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Hareidi Rabbis: What to Do When Call-Up Comes?

Hareidi rabbis debate approach young Torah students should take when summoned to report for IDF service.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/4/2012, 11:45 PM

Hareidi-religious IDF soldiers
Hareidi-religious IDF soldiers
Israel news photo: Flash 90

As months pass with no replacement for the Tal Law, a debate has begun in the hareidi-religious world over how young hareidi men should respond when they receive letters telling them to report to their local recruitment office.

The Eida Hareidit organization released a statement Tuesday saying that students in its yeshivas are forbidden to even enter a recruitment office.

According to the hareidi news source B’Hadrei Hareidim, the ruling followed reports from young men who went to the recruiting office and later received letters demanding that they report for service despite having declined to sign enlistment forms. Some young men said they witnessed immodest behavior in the offices.

A signed ruling is expected to be published and disseminated this week.

The Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah (Council of Torah Sages) of Agudat Yisrael issued a different ruling, Yeshiva World News reports. Agudat Yisrael’s leading rabbis believe that students should report to their local recruiting office when summoned, but should not sign any forms in order to avoid being enlisted.

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni addressed the council and explained issues relating to hareidi Knesset factions and the draft.

For many years the Tal Law made it possible for the overwhelming majority of hareidi young men to forgo military service in favor of full-time Torah study. The law expired in the summer of 2012 after the Supreme Court ruled that it was discriminatory and must not be enacted again.