Yes, non-Orthodox and Orthodox are going in opposite directions, but not for the reasons the letter writer states (“Nothing To Discuss,” Letters, Dec. 16).
Some haredi Jews in Israel believe that their young men should be exempt from the military service in the Israel Defense Forces that is necessary to protect Israel from its many threats, preferring to leave that task to the “heathen” Conservative and Reform, so that ultra-Orthodox young men can continue their yeshiva studies without the distraction of the military.
The writer states that non-Orthodox are disappearing via assimilation, intermarriage, late marriage and no marriage. This would not be the case if the ultra-Orthodox did not claim to have a monopoly on determining who should be a Jew. They should consider themselves lucky that there are large enough numbers of people who consider themselves Jews, who are secular, Reform, Conservative and Modern Orthodox, and who are willing to serve in the IDF to protect the ultra-Orthodox.