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Rabbis sharpening tone against IDF enlistment Photo: Gil Yohanan
Rabbis sharpening tone against IDF enlistment Photo: Gil Yohanan

Satmar: IDF draft worse than annihilation

Speaking on eve of Holocaust Day, leader of world's biggest Hasidic community slams supporters of 'draft decree,' accuses them of being 'worse than those who murdered us'

Kobi Nachshoni
Published: 04.12.13, 14:47 / Israel Jewish Scene

Satmar Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum this week lashed out at attempts to draft yeshiva students and advance an equal share of the burden in Israel, calling them "a decree worse than the annihilation of the Jewish people."


He went on to accuse the supporters of the move of being "worse than those who murdered us."


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The rabbi made the remarks on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is unlikely, however, that he was aware that Israel was commemorating the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis that day.


The Rebbe, one of the leaders of the world's biggest Hasidic community, spoke to thousands of followers in the village of Kiryas Joel in Monroe, New York, during an event marking the anniversary of his father's death.


He said that those working to draft yeshiva students were actually seeking to "cause us to leave religion."

"יהודים כאן לא מבינים את גודל האסון והגזירה, שזה על כל יחיד ויחיד". חסידי סאטמר (צילום: יצחק ווייס)

'Jews here don't understand the magnitude of the disaster.' Satmar Hasidim (Photo: Yitzhak Weiss)


"A black cloud is hanging these days over our brothers, the people of Israel living in the Holy Land," the rabbi said. "A malicious government has convened… and is seeking to uproot the Torah.


"Jews here don't understand the magnitude of this disaster, which applies to every single individual," he added, comparing the situation to the annihilation of the Jewish people.


"We, in the Diaspora, must be prepared for the moment when we will have to rise up with all our might against this terrible decree so that it is not executed, God forbid."



The radical ultra-Orthodox leaders appear to be sharpening their tone against the IDF draft recently. The other Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, who visited Israel on the eve of the Knesset elections, stating that "the draft decree aims to make us forget all the other troubles Zionism has inflicted on us. We must fight it uncompromisingly so that such ideas won't even cross their minds."


He referred to the State of Israel and its Zionist residents as "the generation's Amalek," adding that "the Zionists came from the seed of Amalek. There has never been such a sect that caused so much damage to the Jewish people."


About 10 months ago, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach spoke at a protest organized by the Eda Haredit faction, stating that opposition to enlistment should be regarded a mitzvah that warrants self sacrifice.



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