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Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel to Launch New Fitness Craze: Dodging the Draft

Last updated on March 6, 2024

In a bid to blend tradition with the modern world’s obsession with fitness, Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox community has unveiled a groundbreaking new workout regime: Dodging the Draft. This innovative fitness craze combines spiritual dedication with physical agility, offering a holistic approach to both religious observance and cardiovascular health.

Spiritual Aerobics Meets Tactical Evasion

At the heart of Dodging the Draft is a series of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises inspired by the age-old practice of avoiding military service. Participants leap over barriers (symbolizing legal obstacles), sprint in zigzag patterns (mimicking evasion techniques), and engage in group prayer sessions followed by sudden bursts of running (to simulate the rush of avoiding draft notices).

A Community Effort

The movement has quickly gained traction, turning local parks and community centers into impromptu training grounds. Here, young men dressed in traditional garb push their physical limits, cheered on by elders who offer spiritual encouragement and tips on maintaining one’s composure when confronted with a draft notice.

Holistic Health Benefits

Proponents of Dodging the Draft tout its comprehensive health benefits, claiming it improves not only cardiovascular health but also mental acuity and spiritual well-being. “It’s about more than just physical fitness,” explains one enthusiastic participant. “It’s about preparing our bodies and souls for a higher purpose, all while staying true to our beliefs.”

Mixed Reactions

The initiative has received mixed reactions from the broader Israeli society. Some applaud the Ultra-Orthodox community’s innovative approach to fitness and engagement with societal norms, while others view it as a controversial method of protest against mandatory military service. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have yet to officially comment, though rumors suggest they are considering a counter-initiative aimed at promoting the benefits of military service through a series of boot camp-style fitness programs.

The Future of Fitness

As Dodging the Draft gains followers, it’s clear that this unconventional fitness craze is more than just a fleeting trend. It represents a unique fusion of cultural tradition and contemporary lifestyle, offering a new perspective on the age-old challenge of balancing civic duties with personal beliefs. Whether it will lead to a broader understanding and dialogue between the Ultra-Orthodox community and the rest of Israeli society remains to be seen, but for now, Dodging the Draft is taking the fitness world by storm, one evasive maneuver at a time.

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