The decision by the IDF to send draft notices out to first year Hesder yeshiva students who are not officially included currently in the Hesder program has raised major concerns among the heads of many yeshivas.
According to Moshe Gutman, chairman of the Igud Yeshivot Gevohot, which represents yeshivas affiliated with the National Religious community, draft notices were sent out recently to students in National Religious yeshivas who have not yet signed up for the Hesder program. Notices have not yet been sent out to students in Hareidi yeshivas, he said.
The reason for the distribution of draft notices is the expiration of the Tal Law last August. Without the Tal Law, an IDF spokesperson said, there is no framework for exemption or delay of IDF service for all 18 year olds. Currently, the only students whom the IDF has decided to allow to delay service are students who are officially enrolled in the Hesder program. All others are supposed to be drafted at age 18, regardless of their study framework or lack of one.
Gutman said that he had been in contact with IDF officials, who realize they may have made a mistake in sending out draft notices hastily. He said that the army was willing to postpone the requirement to act on those notices, in order to allow yeshiva administrators to properly enroll those planning to learn in the Hesder program. “They told us that the problem will be resolved, but the entire incident will be a major headache for administrators,” Gutman said.