Israel’s Supreme Court Orders Govt to Draft All Bochurim

In a dramatic ruling reversing the 75-year support of the state of Israel for yeshiva bochurim who learn Torah, Israel’s Supreme Court declared that there is no legal allowance for the government to grant exemptions to yeshiva bochurim from military service.

VIN and

In a dramatic ruling reversing the 75-year support of the state of Israel for yeshiva students who immerse themselves in Torah study, The High Court of Justice declared unanimously on Tuesday that there is no longer any legal framework for the government to grant blanket exemptions from military service to charedi yeshiva students. Moreover, it added that the government cannot continue to instruct the IDF and Defense Ministry not to draft such men into IDF service.

The nine-judge panel also ruled that the government can no longer provide financial support for yeshiva students studying in lieu of military service since the law providing for that arrangement has passed.

The court did not however go into the details of how to enforce the law as it stands according to its new ruling, or how many charedi yeshiva students need to be drafted. There are an estimated 67,000 charedi males who are eligible for military service.

The ruling could have dramatic political and societal ramifications since the charedi political parties fiercely oppose the draft for their constituents and are demanding legislation to reinstate draft exemptions, which some Likud MKs have already said they cannot vote for. A provisional law allowing for quotas of 3000 charedim per year to be drafted has passed its initial vote and is being discussed in Knesset committees before being presented for further readings.

The immediate effect of the court’s ruling on charedi males will be the slashing of all funding to yeshivos which defer army service, as well as kollelim whose members have not served in the army or received a complete exemption from service.

Charedi MKs reacted angrily to the court’s ruling. UTJ chairman and Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf tweeted that the decision was “expected and very unfortunate,” since “The State of Israel was established in order to be a home for the Jewish people whose Torah is the bedrock of its existence. The Holy Torah will prevail.”

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Meir Porush stated that the ruling “inevitably leads to two states” — one being “the country that is being run as it is now” and another in which yeshiva students “will continue to study Torah as they used to in the country that Ben Gurion declared. There is no power in the world that can force a person whose soul longs to study Torah to refrain from it.”

As is well known, the Rebbe strongly opposed the drafting of yeshiva bochurim into the army, explaining that their Torah learning is equally important, and in some ways more important, to the security of Eretz Yisroel.

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      “As is well known, the Rebbe spoke staunchly about the critical role of yeshiva bochurim in protecting the nation. The Rebbe went so far as to say that a yeshiva bochur may not leave learning to serve in the army, and doing so compromises the security of the land (Simchas Torah 5737). Since Hashem is the only One who can protect us, the priority must be to earn His protection through Torah and mitzvos. Therefore, although those fighting have the advantage of mesiras nefesh, those who study Torah make a greater contribution to the land’s security (Yud Tes Kislev 5743).”

  1. Maybe there should draft people to send people yeshiva, battei midroshos, chedarim etc.

    Torah Study= security, time for all Yidden to learn more!

  2. It is known that the Rebbe firmly held that ‘spiritual pikuach nefesh’ should compel Torah scholars to leave their comfort zone and combat assimilation. The Rebbe placed a lot of emphasis on the opinions of military and security personnel regarding actual physical pikuach nefesh. Since October 7, security experts have strongly emphasized the need for additional personnel in the army and the requirement for up to two hundred thousand more troops. The logical extension of the Rebbe’s reasoning would be to support their draft. It is obvious that when it comes to actual pikuach nefesh, the claim that Torah study provides spiritual protection has no halachic standing, as a closer examination of all the sources will clearly show. Chabad should be very cognizant of this, as they were the main proponents of this position regarding ‘spiritual pikuach nefesh’.

    1. It’s very nice to hear your thoughts on the matter, but that is not what the Rebbe said. The Rebbe clearly said on many occasions (as quoted in the links above) that Torah of yeshiva bochurim is even more critical to the war than the actual fighting.

      Of course, not frum Yidden will have a hard time accepting this, but we know that Hashem runs the world, and all the fighting is simply a keili for Hashem’s bracha.

      It might be radical and “unrealistic,” but that is what the Rebbe said.

      1. I get all that, but let’s picture this: Imagine if there was someone being killed outside a beis midrash and you said, ‘Well, there are other people whose job is to save the person physically; my job is to contribute to his safety with spiritual means of learning.’ If there is even a safek sfeika that you can help, you would be considered a rotzeach and you would be over the lav of lo ta’amod al dam re’echa. Here too, the military experts say that the need for numbers is unprecedented in Israel’s history since the War of Independence. Putting together the Rebbe’s stance on pikuach nefesh and listening to military experts, perhaps the Rebbe would say that now the situation has changed and a draft for Charedim is necessary.

        1. see, the military experts nowadays are really political experts. the war in gaza could of been over long ago if we didn’t care about world opinion. same with hezbollah. so the idea of drafting an extra 200k soldiors is playing into that warped mindset which makes us loose either way, and much more soldiers r”l killed. our soliders come before “gazan and lebanese “civilians”. actully if theres a shortage of soldiors maybe the military experts (polititions) will be squeezed and fight properly!

          1. The assertion that military experts are not being honest and correct when they say we need numbers was your own conjecture, not the Rebbe’s, as you were quick to point out in your first reply. Therefore, even according to you, the issue is not a clear-cut one either way.

    2. To Save jewish souls, there is no other way then direct contact of as many of us to as many of them, whereas with regard to physical the past 80 or 100 years has demonstrated that it is no longer in the numbers (larger army) that will necessarily win the war, as was clearly demonstrated by the 6 day war and the gulf War, both of which only our Rebbe predicted the results and it was not by getting more Yeshiva boys drafted! It would only make sense that after our Rebbe has such a good track record that the leaders should listen to him, as should we. Moshiach now!

      1. Your comment refers to the period before October 7. However, post-October 7, all military experts concur that sheer numbers are necessary. Not since the War of Independence has there been such a raw need for manpower, rendering all other wars irrelevant. In the War of Independence, yeshiva students actually helped guard posts, which supports my point. so your response actually fully proved my point. Please refer to my response to the previous comment that addresses the rest.

  3. One thing leads to another.
    The anti religious Marxist Israeli government saw how much the frum folded with the COVID restrictions and vax mandates that now it’s open season on the rest of what we hold near and dear.
    Make no mistake, they don’t need more soldiers. They do want to capture and brainwash the frum kids into kol dovor ossur.
    And if they can needlessly kill enough of the frum kids as cannon fodder in a war that was completely preventable. They’ll be that much happier.
    We are dealing with real rishus and to think otherwise is perilous to our future.

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