Our Rabbi & Tzahal - Part 3

Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook

After the Six Day War, there was a meeting between government officials and the head of Yeshivot. Representing the government and army was Moshe Dayan, and representing the yeshivot were our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Yechezkel Abramsky and Ha-Rav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht. When Moshe Dayan asked why yeshiva students are exempt from the army while other youths fight and die to protect the country, our Rabbi responded that he rejects the term "exempt." His students are not exempt from the army but delay their entry for a few years to solidify their Torah education before going out to defend their country. Our Rabbi advocated juggling these two imperatives -- Torah study and army service -- by first solidifying one's Torah accomplishments and only then serving in the army. (Sidrei Tzava Vi-Yeshiva #4, Sefer Am Ve-Artzo vol. 2 pp. 523-531)

It once happened that Jews went to pray at the Cave of Machpelah and waved the Israeli flag there in defiance of the orders of the Army and the Border Police. An argument broke out between them, and one side pulled the flag in one direction and the other side pulled in the other direction, until it ripped. When the matter was brought to the attention of our Rabbi, he said that placing the Army and the Police, who are our friends, in such an incredibly unpleasant situation of having to take the flag from Jews is more treif than pig.
When Tzahal blew up the Nuclear Reactor in Iraq in the year 5741, our Rabbi said in a voice trembling from excitement: "Did you hear! All of the non-Jews are shaking and scared from what the Jews did. Did you hear! Did you hear!" And he could not calm down. At that moment, a pregnant woman came in and requested a blessing for an easy pregnancy. Our Rabbi warmly blessed her, and then returned to saying: "Did you hear! Did you hear!" Klal u-ferat u-klal – the community, the individual, the community. (from Efrat Bedichi)