Moetzas Agudas Yisrael to Convene to Discuss Draft Law


moetThe Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael is scheduled to convene on Monday 13 Teves 5774 to discuss the government’s new draft law, which is still in committee as lawmakers are working to finalize the bill to present it in Knesset.

The council is scheduled to convene in Yerushalayim at 5:00 PM in the afternoon to discuss how talmidim should respond when they receive draft notices from the military. It appears that most of the admorim are of the opinion that the talmidim should ignore the letters totally and not respond to induction centers, even to fill out basic information.

The Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah of Degel Hatorah feels that talmidim should report and limit their cooperation to filling out basic information such as name, address and date of birth. The followers of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita however have adopted a more extreme approach, in line with the majority of admorim, to totally ignore draft notices.

One must remember the induction process is a lengthy one spread over a year or more and the rabbonim must decide if the talmidim may respond to first and second notices which amount to paperwork and medical exams. There are admorim who are of the opinion that talmidim should report to the draft office but refuse to fill out any forms. This will unquestionably place the talmidim and avreichim in a difficult position.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Agudah and Degel ha-Torah (and Shas) have a great deal “on the line” since they were always anxious to be recipients of Israeli taxpayer funds. By resisting conscription they lose patronage and parnassah they have spend generations cultivating. The Eidah hareidis (who the article considers to be “extremists” though are they are the only frum group with a consistent position unaffected by a need to get government funding) have always opposed conscription and aren’t dependent on zionist money, and since they have always opposed the state, are in a much better position to argue that they should be exempt as conscientious objectors.

  2. #2 – They are more likely to vote for learning Torah, written as one who has childen who have shouldered the burden of learning Torah. The real question is to what extent the fear the wrath of the Israeli government versus the danger of seeing the Eidah Hareidis emerge as the leading voice of the Bnei Torah in Eretz Yisrael.

  3. 2 & #
    As one who’s children and grands are shouldering the burden of learning Torah and the burden of serving the nation, which are TWO EXEMPLARY burdens, perhaps some decision will be made that can be workable.

    Do not believe that the Edah will ever be the leading voice of Bnei Torah in EY, just as Satmar will never be leading voice of Bnei Torah in America.

  4. #5 – for the Edah Hareidis to become the leading voice of Bnei Torah in Eretz Yisrael it would require the state to thorougly discredit the other hareidi leaders. History if full of examples of groups and invididuals who were considered totally marginal, but who suddenly emerged as the leadership when the normal and sane people were discredited. Consider the nutcase Winston Churchill (as he was seen in the 1930s) who replaced the sane and responsible Chamberlain. Look at the rise of the zionists who were seen as dangerous fools in the 1920s, but emerged as leaders by 1946 through no fault of their own. Consider Nelson Mandela who almost was hanged and emerged as the savior of the nation. All it takes is changed circumstances.

    Mass arrests and government actions to close down hareidi yeshivos would discredit the parties who have tied their fates to the government (such as Agudah). If they manage to convince the government to call off the persecution, they emerge as the leadership. If they can’t convince the zionists to back down they will either lose all influence (imagine a pro-Axis isolationist in the US in January 1942), or will have to shift to a position similar to what the Eidah holds now.