The question many chareidim will be asking is if the newly-elected head of the Labor Party, MK Yitzchak Herzog, will fulfill the wishes of his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchak Halevy Herzog ZT”L. The former chief rabbi on 13 Cheshvan 5713 sent a letter to President Chaim Herzog, the father of the newly-elected Labor party leader and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
Rav Herzog called on them to permit bnei yeshivos to continue learning and not draft them into the IDF. They complied with his request and that status quo has continued until today, when the current administration is working to pass a new draft law that will compel chareidim to serve in the military.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
The grandfather was a leading zionist Ben Torah who if had his way would have seen Israel as a Jewish state (needless to say, he failed).
The father remained a modern orthodox “Baal ha-hayis”.
The son is somewhat openly anti-religious, and unlike the person he defeated for the leadership of the socialist party, has rejected the idea of the socialists working with the hareidim. He has publicly supported persecution of hareidim, though “real politick” might encourage moderation if it serves his needs.
Ben Gurion and his lot agreed to not drafting chareodom because, like all the zionist “founding fathers,’ believed the new nationalist identity would subsume religious identity. IOW, it wasn’t worth fighting the chareidim on this issue because, with the new national identity to replace them, they were going to disappear in a generation or two anyway. Well, things didn’t exactly turn out that way but the true zionists have not given up on their dream: a Jewish people without Judaism
It occured to me that due to the similarities between Herzog on the one hand, and Bennett/Lapid on the other, that he will enable Labor to draw votes away from Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi (especially the former). If enough of Bayit Yehudi is willing to leave Bennett and they get enough seats to pass the new threshold for (as a religious nationalist, Dati Leumi party), it could create a situation resulting in a Likud-Hareidi-Religious Nationalist coalition (which could occur now, but for Bayit Yehudi not want to ally with Hareidim). The important observation is that Bennett is a lot closer to Herzog on religious matters than he is to the Hareidim, but that isn’t necessarily so of most of Bayit Yehudi’s supporters.
Rav Herzog zt”l was a huge Talmid Chocham, Ish Emes and close to all the Gedolim of his day.