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July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
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30,000 Haredim Receive Their Army Exemptions

'Nahal Haredi" soldiers (Netzah Yehuda battalion) learning Torah during their army service.

'Nahal Haredi" soldiers (Netzah Yehuda battalion) learning Torah during their army service.
Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Since the Shaked Haredi Draft bill passed, almost 30,000 Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox), ages 22-28, have received or will be receiving their permanent exemptions from IDF army service, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Until now, Haredim were required to be learning in Yeshiva until age 28, while they were receiving IDF exemptions.

Those 30,000 Haredim are now free to continue learning in Yeshiva, or alternatively, join the job market and support their families. They will no longer need to apply annually for an army exemption.

The ministerial committee that dealt with the draft law is also evaluating what steps can be taken to help integrate those newly exempted Haredim who want to enter the workforce, including salaried training programs and employer incentives to hire Haredim.

Furthermore, due to high demand on the part of Haredi soldiers who did complete their IDF service in one of the Haredi army units, the army is working on creating a second battalion of Haredi IDF reservists for those who want to continue to serve.

On the downside, due to active discouragement on the part of the Haredi leadership and Rabbis, enlistment of those between ages of 18-21 has sharply dropped, and the Haredi draft quotas, of only a few thousand a year, which until now were being met, may not be reached.

A sign in Jerusalem's Ultra Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood against serving in the IDF. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

A sign in Jerusalem’s Ultra Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood against serving in the IDF.
Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

The IDF and the Defense Minister recommended to the committee that lines of communications be opened with the Haredi leadership to stop their incitement against Haredi youth serving in the IDF or doing National Service. National Service is the alternative for those who don’t want to serve in the army.

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37 Responses to “30,000 Haredim Receive Their Army Exemptions”

  1. why the exemptions?

  2. live in haeretz, serve in haeretz. They can peel potatoes, plenty to do outside combat zones. Exemption is BS.

  3. During WW2, conscientious objectors were given jobs in the military-not necessarily combat but jobs so others could go into combat. But they served.

  4. Its like the Amish in the United States they don’t fight but do KP duties and such non combat.

  5. Dita Gould says:

    There is no excuse for not doing National Service.Looks like the plan has not worked if fewer are enlisting.Financial aid should be reduced comesurably

  6. Every one must go to IDF

  7. GET THEM OUT OF ISRAEL PLEASE! WHY THE OTHER ISRAELIS WILL PROTECT THEM?? NO EXCUSES NO TO SERVE ISRAEL ARMY!!

  8. put them on the front lines as medics

  9. They should go and serve the IDF even if it is tasks around the bases and not in combat

  10. Paul W. Howe says:

    Let them protect themselves…

  11. Stephen Boak says:

    Good Comparison Seth

  12. Thanks Stephen Boak.

  13. Max Sulejman says:

    Cowards they rarely work hard for anything

  14. All Jews should serve. In one way or another. The USA fights unnecessary wars. In Israel the dangers are real.

  15. Jane Rismann says:

    Are the Haredi more religious than ancient Judeans who fought to preserve their country and religion–or are they really cowards who hide behind the facade of studying Torah and Talmud?

  16. Leslie Sherman says:

    Cowards! Is what they are.

  17. why? it’s their county! it’s a disgrace they don’t serve!

  18. If they spent more time with God instead of the Teachings of Man then it wouldn't matter. God isn't kept in Yeshivas or books, but in the very living breath of Israel itself. I say stay in the Services. Protect the land that God Loves. Afterall they live there too.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Separation of Church and State is intended to prevent this very situation. Yeshiva stipends come out of tax revenue to literally support the notion that reading the Bible all day (or pretending to) and praying (usually not for the welfare of the State btw) imbues the nation with magical powers which protects it even more than the Iron Dome System or the Golani Brigade. They literally believe that. Yet the Haredi can't grasp non-Haredi resentment and always attribute even mild criticism to the most vile sorts of antisemitism. They also have a spectacular penchant for strawman arguments. They try comparing their payouts to student loans. Student loans are totally different because a tangible benefit for society is usually created- you can see the fruits of an engineer's or doctor's or software programmer's labor. Nobody can quantify the power of prayer. The solution is to stop funding all yeshivas from public coffers. Private organizations will fill the gap. Judaism will be just fine. The Israeli Haredi will move into the workforce like their brothers in New York.

    Comparison to the Amish is a flawed one. The Amish are 300,000 out of a population of 315 million. The Haredi make up more than 10% of the Israeli population and are growing rapidly. Amish don't take state welfare as a matter of religious requirement (and have opted out of social security). Haredi do take welfare. Amish work. Most Haredi men in Israel do not. The Amish do not participate in politics or vote; Shas and UTJ are among the most hyper-political, myopic, and corrupt political parties in the entire Western world. When drafted, Amish show up even if it means they become stretcher bearers in harm's way. Haredi leaders urge massive civil disobedience when the subject of the draft comes up. The Amish are actually pacifists to the extent that Amish/Mennonites have let themselves be murdered. The Haredi are not pacifists by any definition (especially if your skirt is too short) and I think "cowardice" is a more apt description. There is very little similarity between the two groups other than distinctive clothing and beards.

  20. Is it possible for someone to join in place of a Haredi?

  21. There pray all day…god don’t like lots of prays…their need some exercise…!

  22. David Pitch says:

    If I can volunteer my time, my money, my energy volunteering with http://www.sar-el.org along with many other men and women young and old, Jews and non Jews from around the world so can the Haredi, and they can do more

  23. Mark Ellis says:

    I suggest that all read this piece from Rabbi Sholom Gold of Yerushalayim: http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.co.il/2014/04/if-you-want-to-see-god-go-to-shuk.html

  24. Jason Reaney says:

    Whats the diff between the haredim and the mahal forces? I know that one allows non jews to join? Our their any IDF recruitment basis in the uk? Id like to join?

  25. Haredi cannot be supported by the taxpayer if they are not going to contribute. Haredi Rabbis and leadership who are inciting non-enlistment ought to be able to be prosecuted and to serve prison time.

  26. Haredi should work and serve in the army, what kind of nonsense is that?

  27. I’m not a Jew but I’ll serve the IDF as a patriot American

  28. Ronnie Pleet says:

    Won’t help protect Israel from surrounding enemies,but want IDF protection. Dicgraceful people hiding under religion

  29. What a mistake the government is making.
    Every Israeli should, by law serve his/heer country in the military.
    They dont have to enlist as combat troops.
    there are so many jobs in the military, which they could train for to set them on the road to earn a living, and not be parasites by expecting others to protect them. They must stop expecting the tax payers must feed, clothe, house them.
    Remember, that biblcally, it was the religious Jews (Kink David as one) who faught the enemy.
    They knew their duty and they carried out their duty with honour.

    Just some of the jobs.
    Computers, chefs, engineering, aircraft mechanic, book keeping, stores control, transport , self defense, and the list goes on and on.
    All these jobs are of utmost importance in the military, and after their service, they can compete in the open market for jobs

    No young able bodied man or woman should be exempt from serving their country

  30. Haredi if you want to save the nation of Israel it is time to play your part. You are at liberty within the IDF to observe your religious concepts. If anything your devotions will encourage your fellow warriors. Only old men and boys under 18 should be exempt. Israel will never have her temple rebuilt or succeed as a nation if you insist on staying out of the arena.

  31. Here is a suggestion about encouraging Chareidim to do National Service: Make Hatzalah a part of National Service. Use what is working!

  32. Ora Cooper says:

    now there are officially 30000 bona fida young shnorrers who are "haredim"( in Hebrew -afraid) of responsibility.Thanks..leaches!

  33. Ora Cooper says:

    They? save the nation of Israel? they'd rather play the eternal victims and join the muslims and iranians in that pursuit! dream on!

  34. Ora Cooper says:

    Computers? engineering?aircraft mechanics? are you kidding?a curious minded person does not lock himself in a tiny community led by guys hooked on power! a curious person actually reads the Torah and learns the lessons of passover! haredim would have stayed in egypt! (Moses's horse wasn't white enough…)

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