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IDF’s 3-Pronged Plan to Enlist Hareidim

With no replacement for the Tal Law, the IDF creates a plan for enlisting all hareidi men.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/17/2012, 9:20 AM

Nachal Hareidi soldier (file)
Nachal Hareidi soldier (file)
Flash 90

The Tal Law recently expired with no replacement, leaving the IDF struggling with how to handle the thousands of full-time Torah students who suddenly became obligated to enlist. Now a three-pronged plan has been revealed that would see the hareidi community – the primary beneficiary of the Tal Law dispensation for Torah scholars - able to enlist while maintaining high standards of Torah observance.

The program would see one-third of hareidi men enlist in the IDF in combat units, one-third serve in the Israel Police or civilian service, and one-third enlist in the IDF and join support units, particularly in Intelligence and the Air Force.

To ease their enlistment the military is creating another three regiments of the Nachal Hareidi, a program that aims to help hareidi-religious men maintain their lifestyle during service. Under the program, soldiers get food prepared using stringent kosher standards, have daily time to learn Torah, and do not serve alongside female soldiers.

In addition, units are being set up to allow hareidi men to serve near their homes. For example, men living in Tzfat could serve working in storage units in nearby bases, and return home in the evening.

The latter program is still waiting for government approval.

IDF commanders are also weighing the option of stating that men who learned Torah full-time under the Tal Law and are now older than 21 may join the workforce without first serving in the IDF.