Sunday, July 24, 2005

Rav Lichtenstein: obey orders

In this article from Haaretz last week (which somehow doesn't seem to have been noticed), Rav Aharon Lichtenstein argues that soldiers have to obey their orders. In a closely argued and impassioned piece, he concludes:
"I hope that it is clear that my stand does not stem from any lack of feeling when it comes to the problem of the disengagement and its difficulties. We face a painful phenomenon, to which there are three sources of pain. The Holy Land is apt to lose one of its bodily organs; the people are being torn to shreds; and several thousand citizens, who are faithful to their heritage and devoted to their homeland, are liable to suffer a heavy blow to their spiritual world and lose their homes and communities alike. Clearly, all of these considerations have to be weighed by the decision-makers, and I hope that was the case. But once the die is cast and the order is given, unless the government changes its mind, a soldier who has the privilege of serving in the Israel Defense Forces must do his duty, contribute his part and pray that the Holy One blessed be He will not abandon His people and not leave His land and will arrange events for the best."

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