Bennett’s Plan Condemned by Chareidi Lawmakers


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gimAfter Minister of Industry & Trade Naftali Bennett unveiled details of his chareidi draft plan, chareidi MKs responded with anger. The plan detailed in part by Bennett at the Sixth Lod Conference was met by a large measure of agitation and harsh reactions from chareidi elected officials.

MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Yaakov Litzman stated “He is violating the traditional and legal status of the bnei yeshivos who have declared Torah study as their profession”. Litzman added that despite efforts to set quotas and limit the number of talmidim who may continue learning, “The Torah world of the yeshivos will continue flourishing quantitatively and qualitatively and there is no power that will succeed to harm those who are committed to a life of Torah.”

MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Meir Porush added “Anyone with a hand or a role in the new arrangement that intends to harm bnei yeshivos and the current arrangement, the arrangement that existed to date will be remembered for eternal disgrace.”

“The eternal Jewish People have stood firm throughout history in the face of many trials and tribulations. There is no doubt that we will succeed in the face of these gezeiros as well,” he concluded.

Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev called Bennett’s plan “utter nonsense”, confident it will not be implemented as Bennett plans. Ze’ev feels it is impossible to limit of number of lomdei Torah to 1,800 annually, questioning how such a regulation will be enforced. “There is no way the Torah world and roshei yeshiva will agree to permit implementation of the program. The idea of a quota system is undemocratic and reminiscent of regimes of the past. There is a historical relevance to these decisions.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Any ideas floating from the Charedi lawmakers? Continous NO and NO will not end the conflict.
    Perhaps a supportive applause for Nachal Charedi and those that do want to enlist might be a step in the right direction.

  2. A quota with the rabbanim forced to choose who will be frum, and who will be turned over to the enemy. Should Ashkenzim be allowed to learn, or should Sefardim? Satmar or Lubavitch? Yeminites or Litvaks? Kids from rich families or paupers? Done properly, mass resistance would only be from the hard core anti-zionists, but this guarantees overwhelmingly mass resistance. It is amazing that they would choose to model conscription on a plan pioneered by one of the most evil czars.

  3. If there will be achdus by the Chareidim then NOTHING will happen.

    I’m still amazed at the chutzpa some of you have on questioning the Gedolim who say no Yeshiva Bochur should have to go to the army.

    I question why anyone should go to the Army! Its a place where one’s life becomes “Meaningless”, he is sent to dangerous places with their hand tied behind their backs, no air support etc. Because the USA may say not like the bombing. SICK!!!!

  4. If giving a free pass to nearly 2000 bnai torah to avoid the draft and sit in kollel is still not enough for the Chareidi politicians and rabbonim, then they clearly have no interest in any compromise and the government should simply ignore them and implement whatever system they find equitable.

  5. #3, if you consider the IDF the enemy maybe you should go to live in some Arab country or Iran. You will probably get a senior position.
    #5, what are you talking about? What are you qulaifications as a military tactician?

  6. #6 (and other similar thinkers):

    1) The idea of 1800 exemptions (you raised it to 2000) is ludicrous and not implementable. What objective standard could be used to determine who is eligible? Those “masmidim” who keep the sdorim? I guarantee that in that case there will be lots more than 2000 who qualify. Who will choose which ones are in? Bechinos? The same applies.

    2) Of course they have no interest in any compromise. Why should they? Now, if some reasonable solution was suggested that would make everyone happy, I’m sure it would be considered carefully, but so far nothing reasonable has been suggested.

    3) The government can ignore them, but the bnei Torah will not, and that can be a big problem for the government.

  7. If the army is such a terrible place then maybe we should just shut the whole thing down and live in peace with all of our friendly neighbors. Really now, who believes that nonsense. I still do not believe that anywhere near 100% of the Chareidim are learning full time, they are each being given an automatic 3 year exemption and all that the government asks is that before going off to work you give something back whether its army or sherut leumi. And as far as sharing the burden is concerned, most people will be able to cut their service from 3 years to 2 years – of course depending upon everyone else joining and that seems fair to me. The army is willing to accommodate the frum by setting more more nachal chareidi and hesder units.

  8. #6 There can never be ANY compromise on a new CANTONIST DECREE where Jews will once again be forcefully conscripted to an anti-Torah MILITARY OF SHMAD.

    Charedi politicians and Rabbanim are baruch Hashem not little guys like you who have no understanding for Torah and love of yiddishkeit.

  9. Twenty-five or is it already thirty years after the IDF professionals requested that the draft be ended and that it be made into a professional army, we still have the draft. Let it be clear, there is no military need for a draft. The draft exists as a means of political and social control. It wastes Billions of Shekels and tens of thousands of people every year.

    There is constant bantering about how the Hareidi community needs to change due to changing circumstances. Nothing is said about the need for the Secular elites changing due to changing circumstances. And that is the real problem. Israel’s elites have yet to abandon their dream of creating a Communist utopia in Israel. A utopia populated with a docile and obedient proletariat that will work their fields and factories. For the most part, they do not have any theological or philosophical problems with Torah. It is just that it gets in the way of their plans. That is why they are willing to throw a bone or two to the Torah community in the hope it will help keep them docile.

    So let us focus on the real issues. It is not the draft, it is not the Hareidim, it is not the economy, it is tyranny. It is on the desire of the few thousand “aristocrats” desperate to maintain their privileges and high standard of living. This is not all that different from what is happening in Syria, Egypt, Iran and North Korea. We are fortunate that, so far, our “aristocrats” have not resorted to mass murder to retain power.

    Aryeh Zelasko
    Beit Shemesh

  10. On one hand, I think the Charedi leaders should make sure when somne Charedim call Israeli police or soldiers Nazis to openly and CLEARLY condemn it as absolutely unacceptable, not just refer in passing to them as nuts. And likewise when some support the PLO and Iran, to openly and CLEARLY condemn them as BOGDIM and SONEI YISROEL, not be SILENT or only in passing as “nuts”. Likeiwse Israeli soldiers shopuld be clearly refered to as HEROES that defend Millions of Jews. Then we should also of course voice that unlike what Israeli diplomats declare that the Jews cant exist wihtout Israel, that the Jews who existed 2000 years wihtout Israel cant exist without ther Torah and G-d. While of course the Jewish national homeland nd Holy Land where we had our kings and prtophets and Temples is sacred to us and the security of its 6 million Jews sacrosant. The YEshivas provide major protection to Israel. But I think we need some compromise as well, via Nahal Haredi for some for example, perhaps after a few years in yeshiva or less for the less inclined to sit in yeshiva.

  11. #6 i think you should change your name because i think you are the ONLY ” gadolhatora” who seems to agree with the Government plan maybe change your name to “uproothetorah”

    AS your name suggest listen to the gadolhadors as they know what is best for Am Yisrael

  12. They should have even the rabbanut in charge over any haredi battalion/brigade/etc. and the rabbanut committing to ensure every haredis freedom of religion. then they should have a “kollel” which tests their tuckas. whoever can’t sit for 4 hrs straight, without needing a coffee/nap/mikvah/cig/politics/babysitting etc. should be drafted (just kidding). anything but an athiest with a clear goal of hating the haredis, dictating their destination.

  13. Picking a number of exemptions is the “cantonist” solution. Who gets the exemptions? Zionists or Hareidim. Sefardim or Ashkenazim. Litvaks or Hasidim. Yemenites or Moroccans. It is a strategy modeled after what the Russians did, and is clearly designed and intended to destroy the frum community by forcing each group to fight it out, with the losers being drafted.

    Someone said above “If the army is such a terrible place then maybe we should just shut the whole thing down and live in peace with all of our friendly neighbors.” – that’s what the Eidis hareidis has been saying for the last century. Anyone who agrees with them should be exempt as a conscientious objector even if they have no intention of learning. That’s probably about 20% of the yeshiva exemptions.

    Past experience shows that a fairly high percentage of graduates of religious high schools who were Shomer Mitsvos as 17 years olds, exit the army as secular 21 year olds. It is clearly the goal of people like Lapid to get similar results by drafting hareidim (especially if the draft is limited to those without the protectksia to get exemptions wqho would enter the army feeling they are cast-outs from the yeshiva world). Bennett on the other hand, hopes they’ll leave the army as religious zionists.

  14. “It is amazing that they would choose to model conscription on a plan pioneered by one of the most evil czars.”

    They are trying to be conciliatory. You’d prefer that everyone be drafted, the same way the non-religious and the datim are treated? And why are all the exemptions for charedim? Is the torah at Mercaz HaRav or Har Etzion really less meritorious?

    “I question why anyone should go to the Army! ”

    Because pikuach nefesh trumps even talmud torah. No army, no yeshivot. In fact, no army, no Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

    “What objective standard could be used to determine who is eligible? ”

    Absolute nonsense. Every institution of learning has ways to figure out who are the good learners who should be supported, and who is wasting their time. Secular undergraduate institutions flunk people out; secular graduate schools weed people out. Modern orthodox yeshivot and kollelim advise students when they need to go get a career, and their torah is no different from charedi yeshivot and kollelim.

    And if you don’t say there are any standards, then you will agree that there is no way to distinguish between, say, me, and any of the living Gedolim. As I said, that is nonsense.

  15. #6: As per the instructions of the Gedolim, the Chareidim will never accept forbidding people who want to dedicate their life to learning Torah from doing say, no matter what Halfbrained idea Lapid and his lapdog Bennett come up with.

  16. Israel should give serious consideration to an all-volunteer army. The US went in that direction in the early ’70s, and it seems to have worked out well. Of course, the US and Israel are in radically different circumstances in so many ways that the US experience is not necessarily a good predicter of the likely outcome for Israel. But if it works, it would end the dispute over the draft, and leave only the dispute over how much the taxpayers should support the bnei Torah and kollel.

  17. #3 –

    1. If, to you, Am Yisrael is “the enemy” – who does that make you?

    2. “overwhelmingly mass resistance” – to what? Still dreaming of a forced draft?

    3. Which “one of the most evil czars” chose to limit his financial support of yeshiva bochurim to 1800 a year?

    4. How will the Gedolim choose who will be counted amongst the 1800 a year who will continue to receive full government funding? I don’t know – perhaps by test? In any case, don’t you trust them?

  18. #19:

    “mass resistance” — it appears that a large number of yeshivos will be encouraging and organizing refusal — the government can either ignore them (in effect, ending the concept of compulsory conscription), or try to arrest them. Fines won’t work since almost all yeshiva students are “judgement proof”, and most yeshivos rely on funding from overseas – and seizing foreign funds sent to Israeli NGO’s would be seriously illegal under international law.

    “financial support” is not an issue. Many yeshivos have always refused to accept money from the government. The only issue is conscription. If the zionists were only interested in financial issues, they would cut off state funding (to those yeshivos that accept it), and legalize non-veterans to seek gainful employment outside the yeshiva world (since at present, Israeli law prohibits hariedim from “working” unless they serve in the military).

    “Gedolim choose” — which Gedolim, your’s or mine. “By test” – who writes the test — if you answer according to my posek you get to learn Torah, but if you answer by someone else’s posek you get sent to the front. And again, the issue isn’t government funding, it’s whether people will be required to serve in the military. The Bennett and Lapid plan is copied from the Russians – force the Jews to fight each other and destroy themselves (BTW it worked – the tensions created by the Russian draft played a major role in undermining European Jewry, leading to its destruction soon thereafter).

    AM YIsrael’s survival is dependent on learning Torah. Without Torah, nothing else will last. The yeshivos are our first line of defense. To the extent that the IDF has been encouraging Jews to give up on Torah and Mitsvos (and that has been clearly documented – compare the percentage of 17 year old graduate of zionist religious schools who are Shomer Shabbos to the group four years later after the IDF has four years to brainwash them), IDF is the problem. The Bennett and Lapid plans are the biggest threat to klal Yisrael since at least the holocaust (though in all fairness, the Nazis were more of a nuisance albeit a painful one — Jews can survive as long as a core are learning Torah, and it is that core that Bennett is waging war against).

  19. For all those who think this is about government funding for yeshivos –

    I would like to remind you that funding began with Begin who offered to fund the yeshivos comletely. The Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah at that time, and especially Rav Shach, insisted that there would not be more than 50% funding so that the yeshivos would maintain their ties with private donors. That way if at some future time, conditions would be made to receive the government funding, the yeshivos would be able to withstand the pressure.

    That time may be close.

  20. #20 –

    1. You should take the time to read the proposal that you are attacking.

    2. The first stage of the proposal is to allow yeshiva students who have claimed ‘toratam umanutam’ and who have reached the age of 22 to join the workforce without serving and without sanctions. If they all wish to continue learning – God bless. The assumption is that many will avail themselves of the opportunity to learn a trade and get a job.

    3. The second stage of the proposal is to decrease funding for new yeshiva bochurs, in stages, culminating in full state support for only 1800 new bochurs year. Others may, if they choose, continue to study, but both they and their yeshivas will suffer financially. If that is not a problem – then there is no problem.

    4. The assumption is that many mainstream charedim wish to serve but that the charedi power structure has had a vested interest to keep them from serving as every boy who is registered in a yeshiva brings the yeshiva additional government funding, whether or not he is actually learning in any meaningful way. The proposal reverses the financial incentive. Time will tell if the assumption is correct.

    5. Whose Gedolim? Not yours, as the Eida is out of the game anyway. Moetset Gedolei Hatorah of UTJ and Moetset Chachmei Hatorah of Sha”s shouldn’t have too hard of a time designing a test.

    6. As for your ceaseless calumny and sinat yisrael – it is not too late, even for you, to do tshuva.

  21. Yagel: You’re dead wrong.

    The Bennet/Lapid proposal calls for criminal penalties against Bnei Torah (above the 1800) who do not report to the draft, EVEN IF they forgo any government funding.

  22. Is any1 besides me bored of these SAME SAME comments?

    “I’m still amazed at the chutzpa some of you have on questioning the Gedolim who say no Yeshiva Bochur should have to go to the army” – For the few who are knowledgable of Israeli history, the psak of past Gedolim was to enlist after the years of Limud Hatorah are over. The only exemption are for those claiming “Torasu Umnasu”, full day/time (3 sedorim) learning. There is a sizeable group that finds that full-time learning is NOT an option for them.

    There are no plans of forcible ANYTHING….. Funding changes all the time, Section 8 is not available as it was in the past, harder to get PELL & TAP GRANTS, the funding system in Israel is going to change for everyone. That is the bottom line. Opportunities for employment, job training and workstudy is now available for Charedi young men. There are those satisfied with these new opportunities, so instead of harsh, angry, debasing RHETORIC….move forward and commend those who are remaining within the walls of the Beis Medresh and applaud those who are looking for working options. Both are preforming Ltiferes and Lkavod shem shamayim.

  23. #23 –

    After reading your post I reread the entire proposal word for word (you can find it posted on Shaulson’s website).

    My previous comment is perfectly correct and you are misinformed. Read the proposal.