Many hoped that the expiration of the Tal Law would mean more hareidi-religious men in military or national service. However, in the meantime the repeal of the law is having the opposite effect.
When the law was repealed, the option of civilian national service was closed to hareidi youth in anticipation of their enlistment to the armed forces. At the same time, hareidi youth are not yet required to enlist, pending legislation in the matter.
Head of Civilian Service Sar-Shalom Jerbi appealed to the government to immediately resume enrollment to civilian service. “Continuing to freeze civilian service for hareidim until after the elections and the establishment of a new government will have serious implications and is likely to do irreversible damage,” he warned.
Awareness of the importance of national service has been growing in the hareidi world, he noted, and reached a new high the month before the Tal Law ended, in July 2012, with the enlistment of more than 200 young men in one month. The total number of hareidi volunteers is approaching 2,000.
Jerbi urged Minister Daniel Hershkovitz, who oversees the National Service programs, to find a temporary legal solution that would allow hareidi men to continue choosing civilian service. even before the question of obligation in military service is ironed out.
“The current situation is likely to deal a blow to the significant accomplishments we’ve had in the hareidi sector, in terms of the awareness of civilian service in the hareidi sector, the number of volunteers, and the agreements we’ve reached with the hareidi leadership,” Jerbi said.