|Rabbi Tzvi Klebanow, director of Nachal Chareidi, on the left|
Rabbi Klebanow will speak this Shabbos at the following times:
- Shabbos morning at Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, Rabbi Klabanow will speak at about 10:15. Shacharis starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Shalosh Seudos at the Young Israel of Lawrence & Cedarhurst, following 7:30 Mincha.
- Motzoi Shabbos at 9:45 p.m. at a Nachal Chareidi parlor meeting at the home of Anne & Shelly Golombeck, 6 Washington Ave. S. in Lawrence
To get certain misperceptions out of the way in advance, (i) Reb Areye Leib Shteinman, shlita and Rav Elyashiv, zt"l, gave their passive (not publicly declared) support to the founding of Nachal Chareidi back in 1999 and (ii) Nachal Chareidi does not take a position in support the chareidi draft or attempt to attract boys who are learning well to join the IDF.
The main purpose of Nachal Chareidi is to give chareidi young men who are not meant to learn full time long-term for whatever reason, a kosher way to do army service and learn a profession. The battalion has no female instructors (even though 95% of instructors in the IDF are female - women aren't in combat units) and very strong mehadrin kashrus standards, among other religious accommodations.
Netzach Yehuda is one of six battalions in the Kfir Brigade, which does anti-terrorism service in Yehuda and Shomron. A minimum of 70% of the boys come from chareidi homes, about 10% are from chutz la'Aretz, and about 20% are strong dati leumi boys. The Brigade is spread out over seven bases and consists of about 1,500 soldiers (the program started with 30!).
I'm excited about the expansion of this program because, especially as there are more and more alumni and families who see that it is a serious religious program, it opens up options for spiritual and practical actualization for many boys who were made for professions other than long-term, full-time kollel learning. It's a basic human need to do what one is made to do, and that is not the same for everyone. So kol hakavod for Nachal Chareidi creating one path for that!
See here for Akiva's recent thoughts on how Nachal Chareidi chareidi boys fare religiously in the program. He wrote this when his son was 2.5 years into the program (it's a 3 year program).
See here for an audio interview (studio setup wasn't amazing) with Rabbi Klebanow from 2011 which is very informative.
See here for a video put out in February of this year, upon the 15th anniversary of Nachal Chareidi, summarizing the history of the program and the now-Netzach Yehuda Brigade:
And here's a beautiful video from Aug. 2013 from an induction ceremony: