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May 24, 2012

The Haredi "Draft Haredim" Plan

Just like many MKs, or potential MKs, have recently been announcing their plans regarding the "draft the haredim" issue, there is actually also a Haredi plan regarding the drafting of haredim. This plan though is not new.

Yesterday, Minister of Interior Eli Yishai said that any haredi who does not meet the criteria of "torato umanuto" should be drafted.

MK Moshe Gafni has said pretty much the same thing a number of times over the years.

It is that simple. The Haredi plan for the issue of "draft the haredim" that is big in the news right now is: We want yeshiva boys to stay in yeshiva and learn torah. As long as they do, they should continue to receive their deferment from army service. Once they stop learning, want to leave yeshiva, they should be drafted into the army.

The problem I have with that plan is that the rosh yeshivas are not sending the boys who do not learn to the army. They encourage the boys to stay in yeshiva despite the fact that they aren't really learning seriously. As long as the yeshivot don't play along with the army but encourage the boys to evade service, how is the army ever to know which boys are learning and which are not?

Furthermore, whenever the government sends inspectors, generally to inspect regarding financial issues, but for other reasons as well, the yeshivot throw a fit, and the MKs are pressured to step in and try to get the inspections canceled or mitigated in some way.

So the MKs say that if the boy is not learning he should be drafted, but they don't let the government inspect the yeshivot to see who is not learning, and the rosh yeshivot have no reason to turn in, or to to encourage those not learning to report to the army.

So, yes, the Haredi MKs do also have a plan regarding the draft. But their plan has already not worked for a long time, which is why the country is looking for an alternative.

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  1. While I don't agree with much of what Eli Yishai says at least he served in Tzahal.

    Gafni? How should he be able to offer opinion on draft?

    He received a patur as "Toraso Umanaso" and as it seems to me it isn't Torah that he is professing now.

  2. I would love for yeshivot and kollels to have yearly tests, and anyone who doesn't pass the test gets drafted into the army. I'd also love for the test to be difficult.

  3. Well said Rafi. To elaborate - the idea that army / national service is detrimental to the young person's spiritual and religious well being is pervasive, and indeed there are reasons for that! So I would say that they need to attack the problem from that angle. Much good faith would be needed from all involved to actually change things, and that certainly is in short supply! How about - adding post-service incentives for successfully serving, developing meaningful national service programs for haredi boys that just ain't gonna cut it on guard duty, throw in some opportunities for professional training that compensate for deficiencies in secular studies ...

  4. My question is why not a professional army like in most of western country. Second of all student also in university try to escape the army. Don't get me wrong, I agree that someone in yeshiva who doesn't learn, should try to find a job instead. I know people who stay in the kollel because of peer pressure from the family or the charedi world like someone put last time Baal batim destroy the torah. I will tell him : hey genius who pays for your yeshivot or kollelim. And they can do a draft in the public domain. Or in the army but in a non-combat position. So many possibilities instead of bashing the Medina and milking it on the same time. No fair.

  5. yoni

    Work doesn't only mean work. It means paying taxes, no arnona discounts and living a life lfi "dina d'malchusa".

  6. How about requiring the exemption to be given by the yeshivos, and any exempting yeshiva must be matching the government subsidy or some other fixed financial amount. If the yeshivos all have to put their money where their mouth is, they might send those non-learning learners out of the Beis Midrash.

  7. Here is what our Lord says about military service:

    Those eligible for service are males 20 years and older that are able to go forth to war. Perhaps some aren’t “able” because they are studying Holy Torah to better be able to obey G-D as obedience is better than sacrifice.

    1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said: 'Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in hearkening to the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

    Numbers 1:2-3 'Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male, by their polls; from twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: ye shall number them by their hosts, even thou and Aaron.

    Deuteronomy 20:2-8 And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, and shall say unto them: 'Hear, O Israel, ye draw nigh this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, neither be ye affrighted at them; for the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

    And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying: 'What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

    And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not used the fruit thereof? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use the fruit thereof.

    And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.'

    And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say: 'What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart melt as his heart.'


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