Hesder’s Image Sinking Rapidly in Israel


hesder4.jpgOne might say Bayit Yehudi’s tenacious efforts to compel chareidim to serve in the IDF, aligning with Yesh Atid, have backfired. The anti-hesder sentiment is spreading throughout Israel as MK Elazar Stern and others express their disapproval of hesder and the fact that these soldiers only serve 16 months in the IDF. Stern told the Shaked Committee that after the new chareidi draft law is in place; chareidim will have a longer military service than hesder talmidim.

As part of the growing anti-hesder sentiment, Channel 10 News filed a report painting an unfavorable picture of header yeshivos.

Channel 10 reported that for one thing, it took a long time and much probing to obtain the information requested to complete the report, “as if someone protects them”, but they did eventually receive the sought after information. According to the Defense Ministry, there are currently 18 recognized hesder yeshivos nationwide. Of that number, 25% failed the ministry attendance check in 2013. Of the 2,950 registered hesder talmidim, 534 were not present. One example given was the Orot Aviv Hesder Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, where 11 of the 17 registered talmidim were absent on inspection day.

Channel 10 adds that of the 534 missing talmidim, only 7 were ousted from hesder, detailing that there are no apparent consequences against talmidim who do not comply with the terms of their program.

The report showed how once talmidim are alerted to an inspection they begin notifying others in difficult yeshivos via SMS text messaging and WhatsApp.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. I doubt their image has deteriorated among the Religious Zionists. The supporters of Hesder, and Religious Zionism, were naive to believe the secular Israelis were impressed with those who combined military service with learning Torah. Many thought the anti-Torah campaign was just anti-Hareidi. It is similar to how many German Jews thought the Nazis were only against Ostjuden and were shocked to find they too were being targetted.

  2. Bayit Yehuda and the Mizrachi Daati opened a can of worms with their attacks against Chareidi IDF service that is now coming back to haunt the hesder.

  3. It’s obvious that the dati leumi and their Bayit Hayehudi representatives are just an extension of the Zionist government which was only created to shmad the truly frum Jews of E”Y. Now that they think they’re succeeding (i.e. they’re passing anti Torah laws in order to conscript yeshiva bochurim), there’s actually no longer a need for their institutions (eg. Hesder yeshivas). They likely don’t even mind that the government will dismantle them and use the money for further conversion of the hareidim into hilonim.

  4. akupers: The Dati Leumi and the Bayit haYehudi representatives are increasingly upset at the “frankenstein” they created. They will probably attempt to put an end to this crisis. When forced to choose between “dati” and “leumi” I believe most will choose Torah. My analogy to how German Jews in the early 1930s viewed ostjuden is relevant.

  5. akupers: I don’t know how many hours you spend learning Torah each day or how much you “shuckle” during davening, but I am shocked and offended by your Hotza’as Shem Ra against the Zionistic bnei Torah and B’nei yeshiva – including myself.
    Firstly – do not connect Bayit Yehudi with every Dati Leumi person because many didn’t vote for them, and many who did were just as shocked as you at their about face after the election. They are politicians, not Rabonim or Roshei Yeshiva.
    I don’t know about the yeshiva they mentioned or whatever boys are not showing up – but maybe before you talk you should enter the halls of Kerem B’yavne, Sha’alvim, Har Etzion, Yerucham, HaKotel and the list goes on. Have you ever gone in? Have you ever seen the full batei midrash learning three sedarim a day like any other black hat yeshiva? Have you sat in on their shiurim which have lower and highter levels – I have encountered the highest levels of Brisker style shiurim in Hesder Yeshivas.
    Have you heard their Shiurim Klaliyim, have you sat in on their sichos mussar? Have you been there on Thursday nights when seder ends after midnight and talmidim sing and dance lekavod Shabbos? Have you spent a Shabbos in these yeshivos?
    There is, l’maise, one major difference between these yeshivos and chareidi ones. When rockets start falling and guns start firing at Jewish men women and children – half of the Beis Midrash empties out. They close their gemaras, call their mothers to let them know, and they – nineteen to twenty five year old yeshiva bochrim – risk their young , not yet lived lives of Avodas HaShem, to fullfill the mitzvah of ‘haba lehargcha hashkem lehargo’.
    Eilu v’eilu divrei E-lokim Chaim – but you were just motzi shem ra on kedoshei elyon.

  6. The Hezder guys are willing to serve 3 full years if they have to. Actually, its the Charedi world that has created their own Frankenstein. No army, no English, no Math, No Computers=NO JOBS Their would be no Teruma or Maaser today, since some of these these guys wouldnt work the fields!

  7. HoRav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht ZTKLLH’H the founder of this wonderful Hesder set up [whose 19th Johrzeit was Friday 13 days ago] was a saint & a Giant in Toroh, who grew up in Chareidi circles, but understood the need for a Hesder program, which has B’H grown manifold since its inception during 1953.

    I owe my “Chashivus haToroh” exclusively to Rav Goldvicht ZTKLLH’H who inculcated this concept to his numerous Talmmidim.

  8. you are mixing real hesder yeshivot with political yeshivot that ought be booted from hesder. as one who works in Israel, my chiloni north ta friends respect hesder yeshivot like gush etzion, which my son attended. as they say – that is from where our religious leaders and investment bankers come. you won’t hear that about other places.