According to a Channel 10 report, thousands of chareidim who have declared studying torah fulltime are in essence working illegally.
The report states that the chareidim who study fulltime maintain they are doing their part towards defending the country by learning torah, but in many cases, they are working illegally and simply avoiding military service.
Channel 10’s Dov Gilhar set up a sting operation, establishing a fictitious company called Ohel Avraham, advertising marketing positions in Bnei Brak. A man who left the chareidi fold was brought in to head the fake company, and he explained to avreichim who came in seeking work they need official papers since the job is ‘on the books’. The cameras rolled behind the scenes, and one avreich is seen interviewing, explaining he cannot provide papers due to the army and that his last job was under the table.
He explained he received cash, and if reported, he would have issues with the IDF as well as tax authorities, not to mention losing lucrative state aid.
The report states that an avreich receives 800 NIS monthly, 1,040 NIS monthly in supplementary income and his kollel stipend. In addition, the state give tax breaks and discounts for kindergarten and other services.
Channel 10 concludes that many avreichim who learn have sufficient spare time to do other things, including a job. They quote an avreich for example who says he can work from 18:00 to midnight, while others explained they can work daytime hours as well.
Nine of the ten persons videoed displayed a proficient knowledge of duping the system, how to bypass the restriction of working and paying taxes.
This has been the reason many opposed the Tal Law, which provides an exemption from military service but also locks avreichim in, condemning them to a life of poverty because they are prohibited to work.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)