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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Hesder yeshivas’

Rumor: Draft Committee to Launch Special Chabad Track

Monday, February 10th, 2014

The Knesset committee working on the new draft bill have decided to add a third special track, in addition to the “hesder” track for religious Zionists, and the Haredi track: the Chabad Lubavitch track, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Over the next three days, the Knesset committee working on the conscription law, chaired by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, will prepare its final draft that will include, among other changes, shortening the service period for all enlisted IDF soldiers, adding a month to the hesder yeshiva track, and creating the Chabad track.

According to a Chabad rabbi speaking to Kikar hashabbat, the Chabad track will have different, and presumably easier conditions than those offered to Haredi yeshiva students.

The bill presented for a second vote on Tuesday permits Chabad yeshiva students ages 18-20 to leave the country to one destination: 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the world center of Chabad Lubavitch. They will stay there for two years, come back home, get married and spend one year in Kolel. Then they will enlist, as per the determination by the IDF. They, too, like Haredi students, will be permitted to ask for a delay of service until age 24.

This will end, once and for all, the ongoing problem faced by Lubavitch youths who stay in America and then face charges of desertion upon their return, with some actually serving jail time. Now they can take their time and stay in Crown Heights with the IDF approval.

According to the current draft, before the Tuesday vote, the hesder students will be serving an additional month, as prescribed originally by the Perry Committee, totaling their service at 17 months. Non-hesder soldiers will serve 32 months, down from 36.

Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home, celebrated the new bill on his Facebook page, saying that, “for the first time in many decades, the government is acting to connect the Haredi public with the world of employment and service.”

“Without this move, the State of Israel would have been trapped in an enormous socio-economic crisis in a few years,” Bennett added, promising: “in a few weeks we will change the reality in Israel.”

It might be a sign of a good law when it is hated by many in the Haredi public as well as on the left. MK Eliezer Stern of Tzipi Livni’s movement, who served as head of HR in the IDF and wears a yarmulke, accused Jewish Home of hypocrisy, by making a mockery of the idea of equal burden, which the new draft law was supposed to fix. According to Stern, the hesder yeshiva track, which started out as a great thing, has become corrupt over the years, with men who are registered in hesder yeshivas actually doing other things and getting to serve a shorter term.

Minister Yaakov Perry, whose committee actually wrote the original draft with the 17-month allotment to religious Zionist hesder soldiers, now accused Jewish Home of weakening the demands from Haredim. He promised a fight on the Knesset floor over the special terms awarded Haredim, seeing these as a rehashing of the faults of the Tal Law, which the Supreme Court annulled for its failure to introduce changes fast enough.

It’s true that the Tal Law was moving slowly, getting between 2,000 and 2,500 Haredim into the army each year. But even Perry’s version of the new law only envisioned 3,200 IDF recruits, out of 5,200 recruits altogether, with the remaining 2,000 doing national service in their own communities.

The additional 1,000 Haredi soldiers will hardly make a difference in terms of the IDF means, but will provide a wedge issues to be used effectively by both the left and the Haredi political parties, each riling up their voters to resist the “injustice.”

Jewish Home MK: It’s Time to Separate from Yair Lapid

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Yonatan “Yoni” Chetboun, elected to the Jewish Home 11th spot last January, on Tuesday told Galey Israel Radio that it’s time to dismantle the pact that ushered both Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid parties into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The interview is an open announcement of an idea that has been in discussion within Jewish Home for some time now.

An open and serious clash between the two parties, whose two leaders entered the coalition as brothers in arms, united against Netanyahu, has erupted over something called the Jewish Identity Administration, a new program devised by Bennett’s Ministry of Religious services.

The purpose of the new program was to enhance high school students’ love for the Jewish country, nation and history, through “creating live and meaningful encounters between our youth and the treasure trove of Jewish knowledge as well as the historic legacy of the nation of Israel.”

What the program was designed to do is hand out money to organizations that then would go and execute those ideas.

Except that Finance Minister Yair Lapid announced that Jewish tradition and the treasure trove of knowledge should include more than just Orthodox ideas. He wanted to see Conservative and Reform being represented as well.

In other words, take the Bennett et al idea and turn it on its head, because, frankly, much of what the initial purpose of the program entailed would have been fighting against the dangerous influence of non-halachic movements on the Jewish body politic.

In his radio interview, MK Chetboun described Lapid as pushing his own values against that of his National Religious partners. He reminded listeners that Lapid had also lumped Hesder yeshivas, whose students serve in the army in droves, together with Haredi yeshivas, and sucked the oxygen out of all of them. It took an irate intervention of Naftali Bennett to restore the budgets of the Hesderniks.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry, headed by Rabbi Shai Piron, a Lapid MK, is working on a program to “expand” recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations. Call it a one-two punch.

Chetboun is openly calling for separation from Yesh Atid, even if this would be at the expense of the Jewish Home coalition membership. “Our pact with Yesh Atid positions us in an unhealthy place,” he argued, adding that the party is not commanded to stay in government at all cost, especially not at the cost of abandoning its values, such as the fact that it’s an Orthodox party.

Of course, Yair Lapid is probably the one politician who did the most to bring Bennett and his Knesset list into the government—for purely political and manipulative reasons, but, nevertheless, without him they would have been out and the Haredim in.

The crucial question is whether or not the bridges have been burned to a crisp between Naftali Bennett and the two Haredi parties, Shas and UTJ. Together, they represent a formidable block of 30 MKs – only one less than Likud Beiteinu’s 31. The problem is that a few of the Haredi MKs are anti-Zionist, and some of them have a greater empathy for, say Beduins in the Negev, than for Israeli Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

Still, the Chetboun interview today means that there’s a groundswell within the Jewish Home to sever the ties with Lapid and his minions, and it may not necessarily meet with disapproval on Naftali Bennett’s part.

The Galey Israel Radio interview. Sorry – nothing but Hebrew from this point on…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-home-mk-its-time-to-separate-from-yair-lapid/2013/09/03/

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