As the flames in the north died down, former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri came up with a surprising proposal to counter the storm surrounding the yeshiva student law: Recruit yeshiva students into the firefighting services by way of national service.
"They will bring blessings," Deri said during an interview with Channel 10. "Just as there are organizations like ZAKA, there could also be an ultra-Orthodox organization of firefighters.
Deri said there are yeshiva students throughout the country, some of whom do national service in various frameworks.
Deri's opinion is unusual. MK Chaim Amsellem was ejected from Shas for his opinions, which included support for yeshiva students working and leaving their studies, as Deri suggested Sunday.
Just two weeks ago, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef slammed calls for including yeshiva students in the labor market.
"The yeshiva students must be praised," he said in his weekly oration, attacking "those who say that yeshivas are only for the students of the great sages who will become dayanim, and claim that whoever is unsuitable must go out to work."
He reiterated that those who study in yeshivas are supporting the world – "not to become dayanim, not to become rabbis, but for the sake of studying the Torah."
Deri, who once held the position of interior minister, defended his political rival Interior Minister Eli Yishai. "Firefighting equipment today remains as it has been," he said. "It has not been renewed, and this is the fault of all the governments."
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