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Chabad Rabbonim Speak Out Against IDF Draft Deal

A new agreement reached between Chabad leaders and the Israeli government will allow Chabad Yeshiva students to delay induction into the IDF until their return from spending a year to study in 770, also known as ‘Kvutzeh.’ A few prominent Chabad Rabbonim decried this agreement, saying it’s better for the students not to travel to the U.S. at all, in which case they can delay their IDF service until the age of 26 like the rest of the Chareidi Tzibur, rather than being drafted at a much younger age immediately upon their return from Kvutzeh.

From The Yeshiva World News:

Many in the chareidi community have the belief that Chabadnikim willingly enter the IDF. In fact, a deal that has just been worked out that prompted prominent Chabad Rabbonim Shlita to speak out against IDF service. The deal was made during the tenure of former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, permitting bochrim to head to 770 after yeshiva gedola for ‘Kvutza’, thereby delaying induction into the IDF until their return.

Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod explains, speaking with Mordecai Lavi of Kol Chai Radio. Prior to the last Knesset, bochrim would learn in yeshiva gedola and then head to 770 for a year of limud known as ‘Kvutza’. As a result of the new draft law when the talmidim return from Kvutza they found themselves listed as AWOL from IDF service, wanted by military police, some locked up.

Rav of Nazareth Illit Rabbi Yeshayahu Herzl added that he is thankful for the partial agreement that has been reached but it is insufficient. Rav Herzl explains it is quite clear, that one returning from Kvutza seeks to get married and then wishes to enter kollel, or continues limudim as a bochur. In either event they are not entering the IDF as this has been the case for years.

Rav Herzl explains he is not against the IDF but the limud Torah is more important and this is what protects the soldiers so for as long as a bochur is still in yeshiva he has no place in the IDF. Rabbi Herzl stresses that any agreement compelling them to enter the IDF upon their return from Kvutza is unacceptable for they must continue limud Torah.

One prominent rov speaking out against the agreement is Bnei Brak Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau Shlita, who states if the rebbe would know of the deal he would instruct talmidim to refrain from traveling to NYC for Kvutza rather than serving in the IDF. Rav Landau stated entering the IDF is unacceptable and any agreement that compels the bochrim or avreichim to enter instead of continuing their limudim is unacceptable.

The Beis Din Chabad released a kol korei addressing the matter, reporting on the asifa that was held on 16 Iyar. The beis din points out he agreement permits one to learn until 24 and the he must enlist to a chareidi IDF Shachar program or continue in kollel until 26. However, during the two years in kollel the avreich must engage in studies to learn a profession in line with the needs of the IDF.

The beis din then quotes the instructions of the rebbe, which absolutely forbid military service instead of continuing one’s limudim. Hence, the talmidim are instructed to do everything possible to continue limudim; (2) to study a profession only after receiving the approval of one’s mashpiah; and (3) these studies must be confined to one’s second year in kollel and only in a chareidi environment.

The beis din backs those involved in getting the permit for talmidim to head to Kvutza for 13 months without losing their ‘bnei yeshiva’ status to permit them to continue limudim upon their return. Under the Ya’alon agreement, once they return from Kvutza they have lost their ‘bnei yeshiva’ status and must enter the military.



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#1 Comment By Moshe Eliyahu On June 1, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

Thank G-d I was born in Los Angeles USA, so I don’t have 2 serve in the Isreali Army, however when I turned 18 I had 2 go 2 the local city post office 2 sign up 4 the US military, but never was drafted 4 the Iraq war. But it is the law in the US 2 sign up 4 the US military. But u don’t get drafted.

#2 Comment By Milhouse On June 1, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

The USA has no draft, and hasn’t had one for more than 40 years. Signing up is only so that if the draft is ever reinstated they will already have a list of whom to take. But there is no prospect of the draft ever being reintroduced, so this list is not really useful.

#3 Comment By Mom of an older soldier On June 1, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

I agree. I’ve noticed that when they go in older with a stronger anchor in Yiddishkeit, serving in Tzahal will actually strengthen that emuna. The army does a lot to accommodate frum soldiers.
But, sending a child in to the army at a younger end can indeed do the opposite.

#4 Comment By Yitzchak Mordechai On June 1, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

The Isreali Government has 2 stop picking on the frum chareidisheh bachurim, enough is enough, they know they are not going 2 fit in 2 the army & everything that goes on there & it’s very essence, it’s just not 4 them, the level of Kosher isn’t probably up 2 Chareidisheh standards, like Eida HaChareidis & Rav Moshe Landau Hashgacha & the boys together with young ladies, it’s just not a place 4 a Frum Chareidisheh Bachur, it just isn’t, they won’t feel comfortable & the Isreali Government has nothing better than 2 draft Chareidim ? GIVE ME A BREAK !!! Enough of this Garbage !! STOP IT ALREADY !!!

#5 Comment By Shimon Binyamin On June 1, 2016 @ 9:15 pm

Yes, enough already with the isreali government & drafting the Chareidi Bachurim, enough is enough, are they that bored that they have nothing else to do with their lives, then to pick on the Chareidim ? Give me a break & Stop it already, grow up darn it, they don’t need the Chareidim, they got bigger issues dealing with the trash from the Arabs & all their garbage than worrying about the Chareidim not serving in the army !!! My message to the isreali army “Go get a life & leave the Chareidim alone” enough of your garbage, cut it out already” Get a Freakin Life !!

#6 Comment By A former Lone Soldier On June 2, 2016 @ 6:33 am

As a former lone soldier and former Chabadnik, to all those telling the Israeli army, and government how to run their country, don’t bother coming for a visit to the country, don’t send your children to the Yeshivos there, and if you currently live in Israel please refuse to accept any state sponsored benefits. I’m sure the army isn’t just trying to mess with the Charedi way of life, as they have bent over backwards to accommodate them. You want to fit in and have your rights? Then fulfill your obligations as well.

#7 Comment By It’s not yours On June 2, 2016 @ 5:47 pm

This land is your land This land is my land

From California to the New York island;

From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and Me.

#8 Comment By To #4 and #5 On June 2, 2016 @ 7:41 am

I think you’ll find the issue is a lot of Israelis feel resentment that the non-chareidim put their lives on the front line while charedim don’t

#9 Comment By To #6 & #7 On June 2, 2016 @ 2:46 pm

I understand what your saying that you feel everyone who lives in Isreal, & sends their children there to learn that the Isreali Government bends backwards for the frum chareidim, but seriously the concept of Zionisim & the whole idea of the army is 2 show that we have a country we don’t need 2 keep Torah & Mitzvot, as long as u live on the holy land of ur fine, ur Jewish enough, u don’t need to keep shabbos, put on tfilin, learn Torah, ur connect by living in isreal, & the whole concept of the army is this, we don’t believe in Zionisim their concepts, they hate the frum more than they hate the Arabs, they want 2 be free in their land, free from G-d & the Torah & that’s what the army wants 2 do 2 make our children fry, & that is something we don’t want, I hear that u served, however for most frum yeshiva bachurim the probability of becoming not frum is much higher & we can’t take that change, enough us enough, The Isreali Government needs 2 get a life & Stop drafting the chareidim, cut the crap & deal with your real issues & that is the Arabs, they are real real issue not the chareidim serving in the army. Isreali Government Get a Life !!

#10 Comment By Zalman Shimon On June 2, 2016 @ 4:17 pm

My message to the Isreali Government & the Army, is to please leave the Chareidim alone, let them learn & help protect those fighting through their Lemud HaTorah, Please leave the Chareidim alone, Enough is Enough please please Stop bothering them to serve in the Army, It’s time to get a life & move on, enough with this Garbage of drafting the Chareidi Bachurim, I’m sick & tired of hearing about it, it’s nauseating already, will you please cut it out, you know that they won’t fit it, it’s just not for them, please I beg you to stop this, & just let them live in peace, you guys have enough craziness, insanity & garbage dealing with the crap from the Arabs please just take of your issues & believe me you have plenty more than enough. CUT IT OUT & GET A LIFE, Leave the Chareidim alone. Thank u

#11 Comment By Proud mother On June 2, 2016 @ 5:37 pm

I disagree. I think all Israelis should at least do public service. They don’t have to carry weapons or be on the front line but help in hospitals etc.
Everyone should do their part for the country that keeps then safe. Too many lazy enabled yeshivas students. If my brave son volunteered than every body should do their part.

#12 Comment By To comment # 7 On June 3, 2016 @ 2:02 am

Excuse me sir, we are not talking about the United States of America here, we are talking about the holy land, “our land” Eretz Yisroel, so why are u bringing a song about America into this, this has nothing to do with America !! Are you just being silly or whatever ? This is a serious issue & you’re making jokes out of this, are you OK ? This isn’t a funny matter. Thank u

#13 Comment By Pedant On June 3, 2016 @ 9:31 am

It was a response to a yid who caught a temporary derangement and began telling yidden the conditions under which they could and should come to eretz yisroel.

It’s not his land any more than it is my land because exactly what makes it his land makes it may land and if isn’t my land it isn’t his land so if it’s his land it’s my land.

it’s just a funny song and no this comment thread is not particularly serious, though the psak harobbonim is serious and the implications for kevutza are serious but a young piker telling the Jewish people when and under what conditions they may visit or relocate to the holy land *isn’t* serious.