Is there causality between the number of full time Torah learners and the results of Israel's wars?
R' Yair Hoffman posted the following chart which he claimed showed that the correlation of loss of life of IDF soldiers r”l in the wars to the amount of Yeshiva students studying in Yeshiva, shows a clear inverse relationship: the more students in yeshiva, the less loss of life.
|Name of War||Total loss of life, r”l||# of Yeshiva Students in Israel|
|1982 Lebanon War||725||12,150|
|2006 Lebanon War||165||51,084|
|2012 Operation Cast Lead||13||66,000|
Clearly, the number of lives lost is only 1 factor in the success or failure of a war and is very much dependent on who you are fighting and what kind of war. Fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza should lead to fewer casualties then fighting an all out war against multiple Arab armies armed with the latest weapons. Therefore, the fact that only 13 soldiers were killed in Operation Cast Lead does not show anything about the efficacy of Torah learning, the low number of casualties was expected based on the military situation. In fact, IMHO a much better barometer is the actual outcome of the war and if we use that as our measure of Torah learnings protection we come to the opposite conclusion.
|Name of War||Outcome of War||# of Yeshiva Students in Israel|
|1973||Hard fought painful victory||800|
|1982 Lebanon War||Not a clear cut victory, led to an almost 20 year occupation of Southern Lebanon||12,150|
|2006 Lebanon War||Draw||51,084|
|2012 Operation Cast Lead||Marginal at Best||66,000|
Is any of this conclusive? Of course not, but I think that my analysis makes a lot more sense then R' Hoffman's.