Daily Israel Report

Hareidim Protest Purim Arrest of Draft-Dodger

Hundreds demonstrate against arrest of yeshiva student who refused to comply with military summons.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 3/19/2014, 8:44 PM

Hundreds of students of hareidi Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach demonstrated Wednesday against arrest of a yeshiva student during Purim after he refused to comply with a summons to enlist for military service.

Protesters carried signs reading "Prepare for Civil Disobedience" and "No to the Draft!", but the demonstrations have so far remained peaceful after Rabbi Auerbach reportedly instructed his students to refrain from any type of violence and not to confront the police.

As of the last few minutes protests were taking place in Jerusalem and the majority-hareidi city of Bnei Brak. Smaller protests are also taking place in Elad, Beit Shemesh, Dimona and Petach Tikva.

Rabbi Auerbach, son of the revered scholar Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, is the head of a prestigious yeshiva in Jerusalem and on the board of a noted rabbinical council.

Politically, he is seen as a rival to Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, who is generally recognized as the leader of the "Lithuanian" hareidi stream.

Protesters dancing in Jerusalem: