Plesner: Push Off IDF Service Until Age 23


The Plesner Committee continues meeting as lawmakers are compelled to legislate a new bill that will replace the Tal Law. According to media reports, the committee will be announcing its recommendations in the coming days.

It appears the decision of the committee will include a number of leniencies for the chareidi tzibur while calling for sanctions against any avreichim who refuse to serve. These monetary sanctions may be on the avreich and/or kollel/yeshiva. Once again, these reports are based on leaks to the media, not official statements.

It appears the committee will recommend that 20% of the annual draft eligible male chareidi population will be permitted to learn. This means approximately 1,500 talmidim will receive a draft deferment annually while the remaining 80% will be compelled to serve in the IDF or a state-approved national service. There will be seven military options as two divisions are being added to the IDF to accommodate the chareidim.

The committee appears heading to permitting those who wish to push off their enlistment from age 18 to 23, but there is opposition to this since many of them will be married, possibly with children at that time, and this will increase the cost for the IDF.

With the media buzz surrounding the expected Plesner recommendations, leaders of the chareidi tzibur in Eretz Yisrael continue with their firm position, insisting there will be no compromise and avreichim will go to prison or leave the country if left with no other option.

Seeking to steer clear of a coalition crisis, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is meeting with chareidi lawmakers from Yahadut HaTorah and Shas.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Bedouin communities in southern Israel on Wednesday, 7 Tammuz 5772, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was asked to comment on the ongoing efforts to legislate a new draft law. Lieberman stated that it is very simply. Every male that reaches the age of 18 will have to decide between military service or national service, it’s that simple.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. I love it how the number of avrechim jumps from article to article. Last article stated that there’s between 50-60,000 avrechim and that 10% or 5-6,000 can learn. This one states that 20% can learn, and still it only amounts to 1500 avrechim out of a total of 7,500. (Even though Mir alone has 6,000, where do these numbers cone from?)
    Someone has to do some fact checking before publishing these articles….

  2. It’s an old idea – the Czars thought of it first. It’s called cantonists. They’ll probably appoint people to decide which 80% to ‘chap’.

  3. I personnaly think that a lot of guys not doing well in yeshiva belong in the army if they aren’t learning. But if 20 percent of the population belives that learning torah constitutes a national service just as much as a combat soldier is a National service then it follows that 20 percent of the national service should be learning and if the chilonim want to do their service as learning then let them but if they don’t then why can’t chareidim say that learning is their national service. ??

  4. To No.2 (Uneeq): I love it too when readers don’t bother to read the article properly but just jump to criticise without thinking…
    The article clearly states that 20% of the annual draft is 1500 males NOT 20% of the current avreichim. There are BH today somewhere between 50,000-60,000 young men learning full time. Each year about 7500 chareidi bochurim reach the age of the draft and of that they will allow 20% (or 1500) to remain in learning.

    Is that now clear to you? Was it so hard to try to understand?

    Your reference to Mir is also pathetic, most of the 6000 in Mir are “chutznikim” i.e. non-Israelis so the numbers have absolutely no relevance to this article.

    Please try to understand before commenting.

  5. As long as there is some alternative public service option in addition to serving in the IDF, why should even 20 percent be allowed to avoid ANY committment? Taking off a year or two still allows them plenty of time to complete their military service and then come home and learn and start a family and most likely with great maturity and greater vocational and social skills that will make it easier to earn a parnassah.

  6. Gadolbe’einav, learning is a commitment, and it’s the only commitment an 18-year-old bochur should be making, if he’s capable of it, which almost all are for at least a while. Those are the best years of a bochur’s life, when he has no yoke of a family, and he can concentrate completely on learning; nothing outside the walls of the beis medrash should exist for him. And you want to rob davka those years, for something less important and productive. אל תגעו במשיחי! Later, if and when he has to leave learning anyway, let him do national or army service.

  7. #8, your comment just revealed to all that you ain’t no Ben Torah. You seem to be maskim to send budding B’nei Torah to paint garbage cans as our esteemed minister of defense, Ehud Barak suggested. These are the best years for a Yid to learn Torah. And before you open your big mouth, I served in the IDF (both sadir and milluim).