The haredi soldier who attacked by a mob of 100 to 150 haredim in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem Monday night after the mob spotted his uniform is a ba’al teshuva who grew up in a masorati (traditional) home, went to secular schools, and only became haredi five years ago.
Haredi Soldier Attacked By Haredi Mob A Ba’al Teshuva, Mother Says
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The haredi soldier who was attacked by a mob of 100 to 150 haredim in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem Monday night after the mob spotted his uniform is a ba’al teshuva who grew up in a masorati (traditional) home, went to secular schools, and only became haredi five years ago, Ynet reported.
The soldier’s mother spoke about the attack and explained his background.
"My son is exhausted, he is traumatized. His [haredi] ‘brothers’ attacked him, and they should to rot in jail.…This case should be treated with utmost severity and they should be seriously punished, it is pertinent that such an incident does not reoccur.…[My son] grew up in a secular school where he excelled in his studies.… [Five years ago, he became haredi and studied in a Jerusalem yeshiva with our permission. But] “we told him ahead of time that enlistment into the IDF is nonnegotiable; you must give back to your country. He fully understood and accepted that," she reportedly said.
She also said that her son would return to mea Shearim, despite the attack – but only in haredi clothes, not in his IDF uniform.
"My son will continue to go to Jerusalem to the same place, because that is where his relatives live; but he will no longer walk those streets in uniform,” she said.
She also said that only a small number of extremists should be blamed for the attack.
“If they would've known that he went to study Torah, I'm sure they wouldn’t have attacked him. They caused damage to all of us," she said, apparently unaware that haredi soldiers have been attacked while trying to pray in haredi synagogues and have been evicted from haredi yeshivas and study halls – including at least one in the neighborhood where her son was attacked.
She also seemed unaware that no haredi rabbinic leader of note had condemned the attack or offered any sympathy its victim.
"We shouldn't make generalizations and blame the entire community. There are many haredim who enlist into the IDF,” she claimed.
Only a tiny fraction of eligible haredi men serve in the IDF, and haredi rabbinic leaders across the board have vehemently condemned the looming draft of haredi yeshiva students – and voluntary haredi enlistment.
Earlier today, IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai castigated haredi leaders who have falied to condemn the attack and called on them to "unabashedly condemn [it].
"I shudder to think what would happened if a soldier was attacked in the Negev or in the Galilee [areas of Israel with large Bedouin and Arab populations] at the hands of one Israel's non-Jewish communities. In such a case, the public uproar would have been much more severe. It is very serious that in the Jewish state a soldier is forced to shed his uniform to return home safely,” Mordechai said, implying that the IDF’s response in that type of case would have been severe.
“Most of the haredi public accepts haredi soldiers,” Mordechai said, noting that in addition to the 3,000 haredi soldiers already in the military, an additional 2,400 will join up this year. “Therefore we need to disavow the small minority [that attacks those haredi soldiers] and act against them."
A significant number of haredi soldiers are yeshiva dropouts who left or who were expelled from haredi yeshivas. Until now, many haredi rabbinic leaders have had no objection to those dropouts enlisting in the military in special haredi programs.
Another significant segment of ‘haredi’ soldiers – so large that some say it makes up the majority – are not haredi at all – they are right wing Zionist Orthodox youth who do not want to enter existing Zionist Orthodox yeshiva-army programs or are themselves dropouts from Zionist Orthodox yeshivas.
Ynet has brief video of part of the attack here.