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Jerusalem - Rabbi Kanievski: Haredi Enlistment Law ‘lesser Of Two Evils’

Published on: June 17, 2018 07:30 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old CIty, during the Jewish holiday of Pesach. April 12, 2017. Photo by Shlomi Cohen/FLASH90Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old CIty, during the Jewish holiday of Pesach. April 12, 2017. Photo by Shlomi Cohen/FLASH90

Jerusalem - The leading rabbi of the non-hassidic “Lithuanian” haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, told senior United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni on Sunday that the recently proposed bill for haredi enlistment is acceptable and can be advanced through the Knesset.

The Jerusalem Post has learned that the rabbi described the bill as “the lesser of two evils,” that Degel Hatorah MKs – forming half of the UTJ Knesset faction – should not go to war over the legislation, and that it could be supported in general.

Kanievsky did not, however, authorize the specific wording and clauses of the bill, but rather the proposal in general terms. Changes may be requested.

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Gafni met with several other leading haredi rabbis on Sunday morning to discuss the issue, including Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, Rabbi Moshe Hillel Hirsch, Rabbi Baruch Mordechai Ezrahi and Rabbi Baruch Dov Povarsky.

The decision is highly significant since the bill includes financial sanctions from the state’s budget against haredi yeshivas if enlistment targets are not met, meaning that Kanievsky and the other rabbis have ostensibly given consent to the notion that there can be negative consequences if haredi men do not enlist to the IDF.

The vague language coming from Kanievsky’s entourage and the stipulation that “certain changes” will be requested indicate, however, that Degel MKs will likely try and water down the financial sanctions.

During a meeting of coalition party leaders on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the bill should speedily advance, be authorized by the government within two weeks and passed into law before the end of the Knesset’s summer session on July 19.

“Decisions need to be made [and] agreements formed so as to bring the bill for authorization by the government within two weeks,” Netanyahu said.

Kanievsky’s approval comes following opposition expressed to the bill on Thursday by the Council of Torah Sages of Agudat Yisrael, the hassidic half of UTJ.

The grand rabbis of the hassidic groups which make up Agudat Yisrael said that their MKs should quit the coalition if the bill is passed by the Knesset, although they seemingly left room for changes to be made to the legislation.

It is unclear how the apparently opposing positions of the hassidic and Lithuanian rabbis will be reconciled, although MKs from Degel and Aguda reportedly met on Sunday to try and resolve some of the differences.

If the financial sanctions could be sufficiently diluted it is possible that Aguda could withdraw its opposition.

These sanctions are already considered somewhat weak, and would not go into effect for the first two years of the law’s existence.
Further diluting them would make the law practically ineffectual, leading to opposition from defense minister and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman, as well as heightening the possibility that the High Court of Justice would strike down the law.

And Liberman has said that he wants the bill, proposed by a special committee in his ministry, to be passed without changes.

“We drafted this outline, which serves as the basis of the [draft] law, and look – the fact that it is not creating a storm, without wars – everyone understands that this is a non-political bill which is for the benefit of the IDF… I hope that we pass it exactly as it is, because that’s the only option,” the defense minister said at the Bar-Ilan Forum on Thursday.

“I don’t see any other option for any other law which will be [accepted] by everyone,” he added.



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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 17, 2018 at 07:44 PM elyeh Says:

Everyone has to give a little in order for everyone to continue to get a lot.

2

 Jun 17, 2018 at 09:21 PM Dan Says:

Mashicha should come!!

3

 Jun 17, 2018 at 10:11 PM Normandavid1 Says:

Just wondering if he would like his grandchildren should enlist.

4

 Jun 17, 2018 at 10:44 PM רחמנא ליצלן Says:

גיוס בצבא הציוני זה אסור באיסור חמור של שלשה עבירות החמורות

5

 Jun 17, 2018 at 10:46 PM As I see it. Says:

This whole thing is a farce. What is the Yeshiva budget? If they see they will only get 90% they will just up the budget for that year, if the powers want the charedim's support. Basically, no frum guys are going into the army! Same shenanigan's - let someone else carry the burden, but this time the not-yet-frum can imagine they are hurt in the pocket. Yeh

6

 Jun 18, 2018 at 12:22 AM lazy-boy Says:

life is not just MY way, it is based on compromise.
Rav Kanievsky isn't considered one of the great rabbis for nothing....

7

 Jun 18, 2018 at 04:31 AM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Why aren't so called Israeli Arabs getting sanctioned for not getting drafted nor for refusing to pledge allegiance or singing hatikva? I support ALL Israeli citizens in getting drafted.

8

 Jun 18, 2018 at 07:45 AM LionofZion Says:

Reply to #2  
Dan Says:

Mashicha should come!!

There are lots of Yeshiva boys doing nothing with their lives. The army is a great opportunity for them to do something useful for themselves and Klal Yisroel.

9

 Jun 18, 2018 at 09:28 AM AlbertEinstein Says:

Reply to #4  
רחמנא ליצלן Says:

גיוס בצבא הציוני זה אסור באיסור חמור של שלשה עבירות החמורות

No according to Rav Chaim. Get over it.

10

 Jun 18, 2018 at 11:48 AM Alexiii-SATMAR Says:

What do you mean according to Rav Chaim it's not? I understand that he's been learning his whole life and I give him credit where it's due, but to go from there to becoming a posek on Dinei Nefashos, as in sending bochurim to the IDF is a long way.

11

 Jun 18, 2018 at 12:52 PM Maven Says:

No matter what anyone says we will follow the Torah without any negotiations.
Ani Mamin with complete faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will be no other Torah given by the Creator.

12

 Jun 18, 2018 at 12:56 PM Shimon Says:

Reply to #1  
elyeh Says:

Everyone has to give a little in order for everyone to continue to get a lot.

Not if it's a chillul hashem.
I'm very concerned why rav kanievsky seems to be ignoring half the gedolim. I'd say nothing should ever be ruled without all the rabbonim meeting together and agreed unanimously. Yes, reb chaim kanievsky ALSO would need to compromise or even give in to those who are stricter about kovod hatorah vhataharo.

13

 Jun 18, 2018 at 01:48 PM AlbertEinstein Says:

Reply to #10  
Alexiii-SATMAR Says:

What do you mean according to Rav Chaim it's not? I understand that he's been learning his whole life and I give him credit where it's due, but to go from there to becoming a posek on Dinei Nefashos, as in sending bochurim to the IDF is a long way.

If you don't think Rav Chaim has paskened on dinei negashos - of which this is at best dafek dinei nefashos - you don't know Rav Chaim.

14

 Jun 18, 2018 at 02:11 PM Alexiii-SATMAR Says:

Reply to #13  
AlbertEinstein Says:

If you don't think Rav Chaim has paskened on dinei negashos - of which this is at best dafek dinei nefashos - you don't know Rav Chaim.

Possibly Rav Chaim has paskened on Dinei Nefashos in the past, but, I do remember once seeing a letter from him stating that he is not a posek

15

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