A Look At The New IDF Draft Law: Torah Study Will Be Considered A ‘Basic Value’ And Worthy Of Exemption


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

For months, Chareidi MKs maintained secrecy around the new draft law, in order to prevent unnecessary confrontations or incitement against the chareidim from public figures like Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Even when journalists obtained details of the draft bill, senior officials sought to prevent publication, for fear that it could harm the chareidi community.

Now, a draft of the law is being revealed. According to Yaki Adamaker’s report in Walla News, the basis of the law will be recognition of Torah study as a “basic value.” According to the draft law: “Torah study is a fundamental value in the heritage of the Jewish people. The State of Israel as a Jewish state is of the utmost importance in encouraging Torah study and learning Torah.”

The bill aims to compare one who studies Torah to someone who serves in the army, and thus will be exempted from enlistment. According to the bill, “those who have committed to devote themselves to Talmud Torah for a long period of time will be recognized as those who serve the Jewish people, and their right to defer other debts, including national security or security services, will be guaranteed.”

The explanatory note to the bill states that “beyond the fact that these values ​​were worthy of anchoring in any case, this clarification was also meant to address the issue that the Supreme Court sought to regulate.” The Basic Law is also intended to clarify the Knesset’s position, which enshrines the policy of all and that in view of the centrality of the value of Torah study and its importance as a service to the Jewish people, those who wish to dedicate themselves to Torah study for a long period of time will receive an exemption from the duty of the security service.”

It is also written, “From the birthplace of the Jewish people, Torah study was the cornerstone of the nation’s existence, and even in times of crisis and destruction Torah study was a refuge and shelter for the nation.” The Basic Law proposes to properly anchor in the Basic Law the great importance and great value that the state sees in the study of Torah and its desire to encourage Torah study across sectors.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. I think the basic problem is not with the men sitting and learning but with those sitting on the supreme court who have other ideas and in their eyes they are correct and they will probably chop down this law asap.

    First the Kenesset needs to pass a law reducing down the authority of the Supreme court by outlining their duties and putting a year restriction of how long a justice can serve.

    Maybe then we can begin to have a real Jewish state.

  2. I am a strong proponent of serving in the IDF. I am also a strong proponent of learning Torah for Torah’s sake. I am thrilled that young men can follow their hearts without any penalty.

  3. it should also say that the Torah is what protects Am Yisroel not atheist generals who are immoral, Zionism is the problem and ultimately what is the enemy of Torah. from long island- while YOU might be a “proponent of serving in the IDF”, daas Torah says the opposite, so I will follow Daas Torah over you.

  4. garlic – How will “putting a year restriction of how long a justice can serve” help change the character of the court? Do you think that the younger judges are more “conservative” than the older ones? Also I assume you know that that in Israel – unlike in the US – members of the supreme court must retire by a certain age (70).

  5. About this issue in general. Even people ok in principle with young men learning instead of going to the army get frustrated with the general ptur because of the large number of people abusing it. Walk into many yeshivas, and it’s not like 99% of the guys there are focused on learning seriously, with rare exceptions. In many places, even very good ones, you might have 5 or even 10% of the guys that are generally slacking off regularly. Outside of the yeshivas these people would be in serious trouble with the army, but instead these bochrim take refuge by being officially listed as learning. I think this not uncommon abuse seriously hurts the credibility of the yeshiva system and those who push for these pturim. It’s an unfortunate case where טוביה חטא וזיגוד מינגד. And unfortunately there are too many טוביה’s.

  6. the IDF has become so anti-Torah and mixed gender everything, that no frum Jew should be in it no matter if they’re learning Torah or not!
    Just love the fact that non Israelis are such proponents of serving in the IDF when they are sitting pretty in Long Island or elsewhere and aren’t serving.

  7. This isn’t just about the value of Torah learning. The bigger problem is that the military is a danger to Torah observance. What do you think happens there? They break you. They change over the authority structure from the Torah to the military.

  8. nowecant,

    Of course you ignored the part where FLI said he is “a strong proponent of learning Torah for Torah’s sake”

    Don’t let facts get in the way of your pontificating.

  9. I have many friends who served in the army, and never did I get the sense that it is anti-Torah. Sure there are challenges to being frum, with limited time to learn, to daven, etc. But these are challenges *anywhere* outside koslei beis hamedrish. Your descriptions are equally descriptive of most work professions – oh, no, the only way I can get to work on time is if I daven without a minyan, before netz, and daven mincha in a stairwell because I don’t have my own office, and I don’t have so much time to learn, and I get home often right before lighting, etc, etc. Do you feel the same way towards work as you do towards serving in the army? Against doctors and plumbers and lawyers and car mechanics and accountants and store owners, etc that face many of the same challenges to being frum every single day?

  10. to M

    Poople who sit on the supreme court forever never seem to get with the reality of life; they are stuck with old ideas. We need to get fresh blood on the supreme court.

    BTW my sons and son in law served in the IDF. They went in frum and came out frum. I worked as a civilian for many years in the IDF and know what it is like there.

    My opinion is that the frum people should enlist en mass to make a real needed change in the IDF, but I know it most likely won’t happen in the next few days….