Rav Shach and the Draft

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A new volume of Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach’s letters includes a letter discussing his reaction after the government drafted a female draft law that differed from coalition agreements made with Agudas Yisroel at the time. According to the agreement, all girls who declared themselves religious were to be exempt from the draft. But due to certain difficulties, the government wanted to pass a law that only exempted religious girls inducted in the future, but not those who already called up for the draft.

Rav Shach wrote, “in my opinion we should have left the coalition immediately for we did not enter under this condition.” But he relied upon the askonim who said that all girls would be exempted despite the law’s wording due to an older law. “Therefore, it was better to do nothing and see what happened.”

His letter also addressed complaints that Agudas Yisroel was compromising on this vital issue.

“How surprised I was to hear claims that we have reached an agreement to alter the coalition agreement,” Rav Shach wrote. “Chas veshalom, we have not given up anything and stand firmly for our rights. Except that in the situation the coalition is in at present, we know that it is difficult for them [the government] to keep the wording of the agreement at the moment.”

This was followed by correspondence between Rav Shach and Rav Moshe Feinstein, who had been falsely informed by Agudas Yisroel opponents that the chareidi party had compromised on the issue.

David Steger – Matzav.com Israel

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