’s still not entirely clear why he didn’t make it. As you say, I’m sure the Gr”a could justify his absence religiously as well.

    Although the Gr”a didn’t make it, his students did. They formed the basis for much of what is “minhag Eretz Yisrael” today.

    The students of the Gr”a only made it a priority to re-settle our Holy Land because of what they learned from their teacher.

    Just as the Gr”a played his role in Jewish history correctly, by preparing the next generation to ascend (physically and spiritually), so have you.

  13. If R Broyde’s son fought in Americas wars, that would be something to be proud of. As it is, he is proud of his child for eschewing the ways of peace, going to a far off land, and killing other peoples kids in a fight he has nothing to do with. It is sad that Broyde’s undoubted expertise in halacha did not lead him towards more peaceful and patriotic ways of enjoying his children.

  14. My son entered the Israeli paratroopers 6 months ago, and my daughter is making her own choices about the kinds of service that she will embark on soon, and I’ve also been thinking a lot about the idea that you wrote so well:

    “I am also overjoyed to watch as my two older children begin the process of outgrowing me, and I am looking forward to all my children embarking on the journey of outgrowing their father… I feel the deep sense of accomplishment that I always understood was embodied in the Talmudic stories that end with the phrase נצחוני בני נצחוני בני, (“my children have triumphed over me”)….”

    Kids always think that their parents want them (the kids) to be like them (the parents), and in some ways that’s true, but the true triumph is seeing kids become the kinds of people that make decisions, forge good new lives, and contribute to the world.

    I live in Israel, so I can’t relate to the parent-in-USA part, but kol hakavod on your son making Aliya and entering society here, and kol hakavod for your thoughts and writing….

  15. “mycroft: *Must* you be so cynical?”

    “Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above”
    Cynical?-reality

    “there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them”
    Nachum-I don’t know you-but what I do from reading Hirhurim IMHO your father could have written similar about you.

    ” or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children”
    My bracha to you Nachum and anyone that when you are double your current age-you’ll be able to write a similar story to R Broyde.

    Of course, like all stories the true siyyum mesechta of our lives is after 120-R Broyde is merely showing his pride in his interim report.

  16. I am a mother of two little boys living in Israel. My own family – parents and siblings – live in Canada. A beautifully written piece for so many that are in similiar situations. Only those can understand and appreciate. Thank you and I have sent it to many.

    We are so proud of your Son! Blessings from our home to yours

  17. His future is in Israel. Mine is here.
    ==========================
    Only if you choose it to be so.

    nitzchuni=eternalize – is the pshat of the maharatz chiyut

    KT

  18. Very nice message. Mazel tov to your son!

    I suppose if I were a different sort of person, though, the whole “my son the doctor” tone of this post (and the previous ones by Rabbi Broyde about his son) would be off-putting.

  19. Mazal Tov, Rav Broyde; and well done!

    You continue to show us the way as a model of Torah commitment and scholarship, and as a Jewish parent for out time.

  20. Michael Rogovin

    Beautiful. Thanks.

  21. Kol HaKavod, to Rabbi Broyde and his son. A mving piece.

  22. chakira, Israel’s army shows more restraint than any army in the world.How ridiculous to suggest that the job of every Israeli soldier is to kill Palestinians when it is clearly to defend the state of Israel! There is no greater calling than to defend our right to our ancestral homeland!

    When Aaron Broyde chose to join the Israeli army, he made a statement that despite being an American, Israel is his homeland and that he was willing to put his life on the line to fight for it. In a society where most of us think primarily of ourselves and our own self-gratification, we should applaud Aaron for choosing to think of our people and homeland before himself. Yasher koach Aaron! We are so proud of you.

  23. Right, so since he was born in America and this country presumably paid for lots of things in his life, his actions constitute a rejection of his actual homeland in favor of some silly idea. I thought Hakaras Hatov is a Jewish value, silly me. No one is saying that the job of the Israeli army is to kill Palestinians. What I am saying is that the fight with Hamas, Hezbollah et al is important for Israelis because they threaten Israel. Since they do not threaten America, it takes some gumption for an American kid to go over there and make that fight his own, and perhaps take the life of some Palestinian or Lebanese child. If you had stayed at home, that kid would not have bothered you. To make it your business to go out and kill him seems morally dubious.

  24. What a moving and stirring article. B’H, we have young men who are willing to put themselves and their lives on the line for the benefit and security of the Jewish People in the State of Israel. It is indeed sad and a comment on the plague of self hating Jews in our communities that some commenters have viewed the same in such a negative manner.

  25. You have a lot to be proud of. We have two sons who are officers in the IDF, One a seren (captain) one a segen(lieutenant),but they were both Israeli born. I can understand how difficult it must have been for your son to decide to leave his home and serve in the IDF as a “chayal boded” That is the path that I took almost 40 years ago. Kol hakavod lo

  26. You have a lot to be proud of. We have two sons who are officers in the IDF, One a seren (captain) one a segen(lieutenant),but they were both Israeli born. I can understand how difficult it must have been for your son to decide to leave his home and serve in the IDF as a “chayal boded” That is the path that I took almost 40 years ago. Kol hakavod lo.

  27. Chakira, I guess the Marquis de Lafayette should have minded his own business?

    It turns out that Americans of the Mosaic persuasion and Israelis of the Mosaic persuasion feel a deeper connection to one another than their confessional faiths alone would indicate. Go figure. Besides, young Broyde seems on track to emigrating to Israel, if he has not already. So why should he not serve in the IDF? I think saying “eh” gives on the right to join the IDF.

  28. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/enlistedjobs/a/noncitizen.-eht.htm

    I get the moral ambiguity in enlisting in another country’s military, but of course there are moral ambiguities in enlisting in one’s own country’s military.

  29. Your children never outgrow you. they just need different things from you… 🙂 Mazal tov to you and to your family!

    My parents brought me to Israel when they made Aliya. I served in the IDF. chakira – you think I made someone else’s fight my own. I was born in the US, I should serve in the US military. But THIS is my home now. I’ve chosen to stay here and be part of THIS world. amekh ami and all that. Sure, there is plenty hakarat hatov for what the US did for my grandparents and parents. But A. I stupidly thought that we are all on the same side here and fighting Israel’s wars doesnt mean doing something anti-American. Quite the opposite. and B. If you ask me choose, I won’t like it, but I know what it will be. This is my home. I have crossed that line. If I am a full citizen, I have obligations, not just rights – a concept I think I learned from my American parents.

  30. If the President of the US gets up and says that no, Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank is not what we want to see, than working to enforce that continued occupation, whatever its effect on Israel’s fortunes, is not something that jibes with the larger goals of the US. Of course people are free to emigrate to various countries and serve in their militaries. But it does raise the specter of dual loyalty. I think it is less inimical to the US to work for Tzahal than to work for Al Qaeda or China. But I think the praise and adulation should be reserved for those who risk their lives for their own countries and do not stick their nose into others fights.

  31. Israel may be the ultimate future–when Moschiach arrives, but until that day happens there are legitimate reasons to fear for the physical and spiritual well-being of Jews there, as well as anywhere else on the planet.

    The fact that Israel is a Jewish country allows Chareidim to be emboldened to engage in behavior they would be much more circumspect to engage in in any other country. As they are a major (emerging) demographic force in Israel, their influence on the attitudes of other orthodox Jews (possibility for disillusionment), as well as their influence on how orthodox Jews are perceived by the world at large may pose unique difficulties for those who wish to raise religious children in Israel. I think the “swing to the right” is perhaps felt most strongly amongst the Chareidim there.

    I don’t wish to speak of the security concerns re: Israel, but needless to say a good degree of Divine assistance will be necessary to ensure the long-term security of the country.

    So when Moshiach comes, we’ll all be there: some will just have arrived their sooner–and that’s a mixed blessing for them.

  32. Chakira wrote:

    “If the President of the US gets up and says that no, Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank is not what we want to see, than working to enforce that continued occupation, whatever its effect on Israel’s fortunes, is not something that jibes with the larger goals of the US”

    Since when does any statement by a President automatically reflect “the larger goals of the US”, unless the same reflects a statute passed by Congress and signed into law? In the absence of the same, such statements invariably have a partisan political spin to the same and reflect his POV prior to and during the course of his term of office-nothing more, nothing less.

    I would suggest that you compare the speeches of the President to AIPAC and his speech on Israel, which was deliberately written before PM Netanyahu’s article with that of the PM in their views of the American relationship with Israel and the response of Congress to the address of the PM. IMO, the President’s speech was tepid and reluctant almost to the point of embarassment in discussing the nature of the American relationship with Israel. Unfortunately, that is the consequence of a President who publicly has viewed the uniqueness of the US as essentially a footnote in history, who lacks the POV of RMF that the US largely has been and is a Malchus Shel Chesed, who views history and politics with the views of a third world/European socialist and who views increased governmental spending and regulation as the means of getting an already overregulated and service industry oriented economy out of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. One wonders which failing industry will be nationalized next-retail chains or liberal news giants that are loosing money.

    How illogical and irrational it is for the President who voted against funding the Iraq war to take credit for the assasination of the architect of 9-11, and then to turn to Israel and all but publicly state that it should negotiate with Hamas-an architect of terror.

  33. I am glad you do not like our president and that you will have the opportunity to exercise your blessed franchise and vote against him in just over a year. Obviously the diplomatic strategy of the US is a large amorphous and highly contentious thing. All I meant to say was that there is no magic formula whereby Israeli and American interests automatically line up.

  34. So when Moshiach comes, we’ll all be there: some will just have arrived their sooner–and that’s a mixed blessing for them.
    =======================================
    “If it is a wall”, if Israel would have ascended like a wall from Babylonia, the Temple would not have been destroyed during that period for a second time. Rabbi Zeira went to the marketplace to buy something. He said to the one who was weighing: that was weighed very fairly. He responded: Do not depart from here Babylonian because your ancestors destroyed the Temple. At that moment Rabbi Zeira said, are not my ancestors the same as the ancestors of this one?! Rabbi Zeira entered the house of study and heard the voice of Rabbi Sheila who was sitting and teaching: ‘If it is a wall’, if Israel would have ascended like a wall from the Exile, the Temple would not have been destroyed a second time. He said: the unlearned person taught me well-Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah 8:11

    KT

  35. Chakira wrote:

    “I am glad you do not like our president and that you will have the opportunity to exercise your blessed franchise and vote against him in just over a year. Obviously the diplomatic strategy of the US is a large amorphous and highly contentious thing’

    WADR, all I said was that I strongly disapproved of our current president’s policies. I said nothing whatsoever about his personality. B’H, we live in the US, as opposed to Zimbabwe, and we can exercise our POVs here and at the ballot box.

  36. You can choose to vote how you want and for whatever reason! I think you should definitely do so! You can even vote for America to help Israel more. Nothing wrong with that.

  37. Mycroft-Please check the archives. More than a few posters on this blog have posted about the nachas and tzuros of their children , their career choices and hashkafos, their views on chinuch habanim ubanos and their simchas, as well as what are the undeniable simchas of being a grandparent. WADR,doing so is not yehara, but rather allowing others to share in a simcha and to offer their experiences in helping getting thru the ups and downs of child rearing. I would consider all of the same means of showing empathy or inviting others to do so as well.

  38. chakira:
    If I follow your logic correctly, I suppose Abram (later called Abraham Avinu) should never have left Ur Kasdim.
    Sometimes, chakira, an inner voice tells an individual to “Lech Lecha.”

  39. (1) Is it avak lashon hara to publicly announce one’s success or to proclaim that one’s children are on a path to outgrow oneself?

    (2) Aliyah is a certainly a noble goal, but it can be a negative for Jews who remain behind. Observant Jews who move to Israel generally lose the ability to reach and influence their fellow Jews who remain in the Diaspora; they can no longer teach them Torah nor offer them hospitality. Who should and who shouldn’t make aliyah?

  40. Canuck-IIRC, the Talmud in Sanhedrin 104 discusses the hope that all parents have that their children will be more Mdakdek BMitzvos than themselves.

  41. Thanks Steve for the quote. Thinking more about this, I realize that hearing about another’s growth in Torah and mitzvos in no way engenders jealousy, unlike hearing about another’s success in material or non-mitzvah-related realms.

  42. See divrei harav page 109 – rough translation:

    By the GRA issues of feelings were hidden…. An example once he (R”YBS )was leaving his father and neither knew when they would see each other again, his father shook his hand and said “HKB”H grant you success”, and nothing more…..

    KT

  43. The gemara in Sanhedrin 93 states “A man is not jealous of his child or student’s accomplishments.”
    A beautiful and moving message from Rav Broyde.

  44. R’ daat Y,
    but it doesn’t say someone else reading about it wouldn’t be. To each his own!
    KT

  45. Joseph Kaplan,

    I’m not the embarassment; the IDF is. Or were you proud as you watched unarmed anti-Semites on a flotilla beating up an armed IDF soldier and throwing him off the boat — a soldier who was obviously told he may not shoot? This is one example among many.

    As far as anonymity goes, that’s an old accusation against many commenters, which I’ve always thought was senseless.

  46. Baruch,

    While I’m against anonymity on the internet, I understand it’s a battle that, IMO unfortunately, has been lost. Nonetheless, there are some comments that require a real name or should not be made. Only cowards make them anonymously. Your comment was one and you are one.

  47. Baruch — I think your original message was rude and inappropriate, but now that it’s there, I simply don’t understand your gripe.

    Are you suggesting that Israelis shouldn’t join the IDF? That diaspora Jews shouldn’t support the IDF or the State of Israel? Or what?

    And does this have anything to do with your Jewish belief, or is it simply your politics?

  48. 1) I’m not sure what the difference is between one’s political and religious beliefs (I believe Torah is comprehensive), but for the sake of simplicity, it’s my political beliefs.

    2) I am, in fact, suggesting that Israelis should not join the army (with its, or the government’s, current policies and rules of engagement). If I made aliya and was asked to serve, I would serious consider refusing. (The only reason I perhaps wouldn’t do so is a practical one — I would be blacklisted from a lot of jobs etc.)

    3) As far as supporting the state or the IDF goes: I’m not sure what that means. I support the Zionist enterprise, which of course includes the state and army. But I can’t stand and am embarassed by the people dragging it down into the pits.

  49. Joseph Kaplan,

    Explain to me, please, why an anonynous comment is a cowardly one. You mean that an exchange of ideas cannot occur without names behind them? Why, pray tell, not?

  50. Baruch — thanks for the clarification. What should the rules of engagement be (relative to your objections)?

  51. Come now, IH, we all know it’s easier to gripe and snipe without having any real alternative. 🙂

    Glad to see chakira is back to being ignored as a troll. Troublingly, I think he might actually believe the trash he’s posting.

  52. My rules…

    Soldiers should be allowed to shoot at Arabs who are throwing rocks at them. Retreating is embarassing and demeaning and, hence, a chillul Hashem as well. Rock-throwing Arabs do not constitute an urban riot for which tear gas is appropriate. They are an enemy that wishes to destroy Israel and hence should be shot. Soldiers should have also been allowed to shoot on the flotilla rather than being forced to allow themselves to be thrown off a boat by a rabble.

    Additionally, soldiers should never be made to go door to door to find terrorists — like they were in Jenin (causing 13 deaths) — when bombing from the air is possible.

    Finally, soldiers should never be forced to stop settlers from committing revenge acts against Arabs and they certainly should never remove a settler from his house or help destroy it.

    I believe an army is there to fight the enemy and that a government should care about its own soldiers’ lives and pride before that of the enemy.

    I also believe that there’s no absolutely no reason for an Israeli to put his life on the line for a government that is slowly destroying Israel. Israel is only a dangerous place today due to the policies of an insane government. If not for the government, you wouldn’t need a soldier standing on every corner making sure you’re not a suicide bomber.

  53. “Steve Brizel on May 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm
    Mycroft-Please check the archives. More than a few posters on this blog have posted about the nachas and tzuros of their children , their career choices and hashkafos, their views on chinuch habanim ubanos and their simchas, as well as what are the undeniable simchas of being a grandparent. WADR,doing so is not yehara, but rather allowing others to share in a simcha and to offer their experiences in helping getting thru the ups and downs of child rearing. I would consider all of the same means of showing empathy or inviting others to do so as well.”

    responding to my comment:

    “Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above-there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children”

    I don’t see where I even raised the issues in the COMMENT that you are responding to. I did not raise the issues in the comment that you are responding to.

  54. Thanks, Baruch. And just to check, you believe this is what halacha dictates as well as being your political leanings?

  55. Baruch, whoever he is, wrote:

    “2) I am, in fact, suggesting that Israelis should not join the army (with its, or the government’s, current policies and rules of engagement). If I made aliya and was asked to serve, I would serious consider refusing. (The only reason I perhaps wouldn’t do so is a practical one — I would be blacklisted from a lot of jobs etc.)

    3) As far as supporting the state or the IDF goes: I’m not sure what that means. I support the Zionist enterprise, which of course includes the state and army. But I can’t stand and am embarassed by the people dragging it down into the pits

    See the new issue of Commentary and the article by C R Dr. Daniel Gordis on why heterodox ( and even according to the author) some far LW MO rabbis have difficulties embracing the particularistic, as opposed to the universal vision of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. The above quoted author would fit in well with the people discussed in the article.

  56. Baruch set forth the following so-called and self-styled “rules of engagement” :

    “Soldiers should be allowed to shoot at Arabs who are throwing rocks at them. Retreating is embarassing and demeaning and, hence, a chillul Hashem as well. Rock-throwing Arabs do not constitute an urban riot for which tear gas is appropriate. They are an enemy that wishes to destroy Israel and hence should be shot. Soldiers should have also been allowed to shoot on the flotilla rather than being forced to allow themselves to be thrown off a boat by a rabble.

    Additionally, soldiers should never be made to go door to door to find terrorists — like they were in Jenin (causing 13 deaths) — when bombing from the air is possible.

    Finally, soldiers should never be forced to stop settlers from committing revenge acts against Arabs and they certainly should never remove a settler from his house or help destroy it.

    I believe an army is there to fight the enemy and that a government should care about its own soldiers’ lives and pride before that of the enemy.

    I also believe that there’s no absolutely no reason for an Israeli to put his life on the line for a government that is slowly destroying Israel. Israel is only a dangerous place today due to the policies of an insane government. If not for the government, you wouldn’t need a soldier standing on every corner making sure you’re not a suicide bomber

    1) I agree with your first point.

    2) Air power, by itself, has never been the means of defeating an enemy. That task remains the responsibility of the grunts on the ground who have to go into booby trapped locations to find terrorists.

    3) The IDF is the means of protecting Israeli citizens-not the settlers.

    4)Israel is far safer today than it was during the Intifada.

  57. Mycroft responded:

    “Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above-there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children”

    I don’t see where I even raised the issues in the COMMENT that you are responding to. I did not raise the issues in the comment that you are responding to”

    WADR, that is a disingenous response. You raised the issue of Yehara and I responded that a casual check of the archives would indicate that more than a few of us have discussed the ups and downs of our family lives, especially with respect to child rearing and related issues. How discussing how one sheps nachas is yehara simply mystifies me.

  58. IH,

    I don’t believe halacha has much to say on the matter one way or the other; in general I believe this is far more of an aggadic issue than a halachic one. So I would say that common sense and Jewish values support what I say.

    (In case you should try citing one halacha or another, let me clarify that the halachic sources that discuss national issues and warfare are few and far between and can be, and have been, twisted by anyone who wishes to advance his or her political agenda. As Marc Shapiro has written, he has never found someone who says I think giving back land is a great idea but unfortunately halacha forbids it. Likewise, he has never found someone who says I think giving back land is a horrendous idea, but unfortunately halacha seems to require it.

    (There are no clear halachos on these type of matters, and it’s best to leave halacha out of the discussion.)

  59. Steve Brizel,

    2) Jenin, or parts of Jenin, could have been levelled from the air. There was no reason to go door to door. (I realize this gets into the whole discussion of collective punishment. I don’t see the Arab population as innocent. I actually think the average Arab in the West Bank is far guiltier than the avergae German or Japanese who was bombed in WWII.)

    3) Are settlers not officially citizens? Palestinians in the West Bank are certainly not citizens. Finally, I have no problem letting the IDF taking care of business. But if it won’t, then it at least should have the decency to stand aside when others do.

    4) Who let the Intifada drag on for so many years? Whose policies created it?

    I am happy we agree about #1, though. That in itself is almost enough for me not to want to serve.

    In general, I should mention, my complaints against the IDF relate to soldiers posted in the country itself — those who essentially fulfill the functions that police do in America. They do not relate, by and large, to soldiers posted on the borders.

  60. Steve Brizel,

    You wrote: “See the new issue of Commentary and the article by C R Dr. Daniel Gordis on why heterodox ( and even according to the author) some far LW MO rabbis have difficulties embracing the particularistic, as opposed to the universal vision of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. The above quoted author would fit in well with the people discussed in the article.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. I embrace both visions. If all you mean to say is that I am embarassed by Israel just like LW Jews are… well, yes I am. But my embarassment stems from what Israel and the IDF don’t do rather than from what they do do.

  61. Baruch — thanks. I agree that halacha should be left out of the discussion, hence my wanting to clarify your position. Although I strongly disagree with your position, I have no interest in having a political debate in this thread.

  62. “WADR, that is a disingenous response. You raised the issue of Yehara ”

    How did I in the folllowing?
    “Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above-there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children”

    What is false in what I wrote? I did not write an attack on R Broyde.

  63. Mycroft wrote:

    “Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above-there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children”

    WADR, I consider the above comment as a not so thinly veiled comment that one should not shep nachas about one’s children’s accomplishments because the same is a form of Yehara.

  64. Laurence Tauber

    In reading the comments, it is somewhat sad that there are those, sometimes hiding behind anonymity, who simply post vicious and hurtful messages. Rabbu Broyde and his son are Zionists and they have the right to follow their ideals. Certainly his son has the right to decide where he wants to live and serve, and this has nothing to do with hakarat hatov. The nasty postings are a reflection on the characters of the senders who owe Rabbi Broyde an apology.
    Substantively, I thank Rabbi Broyde for expressing my own feelings which I sometimes cannot articulate as artfully as he has, as I contemplate the lives of my two sons who decided to go on aliyah, one of whom is currently serving in the Israeli Navy, and the second who is active politically in the country and planning to enlist shortly.

  65. Mr. Tauber: I know your second son; you should be proud of him. Nice guy, too.

  66. “I consider the above comment as a not so thinly veiled comment that one should not shep nachas about one’s children’s accomplishments ”

    That was not my comment-
    If one wants to start a thread about permissibility of bragging about ones own accomplishments, ones childrens accomplishments assuming the bragging is even different fine but that was not my comment.
    Shepping nachas could be private to oneself/ an entirely different issue than bragging-but I did not raise the issue about this post in my comments.

  67. BTW-I have heard R Broyde speak many times, have read many of his articles and wish there were many R Broydes.

  68. “Steve Brizel on May 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    Mycroft wrote:

    “Rabbi Broyde should be thankful that he can write the above-there are probably Hihurim readers whose fathers couldn’t have written similar about them or others who couldn’t write similar about their children-and some who neither their fathers nor they could write about their children”

    WADR, I consider the above comment as a not so thinly veiled comment that one should not shep nachas about one’s children’s accomplishments because the same is a form of Yehara.”

    I write a poignant comment about reality and get accused of thinly veiled comments.

  69. Laurence Tauber

    In reply to Nachum. Thank you. I am very proud of him.

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