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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Psalm Silliness

I read and reread this article, and I'm still scratching my head. Anyone care to tell me what the problem is here?
As of Wednesday morning numerous IDF soldiers began reading the Book of Psalms, thanks to the "kind donation of billionaire Aracadi Gaydamak" as written in golden letters on the cover of the books distributed to hundreds of new military recruits.

Dov Sharf, a regional cooperation advisor from Eilat, who accompanied his daughter on her first day to the army, couldn't believe his eyes. While the new recruits were boarding the bus to the boot camp, an army representative handed them a rucksack from the Friends of the IDF Association - inside they found a blue book of psalms wrapped in cellophane.

..."I was infuriated," Sharf said. "I personally don't have anything against giving out the book of psalms, but it should be done by the military rabbinate and not by a benevolent Jew."

He added that the next thing would be for Gaydamak to start purchasing tanks, missiles and aircraft for the IDF. "What's going on?" he asked.

Um...what? I would understand if a militantly secular citizen would object to Psalms being given out - though I would find that to be a tenuous complaint. But the reasons given here are entirely unconvincing. Can someone explain this story to me in the comments, and perhaps someone can explain why it even is a story???


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the point-a Jewish government should give out Tehillim-the same way it fives out uniform etc. It shouldn't be dependent on charity.

12:55 AM  
Blogger YMedad said...

Let me try but be brief.

The Russian involved is stupendously wealthy and the Israeli police have been hounding him, quite unsuccessfully, as a criminal and have been (purposefully or not) damaging his reputation.

He contributed enough money to have hundreds moved from the North during the hostilities to an Ashkelon beach at Nitzan (home to our Gush Katif refugees). He has bought Betar Jlm soccer team and another basketball team (forgot the name).

So, in addition to always having the media find your one secularist Israeli who opposes symbols of religion (so far, the handing out of Tanakhim at the swearing-in ceremonies remains untouched), this Gaydamak is a bit of a flamboyant type and is even flirting with Netanyahu in the political world.

As usual, MOM, things are a bit more complex and complicated.

BTW, can you really scratch your head through your head covering or is blogging a non-hat activity? ;>)

3:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not the Thilim; it's the privatization. Frum Jews in Israel are not allergic to the government taking responsibility.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the guy yelling that the Gov't should be giving the T'hilim, or was he yelling that a wealthy civilian shouldn't be allowed to mix in and give t'hillims regardless of what the government does or doesn't do? I am confused.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Privately donated tehillim probably reminds the father of how many soldiers relied on privately donated flak jackets, helmets, bullet proof vests and other protective gear during the war this summer. Many units have their own private fundraising. I remember a news report of how the Jewish community in Oklahoma donated most of the protective gear for one unit.

I was pissed off about this situation just as an ordinary citizen. As a parent, I would be livid.

2:02 PM  
Blogger The Tzionisher Rebbe said...

This story sounds like many that are based on hatred of religion. If Arkadi Gaidemak gave out candy, or a book by a left wing writer, there would be no complaint. Unless if the candy had a mehadrin hechsher.

The press was willing to print this because they too would be happy to see Judaism a thing of the past. Anyone who doesn't want the Tehillim does not have to take it.

I have met many soldiers. They may be upset if they have to find equipment essential to their service. They are very happy to receive presents from any source.

Where was the press when the Savta at the good fence was feeding our soldiers? They wrote very favorable stories about her. Why was there no public outcry that Shekem should have been there?

When we learn to remove the hatred and replace it with love for our fellow Jews, we will bring Mashiach. For now, though, there are those that fear the coming of Mashiach.

The Rebbe

4:38 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

And if he wound donate tanks and rockets, that wouldn't be a bad thing either.

On the subject...(or not) last week Meretz MK Oron introduced legislation to make it a criminal offence (punishable by 6 months in prison) to encourage minors to be chozer biteshuva. How's that for hate?

Story is here and here.

5:08 AM  

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