Chief Rabbis Yitzchak Yosef and David Lau this week visited various Hesder yeshivas, showing support for an institution that has been much maligned in recent weeks. On a visit to Yeshivat HaKotel, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau presented students with a Talmud lecture, and discussed the importance of Torah study during a period when “there are many attempts to sever the relations between Torah and the State. People do not appreciate the value of Torah study and act accordingly.
“After many years of Jews' dreaming about the return to their homeland, the Torah world is undergoing a difficult period,” Rabbi Lau said. “There has been a major attack against many of the values we hold dear, and this is relevant to all those who study Torah.” Rabbi Lau was referring to the negative comments denigrating Torah study, both in hareidi and Hesder yeshivas, by MKs of secular parties in recent weeks.
Rabbi Lau gave a special blessing to 50 of the yeshiva's students who are set to begin their army service in the coming weeks. “You will be sanctifying the Name of G-d and fulfilling the commandment of defending the Jewish people from its enemies, of which there are unfortunately many. You will be going places where most of the people in your community synagogues never see, and there you will have the merit to facilitate and spread the love of Heaven by others, where people will see your behavior and praise those who study Torah,” said Rabbi Lau.
Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef visited the Hesder yeshiva at Yeshivat Hagolan in Chispin, on the Golan Heights. In a lecture, Rabbi Yosef discussed the personality of his late father, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z”tl, and praised the students for their commitment to learning Torah and serving in the IDF.
“The most important lesson you learn is how to be a good Jew,” Rabbi Yosef said. “That is a lesson that one can learn during army service. We strong while you serve, G-d is with you and you will G-d willing return to your studies after your service.”