The mystic Rabbi David Batzri, head of the “Hashalom” Yeshiva in Jerusalem, urged young Jews to get married at the age of 17 and have 12 children.
Batzri told single Jewish youngsters at a Selichot prayer service held at Tel Aviv's Yad Eliyahu arena on Monday that "anyone who is aged 17 and a day – get married at once! Don’t enlist in the army before you're married; and (young Jewish) girls shouldn't enlist at all."
The rabbi also told the thousands on hand that "you must bring many children into the world. Each one of you should have 12 children, like Yaakov our father."
The event culminated with the arrival of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, who spoke of the importance of unity in Israel and Torah studies.
"People (want yeshiva students) to (join the workforce), but they do not understand that the world exists due to the study of the Torah; this is what protects the public," he said.