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The Foresight Of HaGaon HaRav Shach, Z’tl Who Refused 100% State Funding For Yeshivos

Following the Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday morning that bnei yeshivos must be drafted to the IDF and funding to the yeshivos halted, UTJ chairman Meir Gafni published a photo of HaGaon HaRav Shach, z’tl.

“HaGaon HaRav Shach, z’tl foresaw it,” Gafni wrote. “HaRav Shach insisted to [Menachem] Begin that he won’t accept 100% funding for yeshivos. Without the chachmah of HaRav Shach, the yeshivos would chalilah, collapse. The Torah will win!”

Agudas Yisrael MK Shlomo Lorincz wrote about the incident in his book במחיצתם. In 1977, in a major turnabout, the Likud party led by Menachem Begin won the elections, the first time in Israeli history that the right wing defeated the left.

Lorincz decided to take advantage of the opportunity and scheduled a meeting with Begin to request a budget increase for the yeshivos. At the meeting, Rav Lorincz requested that the government provide 50% of the yeshivos’ budget. Begin smiled and said: “Why 50%? Why not 100%?”

Rav Lorincz told the Moetez Gedolei Hatorah about Begin’s generous offer and it was received with great excitement. But then HaRav Shach, z’tl, stood up and said sternly: “It’s forbidden to agree that mosdos Torah will receive full funding from the government. I learned this from the Chofetz Chaim.”

Rav Shach explained that a government can arise in the future that does not want to support yeshivos and the yeshivos will have no connections with ba’alei tzedaka to fall back on. HaRav Shach added that he also learned from the Chofetz Chaim to grant every Jew the zechus to donate to yeshivos and through this, gain chizzuk and send his own children to yeshivos.

“And apart from that, why would I give all the zechuyos of supporting Torah in Eretz Yisrael to the State?” Rav Shach concluded.

Ultimately, Rav Shach agreed to receive 40% of the budget for yeshivos from the State.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. The Satmar are right, we must NOT vote in these kefira elections at the minimum the frum must bring down the current government

  2. “The Satmar are right, we must NOT vote in these kefira elections at the minimum the frum must bring down the current government”


    The “current government” coalition relies upon political hacks from Shas, Agudah and Degel Hatorah (UTJ) for 60 votes in the Knesset. Glad you agree with us that these religious parties (along with Bibi’s chevrah) should be “taken down”.

  3. Satmar Ruv didn’t even agree to 40%

    And whos laughing now?

    All the mosdos על טהרת הקודש, that never took money from the state, have been well set up an will continue to function as they have in the past

    It’s time to stand up and apologize publicly and proclaim “The Satmar Ruv was right”

  4. You do know that a young Rav Shach taught in a Religious Zionist yeshiva, right? I guess we’ve expunged the record of his early teaching career out of embarrassment…

  5. If the roshei yeshivos had adopted the shitah of the heilege Chafetz Chaim and taken Rav Shach’s eitzah, they would now be financially independent and wouldn’t have to ship their gadolim off to the U.S. to go begging for dollars to replace government stipends.

  6. I don’t understand why these same arguments are not applicable to government funding of Yeshivas in the US. Satmar is the biggest receiver of NYS funds

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