The Day After the Atzeres…. What’s Going to Be?


atzeres-video1By A. Traiman

Close to half a million members of Israel’s Charedi public rallied in Yerushalayim on Sunday, shutting down roads in and around the city to protest a proposed bill that would mandate bnei yeshiva to participate in the Israel Defense Forces and would criminalize those that refuse conscription.

Some political parties – led notably by Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid – have made the issue of religious enlistment a focal point of their agendas, while religious leaders, who are conspicuously absent from the current governing coalition, are digging in their heels to fight the impending change in the status quo.

“What we are witnessing is the politicization of an important social process,” Professor Yedidia Stern, vice president of research at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), told

Currently, a committee chaired by Member of Knesset Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) is pushing to pass a law to solve the social inequality issue, whereby secular Israelis must enter the army as part of a mandatory draft, while religious Israelis can be granted exemptions.

The issue has become a flashpoint in Israeli politics in recent years, with the country’s secular majority calling for the religious to share their burden of national service. In 2012, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the previously legislated Tal Law, which exempted tens of thousands of eligible religious males from national army service, was illegal.

Stern, a member of the 2012 Plesner Committee for Advancing Equality in Sharing the Burden, and author of a proposal entitled “A Framework for Ultra-Orthodox Conscription,” believes that the Shaked Committee’s proposed law does not improve on the Tal Law’s mistakes. He believes the proposed law will be both damaging to society and likely to be eventually overturned if passed.

“I also want to see charedim in the army, the question is how to achieve this common goal,” Stern said.

“Everyone understands that the issue of charedim serving in the army is coming at a time when the army is scaling down on manpower, and making significant budgetary cuts,” said Moshe Weiss, a leader of the religious community and former official in Israel’s Ministry of Absorption, who has often been at the forefront of initiatives to integrate religious and contemporary social issues.

“This has less to do with equal burden of service – for which charedim are currently not needed – and everything to do with politics. This issue is being driven by populism,” Weiss told

According to Weiss, there are already a rapidly growing number of religious Israelis who want to serve in the army, from more modern national-religious Israelis who believe strongly in protecting the land with a strong military, to the more stringent yeshiva-based communities.

“There is a growing trend-all-time highs-of charedi young men that are willing to serve in the army, in units that are geared for their needs, and which don’t make them adapt to a secular lifestyle,” Weiss said.

Weiss believes that in addition to those who have publicly expressed interest in serving in the military, there are thousands of charedim of all ages are willing to perform various forms of national service for the state of Israel.

“We are not just not just talking about service for one or two years, but there are religious Jews that are willing to serve the State of Israel for 20 years, as firefighters, as policemen, in hospitals – in a framework that enables them to protect their unique religious lifestyle,” he said.

“If the politicians – like Lapid and others – will work on further developing this framework, instead of using the issue of charedim serving in the army as a divisive and political wedge issue, we could take advantage of the growing trends of charedim that wish to serve.”

In addition to the social rifts the proposed bill may cause, it appears as if significant components of the measure may ultimately lead to its legislative failure.

“The current draft bill is not going in a rational way toward achieve its goals,” the IDI’s Stern said. “Parts of this deal are totally irrational.”

The first part, in Stern’s estimation, has to do with the time lapse before the bill begins to be fully implemented. Under the current bill, sanctions for failing to enlist would not be enforced until 2017.

“If you want to create a revolution whereby you wish to encourage charedim to participate in their national service, then you cannot exempt them for three and a half years. The process needs to start tomorrow,” Stern said.

“If this proposed bill will in fact be passed, it will disincentivize those that wish to go to the army, because of the provision in the law whereby service is exempt for three years,” he added.

According to Stern, the three-year exemption period represents a lifetime in Israeli political cycles. As such, it is probable that a new coalition will be in place by the time the exemptions are set to end. In such a scenario, a new governing coalition may well seek to legislate a different law.

“The likelihood that there will be charedi parties in the next coalition is quite high,” Stern said.

Furthermore, the annual goals for the numbers of haredim to serve are to be determined in the future by the government. This leaves the fate of the law in the hands of whichever parties are in a future coalition. If religious parties are part of that future government, the numbers could be lowered. If secular parties dominate a future coalition, then the numbers mandated could be much higher.

Stern also noted that any plan to place to large numbers in prison could produce a significant burden on Israel’s prison system.

“You cannot just put a large sector of society in jail simply because they wish instead to study Torah. You cannot put sanctions against so many people. This will create a tremendous rift in society,” Stern said.

“The new law is probably unconstitutional, and it will create significant political damage,” he said.


{ Israel}


  1. The best would be that all religious people in E Israel apply for visas to other countries on the basis of Antisemitism. Once there will be no religious Jews In E. Israel Zionism will collapse.
    The State Of Israel survived on the understanding of the world that it was a “Jewish state” in reality is a secular state that used Judaism to justify its foundation and now Zionism feels they do not need Judaism to keep surviving. It is time for all Jews that fear Hashem and want to be loyal to the Torah to renounce its cooperation and dependence with Zionism. The prayers were is time to act. let the world know that the State of Israel is an antisemitic state.

  2. The last thing Lapid wants is to see Chareidim in the army, police, fire department, clerks, etc. etc. That will make him run away to Sweden! – He just wants to deletigimize the Chareidim socially and politically.

  3. I don’t think there has ever been a sistuation in the entire world like what is going on today in Israel. The Government is going to arrest & imprison its own citizens for in essence, doing nothing! They haven’t actively done a deed. Its a lack of deed (shev vi’al tasseh) that will have them thrown in prison! Then people wonder why others “hate” israel! With all the Jewish minds in Israel, they are the laughing stock of the world! They are rudderless & without any direction! Its really a shame that only a few years (relitively speaking) after the “creation” of the State of Israel, they are in serious danger of imploding!

  4. what do you mean what going to be?……..

    its obvious, if we don’t wake up & change our ways towards teshuva, things will get worse & go from tragic to Horrific C”V. How long can you watch your own children in your family sin & not listen to you before you start punishing them? & if they don’t do teshuva & mend their ways towards righteousness then you just keep punishing them. Well this is what’s going on with us-klal yisroel-as a nation worldwide, & if we don’t do teshuva its gonna get horrific C”V look at the situation of the world today. Ukraine government destruction…. Syria… bad economy destroying the world…. Gedolim being niftar & leaving us on a weekly basis etc…. the list goes on & on.

    I’m a supporter of Eretz Yisroel, but the truth is we need to FACE REALITY & face the situation & ask ourselves if we will accept Hashems wake-up calls for teshuva or do we really need more tzaros to wake us up C”V…

    BOTTOM LINE:I wish we wouldn’t need all this tzaros to bring us to teshuva & the question remains HOW SOON will we all return to hashem as a nation together doing teshuva?. Are you ready to join me with pure teshuva & speak to our brothers/neighbors helping them & guiding them towards teshuva? i.e. this is not about kiruv, this is for all yidden from the frum to the reform etc…

  5. This is the ultimate Chutzpah!! Your perspective that the Law is what creates the schism is sickening. It is the lack of desire for participation and sharing of the beconomic and physical burden that life requires is what creates the schism. When Hundred of thousands of young men do not serve and the rest of clal yisrael does, that is the breach. When you focus on this then maybe you will see the fallacy of your paradigm.

  6. To: #1 : Rabbi Goldstein.

    You are exactly on target. I support your suggestion that all Haredim leave Eretz Yisreol.

    How do we get the project under way?

    PS: I live in Passaic. Please contact me.

  7. >>>>>hen Hundred of thousands of young men do not serve and the rest of clal yisrael does, that is the breach.

    Machalelei Shabos aren’t “klall Yisroel” Your big kup is ganz fardreit.

  8. Hey brothers,

    The Knesset is falling apart…..
    Israel is falling apart…..
    The true leader is on his way!
    Let’s be ready—–

    It says that before the times of Mashiach, the Arabs will govern the world for 9 months. They’re very close to doing that!

  9. If all frum people will leave…they will stay with their night clubs, their imorality , their thailandese bnos moab Russian cynics and Eastern religions, they will sing Hatikva with no hope for the future because those that cry for Yerushalayim and keep the Jewish nation alive are in exile!

    Let Zionism realize the Judaism is the the preserver of the Jewish nation not their Army!

  10. To Shvigger-
    The Nazi’s did not check if you were Shomer Shabbos or not. Your hatred of Jews who are Mechalaley Shabbos is at the very least Anti Semitic.

  11. Responding to #1. Interesting viewpoint, BUT I disagree with one point. There is no need to leave Eretz Yisroel. What we need is an influx of ALL Torah Jews coming HOME, and then at voting time, have 50 seats in the Knesset. With that Power, who needs to RUN AWAY. Zionism has been collapsing for years now. If the Left didn’t have control of the Media, etc, you would not hear from them. If the Left have a problem, LET THEM LEAVE!!! Let then start a State in Uganda. START COMING “HOME”. That is the TRUE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEMS.

  12. Lapid & Co. Have been compared to Haman, the heveanly goal of Haman is to
    Achieve unity amongst us and cause us to do Teshuva, let’s hope that things don’t need to get worse before we accomplish this result. I’m sure Sundays protest made an effect in the heavens as Tefilah always does, but it was
    Also a positive step to a unified effort to reverse this gezirah. Disunity amongst the frum is what has brought the people into power, and only
    Unity will get them out of power. We have a common goal of Torah and serving Hashem, let focus on that and not our differences, then we will truly be zocheh to
    The miracles of Purim!

  13. The Nazis Y”sh did not check because it was because of these assimilated Jews that the holocaust started. The truth is that Good Jews bring Sholom to the world There is no antisemitism from Good erliche yiddin because they love humanity and live humble holy lives. If Moshe rabeinu was present today and a Sanhedrin, do you think they will be preaching that all Jews are one regardless of their religion? Let the earth open up like before and swallow these enemies of Torah!!!!

  14. Gosh, Shvigger, glad you ain’t mine! Did you really print that? They are not Klal Yisroel? Are you maligning Jews who may not look like you? Loshon Hora of the highest order!!

  15. To Rabbi Goldstein.
    You are partly correct. One can not divorce Judaism from Zionism and vice a versa. The problem is that it is notn your hateful form of Judaism that preserves. Yours only divides.

  16. The Big Kup, WOW Matzav Posted something not in line with what they hold!!! Or maybe The Big Kup wrote this in a version of english the editors of matzav don’t understand?

  17. Dear Yidden…All this talk about the chareidim leaving Eretz Yisroel…Come on! Just think a minute! How on earth is that going to possibly be brought about! A couple of million yidden leaving EY is possible,but where on earth are they going to be accommodated? I’ve yet to hear just one practical sensible solution to this question.Half a million to be absorbed in Boro Park? Half a million in Williamsburg? Another half a million in London,and likewise here in Antwerp? Sure!Why not? And then another small problem,what will they all then do? Live on tsedokoh? Sure! Why not?…..

  18. Jews are not home yet! We are in Golus and if there is a big lesson to learn here out of all these draft issue is that redemption cant be brought by force. Many left their countries to move to E. Israel not suspecting the terrible intent of Zionism. If more frum people move to Israel it will create more problems of division since They are 80% of the population and they will not go away…. We hope for the coming of Moshiach to take us to E. Yisroel as it was supposed to be.