Despite continuing protests by groups of haredi community members against IDF service, more members of the community are joining the army than ever before, Yonatan Bransky said.
Branksy is the Chairman of the Netzah Yehuda organization, which consists of veterans of the IDF and rabbis in the haredi community.
The protests, which have been going on for months, are the work of just a small, but loud, minority in the community, said Bransky. “I think most of the community just ignores them,” he said. “Everyone understands the importance of working together.”
Among other things, Netzach Yehuda arranges ceremonies for haredi soldiers, such as their graduation from basic training to regular service units. The latest ceremony was held Thursday, and Bransky said that it went very well.
“Our soldiers bring a great deal of pride to the community and to their families. Our job is to enable these soldiers to serve without compromising their religious lifestyle, and we are able to work with the army on this fully.”
As head of an organization that advocates IDF service, Bransky said that the issue for haredi Jews was not being “for” or “against” IDF service.
“No one will teach us lessons about the importance of full-time Torah studies, and we fully support those who choose to do this. No one is going to pull them out of their chairs in the House of Study. But there are thousands of 'students' who are not learning anything. These are the people we are seeking, and many of them do want serve in the IDF. We help them.”
The system works, he said. “Many of the soldiers we have worked with are now working and supporting families. They are our best ambassadors. We are here and ready to help any haredi soldier who joins the army to learn Torah, to provide spiritual support, and to find the appropriate service framework,” he said.