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Army in Israel

Question:
Kvod Harav,
I’ve learnt in a yeshivish kollel in the U.S., but I’m not clear about hashkafa regarding army serive for chareidim in Israel. Why isn’t it a mitzvah to go to the army to defend the jewish people from saknasos nefashos. The zechus of torah helps to defend, but don’t chazal say ‘don’t rely on miracles’. When it comes to parnasha, we have bitachon that the money comes from hashem, yet one should do histadlus, so when it comes to the army, why don’t we say that Hashem is protecting us, serve in the army as histadlus.
I greatly respect the Ruv’s torah knowledge and would appreciate it if you can help clarify this matter.

Answer:

Having an army to protect the citizens is certainly proper hishtadlus of any country.  Israel has a very well run, strong army which is hishtadlus to provide security for it’s citizens. However Torah study is also of crucial importance to our nation, even more so than the army. Since we have enough soldiers [many claim more than enough] it is very reasonable to exempt those learning from army service.  

If and when every citizen will want to sit and learn, certainly we will choose some of them to serve in the army as proper hishtadlus. 

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