Haredi Members of Knesset, Israel's parliament, have come face-to-face with an issue that calls into play the fundamental principles of their religion, and they can't decide what to do about it. But make no mistake – the crisis is looming, and any day now they will be forced to decide.
Haredi Members of Knesset, Israel's parliament, have come face-to-face with an issue that calls into play the fundamental principles of their religion, and they can't decide what to do about it. But make no mistake about it.
The crisis is looming, and any day now they may be forced to decide whether or not moderate haredi MK Rabbi Dov Lipman can be counted as part of a minyan (prayer quorum).
Jewish law requires 10 "men" 13-years-of-age or older be present for a prayer quorum to be valid.
Without Lipman, there are 19 haredi males serving in Knesset. At some point, due to absences or the need to make two separate prayer quorums, Lipman will be one of only 10 men in the Knesset's synagogue and haredim will have to decide whether or not the moderate American-born haredi rabbi who joined the hated Yesh Atid political party headed by Yair Lapid, the party at the forefront of the call to draft haredim into Israel's military, can be counted as part of the quorum.
So far, it seems that the haredi rabbis who control those 19 haredi MKs are against counting Lipman – meaning that they don't view him as a kosher Jew.
Haredi MKs even asked the senior haredi rabbis if it would be better under such circumstances to pray with the Zionist Orthodox MKs – a near-heretical act according to many.
Speaking today for the first time in the Knesset, Lipman told haredim they have to get up, walk out of their yeshivas, and serve in Israel's military or civilian service.
“Everyone, including yeshiva students, is obligated to contribute to the state through military or civil service,” Lipman reportedly said.