[Photos below.] A historic emergency meeting was held tonight in Bnei Brak with the participation of the members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of both Degel Hatorah and Agudas Yisroel, as well as the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah of Shas, to discuss the Torah world’s response to the passage by the Knesset of a bill mandating the drafting of chareidim, including bnei yeshiva, into the IDF.
The bill still must be voted upon by the full Knesset.
Among the details of the bill are economic and criminal sanctions imposed on those who refuse to leave yeshivos to join the army.
The gedolim at the meeting expressed the deep, searing pain and outrage of the entire Torah community.
The consensus of the rabbonim was that the Torah community will refuse to capitulate or in any way agree to a compromising of the kedushah and purity of bnei yeshiva and chareidim in general. The called upon Yidden not to be drawn in or blinded by threats or offers aimed at destroying the infrastructure and lifestyle of the Torah world.
The speakers called on the Knesset to cancel the decisions of the Shaked Committee and stressed that the Torah world is unified in its struggle to protest the Torah against a government ready to throw their fellow Jews in jail for learning Torah in Eretz Hakodesh. A letter was released explaining the positions of the gedolim, such as not reporting to IDF enlistment centers if the law is passed in its current constitution.
A second such meeting is planned for if and when the draft bill is passed into law.
Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the “Million Man Atzeres,” a large atzeres tefillah planned for Sunday, 7 Adar II, March 9.
See below for photos of tonight’s meeting: