Monday, February 18, 2013

Draft Exemptions: A Modest Proposal

“According to plans promoted by Lapid, only 400 of the top scholars in yeshivas would receive exemptions from military service. Everyone else would have to serve in the army, or at least national service. Lapid has repeatedly said that he does not intend to compromise on this position”. 

There are obviously numerous problems with this, besides the fact that it is a plan concocted by a contemptible man who hates yeshivas together with the Jewish home for goyim and that such a plan would result in an increase in ba’alei teshuva. Most notably, who is to decide who are these top 400 yeshiva bochurim who get the exemption? What is to stop the politicians from handing out he exemptions to their friends are relatives and not the top learners? Furthermore, what constitutes a top learner? Bikius or iyun? Halacha l’meisah or lomdus?

This is where we are fortunate to have a TV personality in such an important role in our government, as someone with his background should have the vision to carry out the following plan. It is clear that the only fair, transparent way to determine who is worthy of not defending the country is to create... 


Imagine this: 3 yeshiva bochrim get up in front of an audience to answer questions in learning. Think “Jeopardy!” but instead of only money being on the line, it’s your chance to get out of the army! 

Shall we call it “Who doesn’t want to be a Milluimnik?” “Are you smarter than a hesder student?”  For now, let’s call it … “You Bet Your Life!

This would be the best show ever. The drama would be great- the stakes couldn’t be higher. It would show the country the brilliance of the top masmidim and expose Israelis to gemara more than Ruth Kaleron did.

To account for different individual strengths, YBYL will have a variety of categories, such as:

Lomdus: 2 Rambams are chosen at random, Contestant must prove that the rambams contradict each other, then solve the non-existent contradiction.

Asheknazi vort: Contestant given random medrash, must show how it teaches the primacy of Torah learning.

Sefardi dvar torah: Given random topic, contestant must tell as many stories as he can.    

Needless to say, no Tanach is to be included under any circumstances.

At the end of the show, the winner is congratulated as soldiers from the lishkat hagiyus sign up the 2 losers on the spot.

 Tell me you wouldn’t want to watch that.  


  1. This could be the highest rated Israeli TV show ever.

  2. The idea of a contest is inspired. I think you should add a few more categories. Start with clothing. Fashionistas would have to judge it. Then there is body language including subcategories for shuckling, hand gesturing, and averting glances from women. Naturally, there should be zealotry. Subcategories could include shouting, spitting, rock throwing, and pronouncing bans.

    Last but not least, we need a geneologist to evaluate yichus. In fact, eliminate all the preceding criteria since that will probably settle the issue.