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Chareidi Politicians Drawing Red Lines

MKs from Degel HaTorah are signaling that HaGaon HaRav Aaron Leib Shteinman Shlita, has instructed the party to break away from the coalition in the event the government takes measures to prevent bnei torah from continuing to learn. This is the result of ongoing efforts to legislate a law that will replace the Tal Law which permitted bnei torah to learn in place of entering the IDF.

In an interview with Yated Ne’eman, MK R’ Moshe Gafne says his faction of Yahadut HaTorah will break away from the coalition in line with the gadol hador’s instructions if any effort is made by the coalition to disrupt the limud torah that exists today.

Gafne states the situation that exists today has existed since the establishment of the state and any attempt to change this reality will compel the party to break from the coalition immediately.

He adds that for the past three years, Yisrael Beitenu has done nothing to promote such legislation but now, and when it appeared that the nation was heading to elections this became the number one issue.

Gafne’s words were strengthened by party colleague MK Uri Maklev, who stated definitively “There will be no room for compromise”, adding they would not accept a situation in which one wishing to learn Torah may not be permitted to do so. He concurred with R’ Gafne, stating Maran HaRosh Yeshiva instructed Degel to break from the coalition immediately if any attempt is made to change the status quo.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

21 Responses

  1. Turning down patronage is one thing. If the zionists try to close down the yeshivos (or at least, any yeshiva that doesn’t cooperate in rounding up yeshiva students who don’t serve in the army), are they willing to offer to support an alliance with the Muslims, which probably would mean the end of the zionist enterprise.

    While only Neturei Karta still speaks openly (and they aren’t very big at his time), 100 years ago most of the Hareidi world supported a Jewish homeland within a larger Islamic state, with a Jewish community that had as much economic freedom as the goyim, communcal autonomy including governance by Torah, and an understanding that while Jews were free to live and learn and do business in Eretz Yisrael, the Muslims were in charge of politics.

    If push comes to shove, is the Hareidi community willing to push back?

  2. Akuperma, such a solution might have worked 100 years ago. By the late 1930s it was probably too late, and it’s certainly too late now. If the medinah were ch”v to collapse, there would be another Holocaust r”l, and that is the reason we must support its continued existence. That is why before the medinah was established the vast majority of gedolei hador were against it, but after it was established almost all of them switched to supporting it.

    I forget who it was who said that voting in Israeli elections is a mitzvah; not a mitzvah like eating matzah, but like eating maror.

  3. Whatever the situation was a hundred years ago (this is eons ago-before the FIRST world war), this is 5762 (2012) and the world has changed a million times. To thnk that one can- today- live peacefully under Moslem tutelage is more than a chimera- it is a dangerous hallucination. Just ask the Copts in Egypt, the X-ians and Bahai in Iraq, the Palestinian X-ians in the West Bank. Just aks the Jewish people in France, Belgium, Spain…
    I also find the words “which probably mean the end of the zionist enterprise” a treasonous statement- putting millions of jews, chareidi included, in mortal danger.

  4. Apurmeka your comment is delusional. Bottom line one cant expect the secular Israelis to exempt an entire segment from Army service indefinatley. Saying that this arrangement exsisted since the founding of the State is irrelevant. The Chareidi community was much smaller then. Change would also help alleviate the dire poverty that many Chareidim suffer from. Hopefully some middle ground compromise can be found.

  5. @Milhouse Where did you get that info that the Gedolim support the Medina? They don’t support the Medina, they just realize that giving away the land in the present situation is suicidel.

  6. #2 and #3 — So when the zionists give us an ultimatium — give up Torah or leave Eretz Yisrael, which should we do?

    They post the question, we decide the answer

  7. Akuperma giving up the kollel for all system is hardly synonomous with giving up Torah. The Zionist are not forcing Chareidim to give up Torah only blanket Draft deferments. Negotiating a new agreement is hardly shmad.

  8. I know that learning is a wonderful thing. Im just curious as to whether or not we as frum torah yidden promote the idea of patriotism. If we do, than there really is no reason a ben yeshiva should have a ptur from serving in the national army; after all you live in the country you should feel privileged to serve in the military. If we dont promote the idea of patriotism, than what exactly do we promote. Of course we should be dedicated to learning Torah and there truly is nothing more important. But tell a chiloni, or even a goy for that matter, that I opted to learn the bible instead of fight for my country, and you dont sound to wonderful in their eyes. Even if in hashems eyes its the right thing to be doing, nevertheless we live in a real world full of people who view things with different glasses than ours. Just wondering.

  9. #5, not just in the present situation but in all conceivable situations for the foreseeable future. Therefore the gedolim reluctantly began to support the medinah’s continued existence. See, for instance, Rav Henkin’s letter on the subject, from the early 1950s.

  10. TO: Akuperma
    Your statement “Jewish community that had as much economic freedom as the goyim, communcal autonomy including governance by Torah, and an understanding that while Jews were free to live and learn and do business in Eretz Yisrael,” is TOTALLY delusional. Jews under Muslim rule were always second class citizens and subject to some measure of persecution.
    Don’t kid yourself. If the Arabs take over, Jewish blood will run and all Jews, secular, hareidi, etc. will all suffer.
    IF “ignorance is bliss”, you must be one happy fella.

  11. proud orthodox jew says

    your statemen”tthey just realize that giving away the land in the present situation is suicidel.”

    Is amazing , why did degel hatorah vote to give gaza..

    Or is it these so called gedolim have 20 20 hidesight ..or is it just the money they got

  12. apukerma- what kind of silly question is this? When did anyone in the medina give you any kind of ultimatum to give up torah? your mindset is warped. All they may -emphaisize may- be doing is asking the bnai yeshiva to share the burden of living in israel. are you saying that by asking a minimal sacifice, they are asking you to give up the torah? You mush have very little emunah to affirm this.For your information- it was never- never- the custom in klal ysroel to exempt a large group from their communal duties.

  13. Akuperma, very well put.
    #2 and #3 – I know this is not going to go over very well, but another thing to consider is the fact is there are 20-30 thousand Jews (Bli ayin hara) living comfortably in Iran.
    The real danger is to continue staying part of something which is not holding itself, and has no backing in our Mesorah or our emuna.

  14. #6 Black or white, it ain’t.

    No one is requesting, asking or suggesting for Bnei Torah to give up Torah rather to add to it….a national chesed program.

  15. There is a clear arrangement which would be that those who really want to learn, but don’t qualify as outstanding students, can get no money from the state and fund their own mediocre learning. Or volunteer in military/civil/community service, and work and learn as much as they can on their own or charity’s chesbon like charedim in chul.

  16. To my mind there are a few issues regarding the drafting of charedim that tend to be conflated, but really should be sorted out.
    1. One can be opposed, because of a fundamental non-acceptance of the validity of the Medina.
    2. One can be opposed because of bitul Torah that would result.
    3. One can be opposed because of the situations that can arise, involving compromises in halachic observance.

    Issue number 1 is a matter of hashkafa, and if one really believes in it, then there might not be much room to work with. My gut feeling, (FWIW) is that for most people, #2 and #3 are the issues. While not diminishing their importance, I believe and hope that with positive attitudes on all sides, these issues can be dealt with to create workable solutions.

  17. What did Rav Schach say: He said if they draft a bochur they will move the Yeshiva Chotz La Eretz. The medina needs the Yeshivas in their economy

  18. #5 Is Rav Ovadia shlita not Gadol enough for you?

    #6 – Who is saying “Give up Torah or leave Eretz Yisrael”? What the Zionists are wanting is for all citizens to join the army between the ages of 18 and 21. That excludes quite a sizable amount of people who will continue to learn, never mind Hesder arrangements etc.

    The Zionist medinah is far from perfect, but it still supports and fosters Torah study on an unprecedented level. A large portion of all, religious or not, civilians’ taxes go to supporting Yeshivot. This will only increase.

  19. I think the situation is serious. But it would be suicidal for Israel to implement the draft law on the Charedim, because the numbers are just to large to contend with. You just don’t decide to arrest 60,000 people. The sensible thing to do, would be for the Israeli government to just say we are not funding anymore Yeshivas, unless the boys do some service to the country. In truth the whole draft law in Israel is outdated, but if it must remain for security reasons, then fine keep it. But don’t dream of enforcing it, it just isn’t viable. If its a major concern then don’t fund the Yeshivas that don’t send the boys to do at least some service.

  20. As I see it, the alternative being proposed is either the army or national service. There are many opportunities in both places for Torah observant Jews. Supervision of the army kitchens, which are at least kosher in name, would serve both goals. Certainly there are many areas in the civilian arena that could use the help of people who for one reason or another are not suitable for military service.
    Asking a citizen to contribute to the welfare of his country should NOT be a religious issue.

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