Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel are calling on the religious public not to volunteer in Magen David Adom, claiming that serving in the rescue organization leads to serious halachic concerns and leads to spiritual danger.
Newspapers published an ad signed by senior gedolim, including Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rav Nissim Karelitz, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, the admorim of Sanz and Erlau, and others.
In the call, directed to “dear volunteers engaged in saving lives in the Holy Land,” the gedolim rule that volunteers must favor charedi rescue services operating across the country and must not volunteer with MDA.
MDA has attempted to recruit young chareidim for civilian service.
“We hereby inform you that it is forbidden to volunteer in the Magen David Adom organization even for the purpose of saving lives,” the gedolim wrote, adding that it was only permitted to volunteer “in an organization which conducts everything according to the way of Torah and halacha.”
The gedolim say, “Volunteering not through these organizations may, God forbid, lead to serious prohibitions – both in terms of general conduct and spiritual influence, and in terms of Torah prohibitions and particularly hilchos Shabbos.”
Talking to Ynet, sources involved in the ad pointed to difficult problems the organization’s charedi activists are forced to with. “MDA is the only national organization in the State which does not have a rov,” one of them said.
MDA spokesman Zaki Heller said response, “Magen David Adom is Israel’s national rescue organization which engages in saving lives 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“As the rest of the security forces, like the IDF, the police and the firefighting services, MDA is particularly careful in maintaining and respecting the religious lifestyle of hundreds of its workers and volunteers who engage in saving lives routinely and during emergencies, on weekdays, Shabbat and chagim.”