Last week, Israel’s Civil and Social Affairs Minister in the Ministry of Defense, Michael Biton, (Blue and White) met with leaders of the Netzach Yehuda Association, an organization that supports Chareidi soldiers during their service in the IDF. In addition to Biton, the meeting was attended by Netzach Yehuda Association CEO Yossi Levy, Deputy CEO Shaya Shushan, and Jewish-American businessman and philanthropist David Hager. Hager is one of the driving forces behind the organization and a big proponent of assisting Chareidim who enlist in the IDF.
During the meeting, Biton compared the Charedi IDF soldiers to the Chashmonayim. “We look at the story of Chanukah as the holiday that celebrates the miracle of the oil, but it’s the story of individuals who stood by the courage of their spiritual convictions. It’s the story of Matisyahu HaKohen and his children who said, ‘God’s Torah is important to us, but we will know how to fight.’ You, the warriors of Netzach Yehuda (Nahal Haredi), are the Maccabees of our time.”
“It’s an honor for me to turn to today’s Netzach Yehuda (Nachal Chareidi) fighters and their supporters who have done a brave thing: On the one hand they maintained their religious and spiritual identity, and on the other, they served their country and sprung to life. You are now a community of 13,500 Netzach Yehuda alumni, you are strong and powerful. The first battalion was made up of thirty soldiers – and suddenly we’ve reached 13,000. This is just the beginning. You are the future of the State of Israel, guarantors of our national security. In the name of the Defense Ministry, thank you. ”
In thanking Minister Biton for his support, Netzach Yehuda Association CEO Levy said: “It is especially important at a time when the draft law is back on the table, that the government make an effort to invest in those who do choose to enlist in the IDF without compromising their Chareidi identity. This is not just about those who serve in regular service, but also military graduates who wish to have a profession after their release. We are now working to establish a centralized community for the thousands of graduates – this is a real social revolution and the bridge between the IDF and the Charedi public.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)