Haredi businessmen are threatening yeshiva deans, says rabbi

Sephardic-haredi rabbi says prominent religious businessmen demanding yeshiva deans not criticize IDF service in talks with their students.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

David Cohen, Flash 90

Rabbi Eliyahu Topik, a leading Sephardic-haredi rabbi and yeshiva dean said several Sephardic yeshiva deans have received threats and warnings not to speak negatively about IDF service with their students, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Those threatening them, he said, are important businessmen in their communities who threaten to harm the deans if they speak out.

Haredi yeshiva students traditionally do not enlist in the IDF, instead receiving annual deferrals until they are no longer of age to draft.

In a recording on Kikar Hashabbat's site, Rabbi Topik can be heard saying, "There are lots of kinds of businessmen, of all sorts of of rabbis in the yeshivas, who call the yeshiva dean and say, 'If you continue speaking against the draft, our yeshiva dean in Bnei Brak will forbid sending any students to your yeshiva.' It's horrific! This is a yeshiva in central Jerusalem, and they were threatened that if they speak out against the draft, then this will happen to them, or that will happen to them, or something else will happen to them. And since then they've kept quiet. They're scared."

"Another yeshiva dean told me that they threatened that if he spoke out against the draft, none of his students would receive deferrals....there are all sorts of businessmen who threaten yeshiva deans, and the deans, unfortunately, are scared, for one reason or another."

Rabbi Topik concluded, "We all need to band together and not listen to the businessmen, not fear telephone calls, and stand strong and not fear anyone. We need to be prepared to make sacrifices for this."