Hesder roshei yeshiva met to complain about a new IDF proposal to lengthen hesder army service to 2 years from its current 18 months. This would be in conjunction with shortening regular army service from 3 years to 2, removing hesder's advantage. The army also plans to integrate units, which was accepted by a few of the rabbis. But, as the Jerusalem Post reports, there is more to this story than meets the eye:
Several heads of hesder yeshivot told The Jerusalem Post that a growing number of soldiers are choosing to postpone indefinitely army service like haredi yeshiva students.
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, head of the Elon Moreh hesder yeshiva and symbol of the more right-wing rabbis faithful to former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Avraham Shapira who advocated insubordination during disengagement, have gained popularity.
Levanon said that he already noticed a sharp rise in interest in his yeshiva, six months before enrollment, which takes place in the Jewish month of Elul.
Attempts by the IDF to single out Levanon for censure for calling to refuse military orders have only boosted his popularity.
The solution is to stop all hesder programs. Now is not too soon.