Last Passover, some Zionist Orthodox soldiers even had to make abbreviated Passover seders because they were assigned to stand guard over the haredi cities full of haredim celebrating Passover with long, leisurely seders.
A leading Zionist Orthodox rabbi, Yaakov Ariel the Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, wrote today that haredi cities should not let the IDF guard them. Instead, haredim should do it themselves rather than allowing non-hareidi soldiers to protect them.
Last Passover, Ariel said, some Zionist Orthodox soldiers even had to make abbreviated Passover seders because they were assigned to stand guard over the haredi cities full of haredi celebrating Passover with long, leisurely seders.
The proper thing, Ariel asserted, would be for haredi scholars to continue to study Torah and have long, leisurely, complete, Passover seders, while haredim who are not scholars do the guard duty.
Using a midrash on a biblical story, Ariel pointed out that there could be no assigned worship without the physical space and building dedicated to carrying it out – the holy sanctuary.
Moses wanted to build the Ark of the Covenant first. Betzalel, credited with doing most of the intricate metal work and carpentry associated with the vessels later used in the Temple, argued that the Ark need a physical space to be in, and therefore it was proper to create that space – the miskan (Tabernacle) – first, and then afterward build the Ark – and that is what was done.
Haredim cannot expect to have the ability to pray and study to the exclusion of work and army service until that space has been created and maintained, Ariel asserted. If the space – a haredi city – needs to be guarded in order to be safe, haredim must guard it themselves, just as the mishkan was built before the ark, so must haredim build their own mishkan and guard it.