Against the backdrop of haredi parties pushing Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett to sever his ties with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, Bennett met with leaders of the haredi public in Jerusalem Monday.
"We are here to learn," the Habayit Hayehudi chairman said. "I already know the world of religious Zionism; I don’t know the haredi world."
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Bennett, who promotes universal draft, an issue he shares with Lapid, also advocates the status of Jewish faith, which he shares with religious parties. In an attempt to reach various sects of the religious public, the religious Zionist leader met with rabbis and Jerusalem yeshiva students to discuss both religion and Zionism.
Bennett with Jerusalem rabbis, Sunday (Photo: Kobi Nahshoni)
"Studying Torah serves Israel interests, as much as settling in the Negev and the Galilee does," the party chairman told the students, but did not neglect to add that serving in the IDF must be incorporated into the lives of orthodox Jews.
"Things have changed," he asserted. "We'll have to find a way to do it."
Bennett in a yeshiva
Recent public calls for an "equal share of the burden" have implied to high unemployment percentages within the orthodox community, alongside low percentages of serving in the IDF, though the draft is mandatory.
The students were expectedly ambivalent toward their guest. One student expressed his hope that Bennett would "realize that everyone here is devoted to year round studies, and carries the burden as much as anyone else."
"He wants equality? Not a problem. We can find room in this seminary for 10,000 more secular students."
MK Ayelet Shaked of the Habayit Hayehudi party addressed the bond between Bennett and Lapid Sunday, as she told Ynet: "The ties between them were created after the election, in discussions and meetings regarding the next four years. They reached a few understandings and realized they wanted to advance issues together."
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