Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (18 August 2017, 26 Av, 5777)
Who is better for Israel: the son of a Jewish father and a gentile mother who serves with distinction in the IDF, or a Hasidic Jew drawing welfare to study scriptures?
The reality is a bit different from what the question presupposes.
In Israel, no-one really receives welfare to study.
The Government supplements to a small degree the income of some of those who learn. Most of their funding however comes from other sources.
For every shekel the Government gives it gets back about three shekels through indirect taxation of foodstuffs and basic necessities.
In everyday life,
Everyone of us puts out money to buy things and services. We pay money to go to a restaurant to receive food, to have the food brought to us, to be entertained, to travel by taxi, for numerous things.
Some of what we put our money out on in the eyes of others may be superfluous.
Nevertheless it is our money, our lives, and this is what we pay for.
So too, some Jews pay for others to learn Torah.
Eat your heart out.
It hurts you?
You feel offended by it?
Does this upset your sense of propriety?
The money comes out of your pocket?
When I was young a popular song had a line in it saying,
“They say I drink whiskey. My money’s my own. And them that don’t like me can leave me alone.”
Hasidic Jews mostly work.
It is mainly the non-Hasidic Lithuanian type Jews who learn full-time.
Most of their funding comes from their families or from private sources.
As for "the son of a Jewish father and a gentile mother" there may once have been one Israeli general like that.
He may have helped save the State of Israel.
He will be rewarded.
We all do what we can.
In life one has doctors, lawyers, and builders.
Who is to say one is better than the other?
Not everyone is suited to become a general in the IDF and not everyone can learn Torah. Be thankful for what you are and for what you can do, and do not be jealous or resentful of others.