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HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach Explains His Decision To Halt Cooperation With Induction Centers

and close to the turnaround at Yated Neeman.

HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach explained the policy of not responding to IDF induction centers to submit one’s personal information and sign that one is learning in Yeshivah. Rav Auerbach says this policy was initiated by Yeshiva Bochrim. This is a policy that is contrary to Gedolei Hador in Bnei Brak and represents the policy of what has come to be known as the Jerusalem Faction or The Peleg.

Rav Auerbach made his remarks during a gathering in his home on Motzei Shabbos marking the yahrzeit of Maran HaGaon HaRav Shach ZT”L. During the gathering, Rav Auerbach addressed the “gezeira of the draft” as well as the recent protests of the Peleg. As he was speaking, to the surprise of many, he addressed why he instructs his talmidim and avreichim not to respond to induction centers at all.

The call not to respond to induction centers first began in 5772 (2012), shortly after the abolition of the Tal Law which allowed full-time yeshiva students to defer army service.

The reason for prohibiting Bochurim from reporting to daft centers is because after the Tal Law they no longer had a legal status to avoid the draft, and the Peleg claimed that the legal opinion they received stated that one who reports to an induction center [to fill out personal information] had actually been legally inducted. Thus, from a legal standpoint, one’s situation would be better off by not reporting to the draft center altogether.

Later, laws were legislated once again giving bnei torah a legal status, but the Peleg continued with instructions not to report to draft centers, claiming that reporting and registering as required, was tantamount to agreeing with the [new] law.

During the recent wave of protests, some 50 participants aligned with the Peleg were taken to IDF prison after it was determined they were officially classified as deserters. As of Tuesday, 18 Cheshvan, over 30 remained imprisoned.

Rav Auerbach stated, “Young bochurim approach me almost daily explaining they do want to register, and yet I cannot force them to report to induction centers. I sit here and I should tell them what to do? To report or not to report? They honestly are giving me chizuk. They explain how can we report, how can we? Each fears the other. לפעמים נערים פני זקנים ילבינו.

Bochrim come and they are getting stronger (being mischazeik)…correct, I always say not to report to induction centers chas v’sholom. How can I say such a thing?…there is a tzibur, the tzibur is coming and this is how it all started. The tzibur approached me once on a motzei Shabbos to inquire what I think about the gezeira, what do I understand and what do I know. There are those who say otherwise and this tzibur wishes to receive chizuk from me vis-à-vis the gezeira. What do I say and think?

“I ask mechila for saying it, but I feel the need to say it”.

The words of Rav Auerbach were published by correspondent Yair Cherki on Twitter, stating, “The interesting recording of Rav Auerbach reveals how the struggle against the gezeira of induction was born, from the ‘bottom’ and why he would instruct talmidei yeshivas not to report to draft centers”.

The audio was published, however not by the Peleg faction but by those against the Peleg, the mainstream litvish chareidim, for they feel it is proof that the Peleg faction ideology is none other than representative of the will of a few hot heads and not in any way daas Torah” Cherki adds.

It is added that the transcript of the rabbi’s words published on Sunday in the HaPeles, aligned with the Peleg, tells a different story.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. Ok, just totally confusing. Someone please do a better job of translating, and then proofrrad, for heaven’s sake. This is is not a story about, oh, i don’t know, a Yeshiva dinner. This is pretty big info. We all know how this business has affected isrsel and all jewish communities. Please add a link to the original!!!!

  2. Hard to understand, but basically seems to confirm R Shmuels position is as has always been understood. This Shariki (who probably has zero affiliations and is completely unbiased) is just trying to make a story out of the fact R Shmuel said that its what he answered to bochurim, rather than R Shmuel “banging on the bima” and publicising his psak. Basically he gave bochurim the choice whether or not to ask him. Apparently this is proof that he doesn’t really mean his psak. I mean honestly.

    So what exactly is the big story here?

  3. במחילת כבוד הרב, this is rambling that basically straddles both sides of the fence. On one hand, he supports the direction, but still denies establishing the rule. There is no clear cut הוראה from this. You cannot say he supported the protests and violence, or that he considers this a mitzvah that takes precedence over the issur of chilul Hashem or the prohibition of damaging others. But he also does not condemn this. We remain as uninformed of what Rav Auerbach believes as we were before he spoke.

  4. The Government just backed down and is allowing Yeshiva students to register at their Yeshiva and not have to come to an induction center. This is a victory for Rabbi Auerbach and it seems that he is looking for a way to end the protests. Obviously he can not announce this as a victory or the Government will reverse its decision. It would seem that the squeaky wheel got oiled in the end.

  5. Sounds like some doofus misinterpreted what some cheapo lawyer told him about the draft law, encouraging bochurim to evade the law even more than necessary, and then presented the misinformation to the Rav. The Rav realized that he was not being given accurate information and he knows he can’t trust the askanim. Therefore, he declines to give a psak.

  6. the little i know – i tend to agree with the others. i don’t think this is rambling, but rather a really poor translation. i couldn’t understand a word.

  7. This is very rambling and as it is published here fairly meaningless. It gives the impression that Rav Auerbach doesn’t really understand what is going on and allows his views to be formed and formulated by a few bochurim. Why has YWN not published what HaPeles says? [No I have not seen it so am not making a point].

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