Duvi Honig addressing HomeLand Security Event
Duvi Honig addressing HomeLand Security EventOrthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce

The recent attempt to defund haredi yeshivas in Israel by the country's Supreme Court is not only discriminatory but also shameful and uncalled for.

It should have nothing to do with the issue of haredi participation in the IDF, an issue which Israel has to resolve, but only by means other than threats and withdrawing funds.

Israel is trying to defund a minority who protect Israel and the Jewish nation by the merit of Torah Study. Defunding Torah institutions does not address any systemic issues or injustices, but targets a specific religious group within the country who believes that Torah Study is equal to protecting people from harm, the same as the Police do for everyday communities.

The call to defund Orthodox Jewish education is not only discriminatory, but it is also a gross misrepresentation of the contributions that the haredi Jewish community makes to Israeli society. With around 65,000 students in haredi higher Jewish institutions, a half of a percent of Israel's entire population, the amount of funding they receive is minuscule compared to the sums given to other causes in Israel.

The Israeli Supreme Court's decision to target Orthodox Jewish education is a misguided and dangerous move that undermines the foundation of Jewish society. The Torah is the soul of the Jewish nation, and to attack those who study and uphold its teachings is not only an affront to religious freedom but also a betrayal of the values that Israel was founded upon. Torah scholars play a vital role in preserving the Jewish heritage and identity, and to defund their education is to weaken the very fabric of the nation.

Furthermore, the timing of these actions is particularly troubling. In a time of war and conflict, unity is more important than ever. Dividing the population and instigating internal strife only serves to weaken Israel and embolden its enemies. Instead of attacking a minority group within the country, the focus should be on coming together as one nation to defend against external threats and protect the land of Israel.

As history has shown us, internal fighting and division led to the downfall, exile of our nation and the destruction of the Holy Temple two thousand years ago. It is time to learn from our past mistakes and strive towards unity, respect, and understanding for all individuals, regardless of their religious practice . Discriminating against haredi Jewish institutions is not the answer, but a step in the wrong direction.

In the span of a person's seventy year lifespan, one may think they have gained enough wisdom and knowledge to dictate to God how to run his world. However, throughout history, the Jewish nation has faced countless challenges and threats to its existence. From being exiled from Israel to surviving the horrors of the Holocaust, the Jewish people have endured unimaginable hardships and lessons with only the merit of Shabbos and Torah Study protecting us and keeping us together for thousands of years.

The Supreme Court's decision to defund haredi yeshivas, which play a crucial role in upholding Jewish heritage and identity, is not only discriminatory but also undermines the unity of the nation.

The Supreme Court's actions further divide an already fragile nation, especially at a time when unity is crucial for facing external threats like Hamas.

Let us not forget the contributions the haredi population makes to Israel, both economically and spiritually.

In a time of war and uncertainty, unity is paramount. We must come together as a nation and show gratitude to those who uphold our traditions and protect our country through the merit of Torah. The Supreme Court and Israel's left have joined forces in this decision, but they should reconsider their actions and work towards building a stronger, more united nation.

Sadly, these two, the Supreme Court and the radical Left, fail to understand how now is not the time for division, but the time for unity. The history of the Jewish people is filled with instances where internal fighting led to their downfall, such as during the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. It is clear that unity is crucial for the survival and prosperity of the Jewish nation.

By acting in a self-destructive manner and allowing internal political based conflicts to overshadow the greater good, we are repeating the mistakes of the past. It is imperative that we come together as a community, regardless of our differences, in order to overcome the challenges we face.

Truthfully speaking now that the numbers were shown publicly, there should be public outcry calling for more funding for such a small sector instead of calling to Defund Torah which upholds the world and is the Soul of the Jewish nation. Instead of attacking the minor percentage of jewish Torah schools and Torah scholars, we should unite to call for their support and ask for an increase in Torah funding.

Why defame the meager stipend of 395 NIS ($110) a month for single students and 650 NIS ($190) for married avreich? This paltry amount can only provide for a few days' worth of groceries. Yet the Supreme Court paints the picture as if Israel taxpayers are supporting a luxurious life of the haredim. These students are sacrificing all they have to study Torah, while in essence they live on bread and water,

Furthermore, the portrayal of haredi Jews as not contributing to society is a misconception. In reality, most of the haredi Jewish sector is one of the most supportive and dedicated sectors in Israel, both financially and physically.

Let’s not forget the other side of the coin, how shameful it is that Israel’s school system won’t teach their children Shema Yisroel and how an Israeli mayor acts like a Russian comissar in the days of the Iron Curtain announcing that he will not allow Tefilin stands or separate prayers on Yom Kippur in the Jewish State.

Is it that education the one we want our taxpayers dollars and contributions distributed to?

It is important for the people of Israel to stand in solidarity with all those who uphold the traditions and values of the nation, Religious Zionist and Haredi. The Torah is not a burden but a source of strength and protection, and those who study its teachings should be recognized and supported, not attacked and defunded.

The movements to topple the Israeli government and defund Orthodox Jewish education are misguided and harmful actions that threaten the unity and strength of the nation. It is essential for the people of Israel to come together as one in times of war and conflict, to protect and support each other, and to uphold the values and traditions that have sustained the Jewish nation for centuries. By standing in solidarity with all members of Israeli society, regardless of their religious practices, the nation can be united and strong in the face of adversity.

Duvi Honig is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber Of Commerce