Last night I went to a special Melave Malka. It was in honor of the soldiers that waved the "Shimshon will not evacuate Homesh" sign. These soldiers were sentenced to 20 days in military prison. They finished serving their sentence, and a party was made for them.
Outside the hall where the party was held, a small group of demonstrators from the Labor Party. Their signs say, "On the right and on the left insubordinate people we will not tolerate", "No to insubordinate people rightists and leftists", "When protesting leave the uniform on the side", "We have one army". I guess that means that when Michael Ben Ari becomes Defense Minister they will faithfully obey orders and evacuate Arab villages. ;-)>
Inside the hall a mechitzah separated the men from the women. Cake and soft drinks were served to a crowd that I estimate numbered about 300. There was a pretty decent band and even I, with my two left feet, danced a little bit. I also took some pictures of the event. At a certain point in the evening the organizers stated that the event was closed to the press, and that they requested not to take pictures. I respected their request and even what I photographed inside the hall before they requested I am not publishing.
The first featured speaker was Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba (Hebron). He spoke about the fact that for a Jew, the laws of the Torah supersede any other obligations that he may have. "There is no need to say that if the king decreed to negate a commandment of the Torah that we don't listen to him" (Rambam, Laws of Kings 3:9).
Rabbi Dudi Dudkewitz of Yitzhar talked about two different instances of "refusing orders" in the Torah, and what the results were. If I remember correctly one was when Shaul requested that his servants kill the Priests of Nob. The servants refused. Then Saul commanded Doeg the Edomite to kill the Priests, which he did (see 1 Samuel Chapter 22, 2 Samuel Chapter 21). The second case was when David commanded Yoav to conduct a census. Yoav tried to get out of it, but in the end he did it. In both cases the orders were fulfilled. However, in the first case, where there was a clear cut refusal, the house of Saul was held responsible and not the nation of Israel. In the second case, where Yoav kind of fudged the orders but did not refuse outright, the entire nation of Israel was held responsible and punished (see 1 Chronicles Chapter 21).
One of the soldiers that held up the sign and spent time in prison also spoke. He mentioned that many other soldiers in the unit took part in the act.
The crowd itself was interesting. It was a mix of Kachniks, Chabadniks, and Chardalim (although not of the mamlachti type). Moshe Feiglin was also there.
G-d bless these brave soldiers! They swore to defend their country against her enemies, not against her own people.
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