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Wednesday, August 06, 2014 

More Haredis seeking to enlist in IDF again

This is encouraging news, since a month or so ago, it looked like the fanatical representatives had led to a decline in enlistments:
An unusual advertisement appeared on a number of ultra-Orthodox websites at the end of last week. “A group of Yeshiva students is organizing to volunteer with the reserves. Want to join?” it read.

“We believe that the people of Israel are in the midst of an obligatory war against ruthless enemies who seek to annihilate us,” the ad continued, using biblical language for a battle that all Jews are obligated to fight.

“We believe it is a great privilege to join the military effort, in addition to our important contribution through Torah study. We too yearn for this precious mitzvah.”

The message was an outlier in a community where army service is still taboo. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi community, which comprises 10 percent of the country’s total population, has traditionally shied away from service. From the founding of Israel until this year, Haredi men could postpone their mandatory military conscription indefinitely, as long as they were registered for study in a high religious institution, or kolel. This de-facto exemption ended when a new universal conscription law drafted by Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition passed in the Knesset on March 12. A three-year transitional period, ending in 2017, allows men exempted from service in the past to continue avoiding the draft.
Well I'm glad an effort is being made to change the MO in Haredi society.

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