The Ashlag Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Avraham Halevy’s weekly talk last Shabbat included some sharp comments on the social wedge issue of equality in shouldering the military burden in Israel and the attempts to conscript Haredi yeshiva students, the website Kikar HaShabbat reported.
The Ashlag Chasidic dynasty was founded by Rabbi Yehuda Leib Halevy Ashlag from Warsaw, Poland. While most Chasidic dynasties are named after their town of origin, this one is known by the surname of its rebbes.
The Ashlag Rebbe said: “Unfortunately we have recently begun to hear about malicious plans of regime leaders here in our Holy Land, to stick their paws in the sacred halls of the yeshivas, with vain claims about equal burden and responsibility, in order to enlist the yeshiva students for military service – this will not be.”
He added: “The stupidity of their hearts keeps them from seeing and understanding that the men of Israel who prefer sitting on yeshiva benches even though there are opportunities open before them to earn a good living and become rich thanks to their intelligence – and yet they prefer to kill themselves in her tent of Torah, sacrificing themselves many hours each day. Those who leave behind them the vanities of this world – they are the real defenders of the nation of Israel in the land of Israel …”
The Ashlag Rebbe addressed the issue of inequality in sharing the burden, and argued that inequality is caused by the secular Jews who do not study Torah and do not keep the commandments: “Regarding the claim of not shouldering the burden and the problem with equality, we call on our erring brethren who do not labor to learn Torah and do not obey the commandments: Come share the burden of learning Torah with devotion, for the sake of the nation of Israel.”
He also said, “The nation of Israel did not survive our brutal history by the deterrence of the IDF, nor by the might of the State of Israel, but by the merit of the study of Torah.”
Finally, the Ashlag Rebbe suggested penalties for anyone who dares dodge the obligation to study Torah and keep the mitzvot.