Feb 5, 2013

New Haredi hesder yeshiva being opened up

Finally a great solution to the army problem for haredim. This will not change the issue of "sharing the burden", nor will it be accepted en masse or with open arms by the haredi leadership, but it is another solution that will at least allow those who want, or need, to go to the army to do so without "compromising" their lifestyle.

According to Kikar (they use the army periodical Bamachane as the source, but I could not find it on their website, which does not seem to updated very frequently), the IDF rabbinical unit is working to set up a new hesder yeshiva geared specifically for haredim. The yeshiva would operate ona  different schedule than the standard hesder yeshivot, but more or less along the same idea. They hope to have 30 students for the coming year, Elul 5773, the first year of its operation, and then to grow from there.

Personally, unless they limit it to 30 students maximum, I would expect that they will get far more than 30 students.

According to the report, the new hesder yeshiva will combine learning Torah with vocational or career  training and then the students will be moved into the haredi army units of Nachal Haredi and Shah"ar. The yeshiva will not just be for married haredi students, but also for younger single students. In addition, the learning will be led by rabbonim not connected to the army, and tuition will be free.

As I said, unless they limit it to 30 for the first year, there is no reason a program like this should not attract a much larger group of students.

I would not expect a program like this to be met with open arms by the Haredi leadership. They will reject it as being an attempt to pull guys out of the regular yeshiva system. Eventually it will probably receive quiet acceptance.

Instead of fighting for forcing the draft upon the haredim, something that will never work and will likely reverse the progress made over the past few years that has been proven to be increasing the annual influx of haredim into the army, more programs like this need to be created. There are enough haredim who want, or need, to go to the army, that with enough programs in place, much of the problem would be solved naturally. It would not be a full solution to the "shivyon b'netel" issue, but it will solve a lot of the problem.

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  1. Brilliant!
    This is exactly the kind of non-confrontational approach that we need.
    You sure that number was 30, not 30,000?

  2. 30 does seem very small. I could name maybe 30 potential students myself off the top of my head.


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