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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Haredi Rabbi Threatens Suicide Squads over Draft

As his speech continued, it became clear that Rabbi Zicherman was not a man of understatements.

As his speech continued, it became clear that Rabbi Zicherman was not a man of understatements.
Photo Credit: Kikar Hashabbat

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Hundreds of Haredi demonstrators on Thursday blocked traffic in Jerusalem for more than an hour and battled police in a stormy rally against the draft and the recent arrest of a yeshiva student who failed to register at the draft office.

In many Haredi enclaves across Israel hundreds and sometime thousands also blocked intersections and clashed with police.

The provocation was a Supreme Court decision to block support grants to yeshiva students who haven’t registered to serve in the army. Another cause given was the arrest, a month ago, of one yeshiva student who had failed to register with the draft office.

Rabbi David Zicherman, one of the leaders of the Jerusalem Haredim, spoke heatedly before the demonstrators, calling the current situation Gzeirot Shmad-Jewish annihilation decrees of 5774.

Mind you, when Jewish history books use the term Gzeirot Shmad, they usually refer to the Roman or Greek occupation, when Jews were executed for leaning Torah or circumcising their sons. That is to say that Rabbi Zicherman might be exaggerating the severity of the current situation just a tad.

As his speech continued, it became clear that the good rabbi was not a man of understatements. He threatened the authorities that they would surely be facing “suicide squads who will give their lives for the Torah.”

Which brings up the question if doing a year and a half in the army won’t be quite a bit less injurious, seeing as the former option would also cut down Torah study most severely.

“One thing you can do,” Rabbi Zicherman advised, “Build, but right away, a Haredy prison, with sforim and sifrei Torah, with a mikvah, because there we will go happily, as ordered by our masters.”

But they already have such prisons, don’t they? They’re called Haredi yeshivot…

A few dozen demonstrators were arrested. The intersections were cleared eventually and thousands of furious motorists cold go on with their day.

No suicide squads were observed for the time being.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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38 Responses to “Haredi Rabbi Threatens Suicide Squads over Draft”

  1. Hashem giveth life-HE shall take it away. Do Haredi not love the land enough to fight for its right to defend & exist. Moshe brought Israel up out of Egypt.Eshter preserved Israel in Persia. Brought Israel from her enemies in Babylon. Hareidi will not fight for the gift of HIM?

  2. Do to them what You should do to the “palestinians” – send them out of the Country. You have no right to be citizen of any Country You are not prepared to defend against attacers!

  3. Lisa Kamins says:

    Although the rabbi involved is too extreme in his reaction, the article is also wrong with the way it portrays yeshivot

  4. Steven Plaut says:

    Why doesn't he just threaten to eat pork and marry his sister if there is conscription?

  5. Judi Fradkin says:

    Parasites! No lectures please. I come from a line of rabbinic and frum people. Also my cousin was killed defending eretz yisroel during the Yom Kippur war- yes he was orthodox.

  6. They will fight against the security of the country, but not for it? Do you really need these people?

  7. Dan Silagi says:

    You're right. It's much too soft on these poster boys for anti-Semitism.

  8. Herman Rosen says:


  9. George Harsanyi says:

    Suicide is worst that eating pork. He is nuts.

  10. Yechiel Baum says:

    Wow! This Ayatollah teaches Bitul Torah, allowing the Goyim to murder us why e sends his students to the streets to riot and collect money for himself.. He must have been educated in Iran since he preaches the same as the Iranians. He should be deported back to his country of birth and tender to the death camps to maybe learn something from the Shoah. THIS AYATOLAHH PICTURED SEEMS WELL FEED AND DRESSED SOMETHING IMPOSSIBLE IF HE IS NOT WORKING. the treasury should tax these wealthy people since the true Jews that serve the Jewish people go hungry.

  11. Chaiya Eitan says:

    The students' mothers would never let them do such a thing!

  12. Ronny Mol says:

    What the Rabbi is talking about is about the young men's soul. If you learn Torah daily and keep your personal holiness intact than going into the IDF is a BIG problem. Why? There are women in the IDF, they wear pants which shows their bodies. We are talking about men who do NOT go to movies, guard their eyes. It is posiion to these young men's souls. You only live 120 years but your soul lives forever. Don't worry about IRAN, the goyim will end up losing about AM YISROEL Jewish women dress modestly and Jewish men learn Torah and guard your eyes for a start. Disagree Go to http://www.divineinformation.com Watch Torah and Science lecture.

  13. I served my brother did not and if everybody thought like my brother there would be no State of Israel no country no people only military forces from other countries would occupy the land this message you need to think about the 7-day war

  14. Faleen Fedol says:

    They are an embarrassment to the Jewish religion and to Israel. There is nothing quite like these anti semitic leeches using study as an excuse for bleeding the economy dry. They seem to enjoy rioting and perhaps sending them to Syria, as a group and NOT as a hinderance to the Israeli defense forces, would do all of them some good in order to use up some of what looks like immense amounts of pent up energy.

  15. I guess it is time for a well overdue showdown. The enemy within is far more treacherous than the enemy without. The most important Mitzvah is the protection of fellow Jews' lives for which all else is secondary.

  16. Leeches deserve to be returned to the Polish lands they left. Then they would relearn the hatred the world has for them. They wish to commit suicide, that makes them no different than the Islamic world intent on destroying Israel.
    The rabbi teaches stupudity; not religion.

  17. Medieval idiot. These frummers are happy to have others fight and die to preserve the State of Israel, but won't do a thing to save themselves. They are a disgrace to themselves.

  18. everyone step back and let him immolate himself to the cause – you are no better than a suicide bomber, Sir!

  19. Aldo Mimoun says:

    Let them pray all they want. They still must be drafted and share the burden of protecting Israel against its enemies from within and the outside. True zealots as in the roman times were the true defenders of Judah. What happened to those new Haredim?

  20. Shande! My Orthodox family in Israel serves in the army and works for a living. Where is it written that the Orthodox are excused for working for a living. The comments I read are to the point. Welfare is for the sick who need help not for the able bodied adults.
    Holocaust survivor

  21. I’am happy there are religious Jews who do fight for there country. What do we expect from Naruri Karta or others who don’t even recognized the state of Israel.

  22. I fail to understand the people who want the right to do as they want and worship as they please are so upset when ask to help to defend those very rights? Do they feel it is someone else-es responsibility to defend their rights without any help from them? Can someone please explain this stance. I have always supported the Jewish people in their struggles to worship as they please in their own free country that they fight for and maintain on their own initiative. Their bravery and Godliness has always impressed me more than I can say, so i am at a loss why anyone who is Jewish would hesitate to step forward to defend Israel
    from any enemy at anytime as has always been done there. Someone please explain this to me, I am totally confused and baffled by it.

  23. Philip Kutner says:

    Either extreme is dangerous. This rabbi?? is more dangerous than any outsider, because he already is inside Israel. It would be great to deport him to any country of his choosing where he can tell the government what he wants.

  24. Romi Itzik says:

    Orthodox believers are idolaters Anti Zionist as a jew They don’t represent me or Israel they never ever contribute enithing to us / Pervert

  25. …”One thing you can do,” Rabbi Zicherman advised, “Build, but right away, a Haredy prison, with sforim and sifrei Torah, with a mikvah, because there we will go happily, as ordered by our masters.” Israel should take him up on it since he is making a threat of death, and to his own people. How very sick, how very ungrateful for being able to live in Israel.

  26. Don’t do that when so much good is on the horizon….however with christians now lobbying to be in defense of Israel…they should not have to be called upon at this juncture.

  27. Terry Beals says:

    I would like to say that God told Moses that all young men were to serve from 20 years old and upward. I think for the good of all and preservation of land and country, the draft is about the only way to be fair to all and all should be patriotic.

  28. Spencer Z Forman says:

    Wait until they have no more money to support their Talmud study

  29. Pedro Acosta says:

    Aim them at Hamas and Hezbolah.

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