Photo: Haim Zach
Rabbi Elyashiv calls for complete segregation
Photo: Haim Zach

Elyashiv to haredim: Avoid IDF, academy

Lithuanian Orthodox public's leader says special military, academic programs offered by State aim to bring haredim closer to secular lifestyle, values and 'culture of sinners'

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, leader of the Lithuanian Orthodox public, is calling on haredim not to be tempted to join special programs offered by the State in military or civilian service and in higher education institutions.


He explains that these programs are subject to the rule of "rebels" and aim to bring the haredi public closer to the secular lifestyle, values and "culture of sinners".


In honor of Hanukkah, the rabbi published a harsh letter in the Yated Ne'eman newspaper, stating that "we must protest and warn against any external attempts to touch the pure can of oil."


According to Elyashiv, "The secret and foundation of the existence of the world of Torah and a fearful public is in a life of Torah and awe, out of complete segregation from the life and concepts of the secular world of those rebelling against the Torah."


Referring to Israel's academic institutions, the Lithuanian public's leader noted, "We know how just how much the greatest sages of Israel fought against any 'haredi educational institution' intended for such studies and denounced it, especially when they openly declare that the goal of all these courses is to change the spirit and essence of the haredi public and work to instill all kinds of other aspirations, national and educational, which our forefathers never dreamed of."


'People trying to create revolution'

Haredi journalist Shlomo Kook, an associate of the Elyashiv family, explained the letter: "The wild incitement in recent days against the haredi public emphasizes and deepens the need to strengthen our home, remind the world of Torah that in every generation one rises up to destroy us – sometimes from the outside and recently, unfortunately, from the inside too, from within the Jewish people.


"The great sages of Israel seek to support us and remind us that the secret of our existence is guard the pure can of oil.


"The fact that people have to make a living and engage in academic studies for livelihood purposes is one thing, and most rabbis allow it in times of need, but in recent years there is a trend of people trying to create a 'revolution'.


"Some people have made it their goal – out of hatred toward Torah – to integrate tens of thousands of yeshiva students in the academy and army in order to disconnect them from the Talmud. Rabbi Elyashiv sees the need to protest this phenomenon."


Rabbi Uri Regev, head of Hiddush – Freedom of Religion for Israel, said in response that "the rabbi's letter, which comes out against positive procedures in the haredi society is further proof of the terrible leadership crisis the haredi public is experiencing.


"The fanaticism and poverty in the haredi society are disastrous for the State of Israel, and the economic predictions are pessimistic, but its No. 1 leader is trying to prevent yeshiva students from gaining a professional education and joining the labor market.


"The rabbis named the greatest sages should know that if the haredi leadership causes most haredi men to continue not to share the burden of work, it will have a heavy economic price.


"The general public, secular and religious, will not agree to continue sustaining the cost of the haredi society and reinforcing and expanding the haredi society of students with taxpayers' money."



פרסום ראשון: 12.29.11, 08:13
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