Crushing News for Yungeleit: High Court Abolishes State Grants for Avreichim


gemara-learningThe Israeli Supreme Court today struck a heavy blow at Israel’s Torah community when it ruled to abolish benefits for kollel avreichim.

Married students at yeshivos or kollelim are entitled to support payments from the state to guarantee them a minimum income. But similar grants for secular higher education students were abolished in 2000.

Today, the court upheld a petition brought in 2000 by Arnon Yekutieli, a campaigner for secular rights and a former deputy mayor of Yerushalayim, accusing the government of discrimination in favor of religious students.

Yekutieli died in 2001 but his petition finally came before the court this week.

In her ruling, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said: “There is no place for distinction between yeshiva students in any other institutions.”

Interior Minister Eli Yishai MK of Shas condemned the ruling, vowing to use the Knesset redress any damage to religious students.

“The Knesset will fix this,” Yishai said. “The High Court ruling is a hard strike against at the spiritual status quo of the nation of Israel.”

Moshe Gafni MK of Yahadut Hatorah and chairman of the Knesset finance committee also decried the judgment, saying the Supreme Court had a history of favoring secular causes.

“We are talking about some of the poorest families in Israeli society,” he said. “There has never been a Supreme Court ruling that benefited the chareidi community. We will have to assess the ruling and see what we can do to cope over the coming financial year.”

Nitzan Horowitz MK, of the left-wing Metertz party, hailed the verdict.

“This is an important step in assuring real equality for Israel’s citizens,” he said. “We need to ensure the ruling is implemented quickly and to provide for those students who get no grants from the state and work to support themselves while paying tuition fees and serving in the army reserves.”

Justice Ayala Procaccia, who voted for the ruling, said the ruling characterized the dilemma between the obligation of a multi-cultural society to respect minorities and the duty of all citizens to accept their responsibilities according to the law of the land.

A third judge, Justice Edmond Levy, dissented.

“Torah study is a commandment and both the Knesset and the government have asserted that it should be funded by placing on the public the burden of providing an income for Torah students,” Levy wrote.

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. You need to be fair and put yourself in others shoes before you judge them. Married students in secular fields have NOT been getting any subsidies for the last 10 YEARS. This just makes it equal, it is not an anti-haredi ruling.

  2. to #2,
    Actually, the only thing that kept and is keeping the medina around is Hakadosh Baruch Hu. I don’t know how yuu know his cheshbonos, but it’s nice to know that HKB”H speaks with you and tells you them. Your statement is just a s assinine as blaiming everything that happens from car accidents, to volcanic eruptions to hurricand oil spills on a lack of tznius or other toevah’s.

  3. #3 – and how do u know that? Did you have a one-on-one conversation with G-d Alm-ghty, and He told you that?!

    What about the brave chayalim who with G-d’s help keep Eretz Yisroel safe? How about a little hakaors hatov?

  4. Now that the friers are demonstrating against Jews and doing everything they can to make Israel like Germany in the 1930s, even shooting tear gas against HaRav HaGaon HaTzaddik Moshe Shternbuch, may he have a refuah shlaimah, they will have no zcoosim left. Then we will see who has been supporting whom.

  5. Unfortunately Israel is at the point where social programs are bankrupting the country. Social programs have to be cut. and the charedi community proportionally benefit from social programs more so than any other demographic in the country.

  6. The Kollel men should say that they’re learning Chinese culture, Bulgarian history, liberal arts, and other shtuyot and they will get State grants like students in universities.

  7. #2 is totally correct. The Zchus of even the seculars supporting Torah through tax dollars has been its biggest zchus.

    Hashem Yirachem Al Yisrael!!!

  8. A Talmid Chochom should not live in a town lacking “10 Batlanim”, meaning 10 who do not work, but are dedicated to learning. (Eiruvin 55b)

    The many places where it states that those who learn full time protect the Jews at least as much as those who serve in the army. (Bava Basra 7b-8a and others)

    The Halachos in Shulchan Orech of what one who is dedicated to learning full time is and is not required to contribute to and/or participate in.

  9. Kollel yungerleit need to be supported, but were does it say that the government has that responsibility.
    Why not parents, parent-in-law and the Kehilla as was the case in Europe before the war.

  10. 1) did the Polish/ Lita/ Russian governments provide funding for Kollelim before the war

    2) We are seeing the results of social programs like this in Europe e.g. Greece (should Israel be next? Then there will be NO money for anything, including schools etc…)

  11. #3 sorry that u are slightly ignorant. He would be absolutely right to claim that bad things happen because of aveiros that we do. In bechukosai, it say ‘im bechukosai taylaychu’, rashi says, ‘shetihyu amailim batorah’, and then it says ‘venasati gishmechem be’itam’, so yes, national brachah and kelalah is clearly linked to learning torah and keeping mitzvos.

  12. its just a reality check that even though israel is run by jews it isnt a jewish country it is a Democratic country first and formost. G-d willing soon it should be a Torah based country and we can again rever our talmidim.

  13. number 3 and 4
    comment number 2 is a quote from Harav Shteinman Shlita pretty much word for word.
    The Rav added that as a consequence to this gezeira America will cut back its funding to Israel.