An umbrella organization of haredi yeshivas is calling on all yeshiva students who receive their first IDF induction notification “not to sign anything from the IDF.” Instead, yeshiva students are told to sign a form from the umbrella organization stating that they will continue learning and will not serve in the military.
Yeshiva World reports:
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]
The Vaad HaYeshivos [an umbrella organization of haredi yeshivas] is calling on all talmidim [yeshiva students] who receive their first induction notification “not to sign anything from the IDF”. The rabbonim [rabbis] are instructing talmidim and avreichim [generally, kollel students] to simply sign the vaad’s form stating they will continue learning and nothing else.
According to a HaMevaser report, the vaad is acting in response to numerous complaints from talmidim who feel they were harassed and pressured by officials in induction centers. As such, the vaad instructs anyone receiving a notice compelling them to appear in an induction center is to adhere to the instruction of gedolei yisrael shlita [leading haredi rabbis] and not to sign any forms given to them by the IDF.
In addition, the vaad has sent its form to all yeshivos and if a talmid receives mail from the IDF, he is to contact rabbonim in his yeshiva and obtain a form that states he will continue learning as per the long-standing arrangement that has existed in Israel, without any change in his status.
It appears the stepped-up measures may also be the result of the fact that thousands of talmidim are going to be drafted into the IDF in the coming months.
The vaad has set up the following policy. A form is received by a talmid [yeshiva student]. He then contacts rabbonim from his yeshiva to receive a vaad form. The talmid signs the vaad form in front of an attorney after the talmid presents his identification card towards notarizing the validity of the declaration. In addition to attesting to one’s limud Torah as one’s profession, the form states the talmid commits at least 45 hours weekly to his studies and that he has been a talmid learning since age 16. The statement attests to the fact a talmid is not working and does not receive compensation for work in any form, and as such plans to continue learning under the arrangement that has been in place in the state over the past 60 years.
The form is filled out in duplicate, and one copy sent by registered mail to the appropriate induction center. The second copy is stored in the yeshiva files along with the receipt from the post office that the original copy was mailed to IDF authorities.
It is likely that if this procedure is followed as instructed by the rabbonim, many talmidim will be listed as failing to respond to the IDF draft order and arrest warrants will be issued against them and military police will likely begin visiting yeshivos to arrest those whose names appear on the warrants.