This is a question to which we do not know the answer.
However we do know that whatever they are, really, they are
not values with which we can identify.
We study and think about issues, but life is always more
complex than what we can imagine. A person is not a machine;
people almost always have multiple motives for whatever they
do as a result of many different values that contribute to
what they finally do. The values that drive a person are very
important in assessing the meaning of what he does, and in
how his actions are regarded in Shomayim — which is
precisely why it is usually impossible for people with their
limited vision and limited understanding to truly evaluate
what other people do.
We do not judge the people opposing the Disengagement. We
cannot know their collective values and certainly do not know
the values that move each and every individual. But we can
see from certain broad actions that their values are not
ours. They are not values that we can identify with.
The issue of soldiers obeying IDF orders in and around the
traumatic disengagement has swirled around for months. It is
an issue that has been the focus of the rabbonim who are at
the forefront of the opposition; all of them have certainly
thought about it long and deeply in these past months.
Some of those rabbonim say that IDF soldiers must obey any
order that they are given, no matter what. Some say that
soldiers should not obey any direct order to evacuate people
from their homes in Eretz Yisroel. Some go so far as to say
that a soldier must refuse to carry out any order that will
even indirectly help the disengagement, such as taking over
the duties of other soldiers who are sent to carry out the
Whatever the position that these rabbonim took on the issue,
it came after deep thought and soul searching.
Two weeks ago on Shabbos parshas Bolok, the IDF
conducted special patrols on Shabbos itself, along the fence
around Gaza to ensure that no opponents of the disengagement
infiltrate through to join the community in Gush Katif in
order to make it harder to evacuate them. Tragically, among
the soldiers called upon to do this duty — which
jeep patrols and other unequivocal chilul Shabbos,
Rachmono litzlan — were many religious soldiers.
The order was patently absurd since it is common knowledge
that the opponents of the disengagement are virtually all
religious, and the bitterest opponents would not think of
sneaking in to Gush Katif at the price of chilul
Army spokesmen at first said, lamely, that they had reliable
intelligence information that right-wing chilonim were
planning to cut the fence to go to Gush Katif. They did not
explain where all these secular opponents were hiding during
the street demonstrations and why they would suddenly decide
to show up on Shabbos instead of spending the day at the
beach. In fact, none were found.
The Army eventually admitted that the patrols were not
necessary, and certainly did not involve any pikuach
But this would have undoubtedly been evident to anyone on the
scene. There was no military need for the patrols, and even
by their very loose definitions they did not involve any
Nonetheless, among all the religious soldiers who were taken
on Shabbos Kodesh to man the checkpoints and patrol the
fences, it does not seem to have occurred to any of them to
disobey the orders — even though the orders were
standing Army regulations not to violate Shabbos when
pikuach nefesh is not involved and even though the
effect was chilul Shabbos, Rachmono litzlan!
The behavior is a sharp contrast against the recent
background of the long, deep and thorough discussions that
have taken place about disobeying orders to evacuate Gush
Even though there were after-the-fact protests from the
soldiers and from some rabbonim, not one of the many
religious soldiers told his commander that he refuses to
violate Shabbos Kodesh for no good reason.
We do not judge. We just say that any system that considers
it a serious issue to obey or not to obey an order to
evacuate people from their homes but does not at the same
time see chilul Shabbos as an order that should be
evaluated critically, is not one that we can in any way