There are two major factors which presently cause the hareidi society not to encourage recruitment of students who are not going to become rabbis and educators – one good reason, and the other, unfair.
The unfair reason, say those serving in the army, is that it is safer and more comfortable to avoid the army. At home when war breaks out, God forbid, you don't get killed, and parents and wives are free from the burden of worrying.
The good reason is that military service is likely to cause a spiritual decline, to the point of abandoning the Torah and mitzvoth. This already represents an existential threat that cannot be compromised. Indeed, over the last few decades, the religious-halakhic situation in the army has improved, but the spiritual-moral state has deteriorated, in accordance with society at large.
Nevertheless, despite certain improvements in the ability to fulfill halakha in the army, there are still serious problems that cause many of the youth from the religious society to decline spiritually in the army.
And when it appears that there is no pressing demand to enlist all the young men, many Torah scholars believe it is better to ensure their spiritual future over the mitzvah to serve in the army.
May the situation be corrected soon, and all of Israel joins the effort for the sake of the Nation and the Land.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Rabbi Eliezer Melamed: A Good Reason Not to Serve in the IDF