`164 Stop Serving Your Country
Chananya Weissman
December 9, 2021

I have a little customs officer inside my head. Whenever a message tries to enter my brain, the customs officer stops it and does a two-part check. Does it fit with the Torah? Does it make sense? If not, the message is rejected.

If the source is already known to be antithetical to the Torah or otherwise untrustworthy, the message is treated with utmost suspicion. At most, a kernel of truth will be carefully extracted, and even that will remain flagged.

Everyone should have their own customs officer and consult with others as needed before assimilating questionable ideas. This system has proved invaluable in navigating the virus/vaccine scam, but it is essential in all times, at all times.

One of the most pernicious messages from impure sources that most people have nevertheless assimilated is that the highest ideal is “serving your country”. It is the fundamental tenet of the military and the basis for which people are willing to sacrifice their lives. The “best” citizens will do literally anything to serve their country.

Their reward for this is praise, honor, medals, and, if they are lucky, a pension. If they were rewarded in more substantial ways, it could hardly be called service, after all.

It is easy to understand how convincing the citizens that giving up everything for what is in reality just the government's agenda, in exchange for so little in return, is a good bargain for the people in power. Every leader in the world claims to serve the people, while they coerce the people to serve them in the name of serving the country.

The idealization and idolization of servitude is deeply ingrained in our societal messaging. We have, for example, the notion of “serving the customer”. Have you ever thought about that one? Today's large corporations get away with trampling on people, and of course that is reprehensible. In principle, though, why should a company – or, more likely, a small business owner or an overworked, underpaid employee – serve anyone?

In every business transaction, in every exchange, both sides should treat one another honestly and fairly. The customer is not always right, nor should the customer have to jump through hoops for assistance if there is a problem. Neither side should serve the other. We shouldn't submit to servitude, even to make a sale, nor expect others to serve us like royalty merely for making a purchase.

These phrases have become so common that we no longer think about the deeper implications behind them. We need to examine where our values really come from. Do they fit with the Torah? Do they make sense?


For a few days this past summer there was a severe heat wave in Israel. On one of these days a group of soldiers went on a hike as part of a training exercise. They did not bring adequate water with them, despite the conditions. Seven of the soldiers fainted and had to be rescued.

This was a short news item that came and went without making any waves. If people even noticed it, they considered it an unfortunate accident, and perhaps negligence on the part of the commanding officer for not ensuring the soldiers had more water with them. Nothing more than that.

The little customs officer in my head held up his hand. Hold on. How could it be that seven soldiers would faint on a single hike due to heatstroke? Did they all faint at exactly the same time? Why was the hike not stopped immediately after the first soldier collapsed, until it could be ascertained that the other soldiers were not susceptible to the same calamity?

How could it be that six soldiers could see one of their own collapse from dehydration, feel the same thing happening to them, and just keep marching? How could it be that even one soldier would keep marching when he felt his body was about to give out?

The commanding officer had ordered them to continue marching. So what? This wasn't a training exercise, it was a death march. To hell with the commanding officer.

Ah, but they were serving their country. When one is in servitude, he follows orders, even if that means destroying himself for absolutely nothing.

This is how all armies work. Of course, there must be organization. There must be leaders and people who follow them – but to what extent? What else will people do to themselves and others for the sake of “serving their country”?

Our leaders condition us to be dogs who fetch their sticks. We fetch the stick. Good dog! Then they immediately throw it away again, and tell us to fetch it. It is an intentionally pointless ritual designed to entertain the masters and demonstrate control. If the dog had any intelligence, after at least the second throw he would say, “I'm outta here. Go fetch your own stick.”

That is how a group of soldiers could march in the desert without water and collapse one by one, without any of them revolting. The real training exercise is not to prepare them physically for harsh conditions. It is to prepare them mentally to do whatever they are told, no matter what.

This is why I didn't join the army. I would have taken off my uniform and quit on the spot.

This is why I won't allow them to inject me with crap or fetch their stick, no matter what it takes.

I don't serve my country. I serve God.

Who do you serve?