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Rabbi Dov Landau: Yeshiva Students Should Not Respond to IDF Calls – Even for a Postponement

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In the wake of the Supreme Court decision ordering the military to immediately draft Haredi students and Defense Minister Gallant’s announcement that he will send draft notices to 3,000 Haredim next month, anger within the Haredi community in Israel is reaching a boiling point. Haredi MKs are being asked why they would remain in a coalition that fails to meet their basic demand for a fair law allowing yeshiva students to continue their education (while also setting quotas for those who do not study within yeshivas).




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It is also clear that the IDF has not yet established the religious apparatus and framework that could support a full Haredi brigade, although there are contacts between leading rabbis, including Rabbi Dovid Leibel, and the army to establish such a brigade by November-December. Rabbi Leibel emphasized to his students this week that Haredim should not enlist in the IDF at this time.

On Thursday, Rabbi Dov Landau, head of the Lithuanian Council of Torah Sages, issued a statement in the Yated Neeman newspaper urging all Haredim not to go to draft centers, even to receive a deferment. This is a departure from the previous position of gedolim, who said that Haredim should go to draft centers to receive a deferment, in contrast to the Jerusalem faction and Eda Charedis, who have consistently urged yeshiva students to ignore all calls from the IDF.

In his letter, he wrote that “during the government in Israel, there was an agreement with the heads of the army that yeshiva and kolle students would not be conscripted into the army, therefore, the gedolim ordered the society to cooperate with the authorities of the IDF to regulate the issue of exemption, including going to conscription centers in order to obtain the status of a yeshiva student.

“Now the courts have declared war on the world of Torah and are aiming to change the arrangements that have existed all these years, including ordering the army to begin drafting yeshiva students. Since the IDF is subordinate to the courts, it is now obvious that we cannot rely on agreements and understandings with the army chiefs, because their hands are tied by the judges. Any acceptance by the courts would be a surrender to the war waged against Hashem and his Torah.

“Therefore, we order yeshiva students not to report to the draft centers even when called upon, not even on the first call (before the draft, in order to receive a deferment).

“May Hashem save us from their hands and may we be worthy of seeing an increase in the number of Torah students who are immersed in Torah day and night. Torah is our life and the length of our days, no object can harm it.”

During a meeting with Rabbi Chaim Aharon Kaufman, head of the Vaad Hayeshivos, Rabbi Landau emphasized that “a state that recruits yeshiva students has no right to exist. If they want to take away the merit of studying Torah during a war, it is absolute suicide.”

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