'Haredi soldiers not giving up on Torah study'

Netzach Yehuda CEO says haredi IDF recruits maintain religious lifestyle, show haredim have nothing to fear from IDF.

Benny Tocker ,

Haredi soldiers learning Torah
Haredi soldiers learning Torah
Flash 90

Aharon Malach, the CEO of the Netzah Yehuda organization, summed up statistics for haredi IDF service during the month of August. Approximately 200 men enlisted in the combat battalions in the IDF this month, including the Netzach Yehuda Battalion, the Tomer Battalion in Givati ​​and the Hatz Battalion in the Paratroopers Brigade.

According to him, the haredi recruits are religious men who have decided that they want to contribute to the State while continuing to study Torah.

"Despite all the background noise, I congratulate every young haredi man who understood the need to contribute to society and to the state, and that's exactly what these guys are doing. I'm glad there's been a significant increase in the recruitment statistics of haredim into combat units. Although we would be happy if there would be a more significant increase, but we also welcome [the increase we see].

"Those who enlisted in November 2016 are now carrying out operational activity along the Gaza border. These are serious guys who completed a [Talmud] tractate in July at the end of basic training," he sad. He noted with satisfaction that the haredi recruits strictly observe the rules of study and prayer.

"It's exciting to see them every day - after a grueling day of training which starts at 4:00 a.m., waiting for the teacher who comes from Jerusalem to give the Torah class every day. It is really heartwarming.

Malach said that Netzah Yehuda does not employ any means of persuasion to recruit haredim to the IDF. "When we are approached by haredim for consultations, we give everyone the advice, but on our part there is no initiative of marketing or public relations [encouraging joining the IDF]. I think that this is not the way, but the personal example of seeing a young haredi man who joined the IDF and returns to the community while maintaining a religious lifestyle that will cause more and more haredim to serve in the IDF."

"We have a soldier who chose to forego the last eight months of service in order to complete his schooling and matriculation or vocational education and chose to finish his service in yeshiva. He's also set up a magnificent home. This is the best example.

"We hope that the community will understand with time that they are serious guys who continue to live as haredi Jews, and who love Torah, and that they should be welcomed with open arms," he said.