But a group of the Zionist Orthodox rabbis’ students have urged their rabbis to not go to the haredi protest. However the students don’t oppose the protest out for any ideological or theological reasons. Instead, they are urging their rabbis to stay away because the haredi mob could be dangerous and might hurt them.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
Leading Zionist Orthodox Rabbis To Attend Haredi “Million Man” Protest Against Drafting Haredim, Government
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Several leading Zionist Orthodox rabbis say they are planning to attend Sunday's haredi “million man” protest against the government and the proposed draft law.
The protest, which was originally supposed to be held later in March, was moved up by haredi leaders, allegedly due to the urgency of the situation.
Among those Zionist Orthodox rabbis planning on participating are Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Sefat, and the rosh yeshiva of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva in Jerusalem, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner.
“Just like the nation needs an army – that’s obvious – the nation needs Torah… We can’t hurt one without hurting the other,” Aviner reportedly told Kol B’Rama radio when he announced his intention to join the haredi protest.
“We must not permit the government to divide and conquer. In my talks with MKs from HaBayit HaYehudi, they told me with absolute certainty they will be voting against the law that harms haredim and the Torah world,” Eliyahu reportedly told journalist Avi Mimran earlier this week when he announced his intention to join the haredi protest.
But a group of the Zionist Orthodox rabbis’ students have urged their rabbis to not go to the haredi protest, Arutz Sheva reported.
However the students don’t oppose the protest out for any ideological or theological reasons.
Instead, they are urging their rabbis to stay away because the haredi mob could be dangerous and might hurt them.
In a letter to the rabbis the students warned that the rabbis could be injured by the haredi mob due to the prevalent strong anti-Zionism of the haredi protesters.
“Even if the purpose of the prayer rally Sunday were a good one – please don’t go, because of the danger posed by the herd which is incited by its leaders,” the students wrote.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Avichai Ronsky – the former Chief Rabbi of the IDF who now heads the Zionist Orthodox yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, said Zionist Orthodox rabbis stay away from the haredi protest on ideological grounds.
“I really find it difficult to understand how there are rabbis, great Torah scholars, some of them my teachers, who are calling to participate [in the rally] and even plan to attend. Our moral understanding, our understanding of halakha [Jewish law], is that men must enlist in the army. Even Torah scholars – maybe for a limited period of time, like in the hesder program… That’s our Jewish and moral understanding.…They [haredi rabbis] call [on their followers] not to enlist in the army, even for those who aren’t learning [in yeshiva]. It’s no secret that many don’t enlist even if they aren’t learning…The rabbis simply do not want them to enlist, because they want to keep their community separate from society,” Ronsky said, adding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already promised that no haredi yeshiva students will be sent to prison for draft dodging. “I call on our entire community not to take part in the protest, which will call on the haredi community not to enlist in the army,” Ronsky concluded.
Ronsky is a rabbinic advisor to Economy, Trade and Religious Services Minister MK Naftali Bennett – the head of the right wing, pro-settler Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi Party – and HaBayit HaYehudi’s MK Ayelet Shaked, who heads the Knesset committee that is writing the new draft law.
Ronsky, Bennett and Shaked had planned on forming their own party and running for Knesset but instead joined the HaBayit HaYehudi Party. Bennett was eventually elected its chairman.
Ronsky’s statement about Netanyahu’s widely reported promise not to jail haredi draft dodgers no matter what the law calls for can be understood as evidence to support the claim that Bennett, Shaked and Netanyahu in conjunction with haredi parties made backroom deals that will essentially gut the new draft law.