In what is being called a rare and historic event, haredi rabbinic
leaders from the hasidic and non-hasidic factions that make up the
haredi United Torah Judaism political party met last night in Bnei Brak
in what onlookers called an "emergency meeting” to plan resistance to the looming military draft of haredim.
For The First Time In Years, Hasidic And Non-Hasidic Rabbis Meet To Plan Resistance To Military Draft
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
In what is being called a rare and historic event, haredi rabbinic leaders from the hasidic and non-hasidic factions that make up the haredi United Torah Judaism political party met last night in Bnei Brak in what onlookers called an "emergency meeting,” Ynet reported.
The subject of this “emergency meeting”?
The looming draft of haredim into Israel’s military and the forced end of the nearly unanimous haredi evasion of military service.
The Council of Torah Sages met at a hotel owned by Vizhnitzer hasidim. The non-hasidic Degel Hatorah faction’s spiritual leader, 98-year-old Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, chaired the meeting. Sitting by his side were the Gur, Vizhnitz and Belz Rebbes. The rabbis close aides stood behind them.
“[The Council] is shaken, frightened and deeply depressed by the wave of incitement from the residents of Israel against haredim.…This is a special request for the heads of the government: Do not deviate, not even a bit, from the traditional treatment of Torah students [i.e., funding their studies and exempting them from military service through their entire adult lives as long as they study in yeshiva full time] or anything pertaining to the Jewish character of the country," a statement issued by the rabbis reportedly read.
"This is a historic meeting. Degel Hatoroah's Council of High Torah Sages has not met in 16 years. In a sense, it has been recreated today. I think this testifies to the significance of the hour at hand. More than 20 leaders of the Torah world sat together around a single table, all very elderly, to express their sadness at the edicts. The height of the event was when Rabbi Shteinman wept; everyone understood,” Israel Cohen, a Vizhnitzer hasid who works as a journalist for the prominent haredi publication Kikar Hashabbat, told Ynet.