Religion and the military as greedy frameworks : religious Zionism and the Israel Defense Forces
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Our particular case study focuses on relationships between Religious-Zionism and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The thesis first articulates the concept of greedy institutions and then explores the way two such frameworks, armies and religions, may accommodate each other. Special attention is drawn to a unique mechanism developed in this context: the study programs that have been developed in Israel, all of which are recognized by the IDF, which enable conscripts to attend institutions of Jewish religious learning before and during their military service. Specifically, the thesis studies in depth four such structures: hesder yeshivot, mekhinot, the Shiluv program of the religious Kibbutz (all of which cater to young men), and midrashot for women. We argue that by virtue of their interaction with the army, these frameworks serve as mediating structures. Common to the study programs here examined is that they enable students to defer their military service for a certain period of time. During their deferment, students study traditional Jewish texts and participate in classes on these texts as well as on more contemporary religious genres and writers such as the philosophies of R. Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, and Prof. Yishayahu Leibowitz. The details of the topics vary from program to program......The thesis also adopts a comparative perspective and, based on examples from other parts of the world, draws more general conclusions regarding the relationship between religion and the military. We argue that a comparison between the Israeli case and those of Iran, the United States, India and Turkey indicates the dimensions of the problem and the range of possible solutions.
צבא ודת כמערכות תובעניות: צה"ל והציונות הדתית
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