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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Lapid to Haredim: I Will Not Hurt the Torah World, It’s Nonsense

"The study of Torah cannot become an excuse not to study math and English, not to serve the homeland, and not to work for a living."
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid with MK Rabbi Shai Peron, one of the party's two Orthodox leaders.

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid with MK Rabbi Shai Peron, one of the party's two Orthodox leaders.
Photo Credit: Ben David/Flash90

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid on Wednesday responded to various statements given by Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, that Lapid intends to act in anti-religious and anti-Haredi ways, most notably on the issue of burden equality (code for Haredim in military or national service).

“The Haredi parties are busy spreading the rumor that I am plotting to hurt the Torah world. There is no greater nonsense,” Lapid wrote on his Facebook page, noting that “all my life I read and study the Bible. In my eyes, the study of Torah is part of Israel’s existence. There are two rabbis among the Yesh Atid MKs.”

According to Lapid, “the fact that some people devote most of their lives to Torah study is worthy of praise, and I even think we should include the Talmud as part of the national education in secular schools.”

However, Lapid stated that “the study of Torah cannot become an excuse for eight-year-old children not to study math and English, for 18-year-olds not to serve their homeland, and 28-year-olds not to work for a living.”

“King David was a combat fighter, Maimonides studied secular topics, Nahmanides and Rashi worked for a living – do the Haredi parties claim that they, too, damaged the Torah world?” Lapid wondered, adding, “Everyone has the right to learn, but learning cannot be an excuse for a person not to meet their most basic obligations to their country, family and society.”

Lapid concluded: “there are seventy faces to the Torah, so don’t believe anyone who tells you he is the sole representative of the God of Israel.”

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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3 Responses to “Lapid to Haredim: I Will Not Hurt the Torah World, It’s Nonsense”

  1. Yair Lapid has twisted some of the issues.King David was.
    not drafted, he voluntarilly fought the Philistines.Maimonidies and Nachmoidies studdied secular subjects after they had studdied the Torah -not before. All the great Rabbis that worked for a living did not have to worry about avoiding an anti-religious draft board.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Words of religious morality from a non religious Jew is pure hypocrisy! He speaks well and distorts the truth by focusing on certain points while avoiding the main overall issues. Don't get fooled by the glib. He can speak about finance or whatever he is good at but speaking about right and wrong is not his domain as he is a professed non religious Jew. He does not know the Torah(the source of right and wrong) therefore he does NOT now what is morally correct or not, thus his moral statements against the Hareidim or anyone have no credibility. Makes sense no?

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