Rabbi Chanoch Rogozinsky, one of the Rabbonim who helped pave the way for the Charedi infantry units in the IDF, spoke to a joint meeting of commanders from all units in the IDF who are preparing to take in Charedi soldiers. Rogozinsky addressed the issue of the IDF conscription law, and the path chosen by Chareidi soldiers themselves who choose to enlist.
“No matter what law comes to pass, no law will harm the Yeshiva world. The Chareidi soldiers currently in the IDF are there because they are volunteering to do so, not because they are being forced by the law to do so”, he said.
While discussing the challenges that the IDF faces should it choose to integrate Chareidim into existing units, Rogozinsky spoke to the assembled officers about the Hashkafos of Chareidim which are not in line with the army, and the high regard they have for the Yeshivas and Torah. Similarly, numerous officers gathered said that they were uninterested in having Charedim join the army if they did not have the motivation or desire to help their country.
“This reality leads us to the conclusion that anyone who wishes to join the army can do so as a volunteer and of his own free will. Today, there is a great increase in the idea of becoming more involved in society, and many people in the Chareidi community want to have a stronger connection to the state of Israel. However, a young Chareidi man who wants to continue to invest in his learning, there is not now, nor will there ever be a law that will pull him out of the Beis Midrash.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)