Education Minister Naftali Bennett participated Wednesday in a gathering of Religious Zionist twelfth-graders organized by the Bnei Akiva Network of Yeshiva High Schools and advised the hundreds of attendees to spend at least a year studying Torah, a study which he described as "for the sake of heaven".
Bennett said that he regretted having enlisted immediately after completing high school and not electing to study Torah before enlisting.
He maintained that even when he conducted trial periods prior to selecting soldiers for elite army units he could detect the difference between those who studied for a year before army service and those who enlisted immediately. "This gives another dimension to army service, so one must devote time to Torah - it is for one's entire life. It is crucial."
Rabbi Haim Druckman, the venerable Religious Zionist leader and head of the Yeshiva Network, also spoke to the students and said that "each of us has a mission in this world. Your parents sent you to Yeshiva High School and look to see whether you are using the time to advantage or not."
"It's so important after you finish this period to devote some time to doing what you choose to do. You go to yeshiva because you choose to do so, you learn Torah because you decided to do so and nobody has forced you. For the sake of heaven," concluded Rabbi Druckman.