Israel’s chief rabbi warns of MASS EXODUS if Ultra-Orthodox Jews are conscripted
03/13/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Israel's chief rabbi has warned of a mass exodus the moment ultra- Orthodox Jews, or Haredim, are pressed into military service by Tel Aviv.

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef issued this warning during a lesson in Jerusalem delivered on the evening of March 9. He remarked: "If they force us to join the army, we will all move abroad." Yosef's warning, according to the Jerusalem Post (JPost), signals "a potential mass departure that could shake the very foundations of the [Israeli] state."

"We will buy tickets," added the rabbi. "There is no such thing as forcing us into the army. The state stands on this."

The rabbi also emphasized the critical role of the study of the Torah – the first five books of the Holy Bible – in Israel's success and survival. He attributed the "victories" of the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas, formally the Islamic Resistance Movement, to the divine protection afforded by Torah learning rather than from military prowess alone.

"The yeshivas and kolells are what hold up the world," said Yosef about institutes that focus on the study of Jewish sacred texts. "The [Israeli] state exists on Torah study, and without the Torah, there would have been no success for the army."

"What would we do without the world of yeshivas and kollels? No one told me it's thanks to the pilots, the bombings or the planes." (Related: Israeli Rabbi to Christians: "You shouldn't be worshiping one Jew, you should be worshiping all of us.")

The chief rabbi's remarks come amid a growing storm over the drafting of haredim by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a subject that has long been a point of contention within Israeli society.

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"In order to prevent outside influence and contamination of values and practices, Haredim strives to limit their contact with the outside world, avoiding as much as possible both non-hardi Jews and non-Jews," according to My Jewish Learning. Thus, drafting them into military service would run contrary to this goal.

Haredim soldiers are necessary amid threats to Israel

The JPost also mentioned that the incumbent chief rabbi's father, former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yousef, insinuated that the Haredim would emigrate from Israel if forced into military service. "We will have to, God forbid, leave the land of Israel to move abroad," he said in 2013.

But given Tel Aviv's ongoing offensive against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, many have rebuked the idea of Haredim dodging the draft. Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, remarked that statements promoting the evasion of the IDF's draft are "a despicable moral stain and disgrace of God's name."

"The threat of leaving Israel specifically to avoid defending our nation is particularly reprehensible and completely contradicts the spirit of Halacha (Jewish law)," he continued. "One would expect that someone who sits atop the Israeli Chief Rabbinate would encourage IDF service as opposed to dodging service to the extent of actually leaving the country."

Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition in the Knesset (Israel's parliament), meanwhile said: "Today, there are 66,000 ultra-Orthodox youth of conscription age; that's 105 battalions that don't enlist. If the state of Israel does not recruit the Haredi young people, it has no right to send more and more reserve orders to people who have already done 70, 90 and 120 days of reserve duty this year."

He also commented on the chief rabbi's warning: "No one wants them to go abroad, but it's no longer a theoretical debate. If they don't enlist, they won't get money."

Watch this footage from the Middle East Eye about ultra-Orthodox Jews protesting against compulsory military service in Jerusalem.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on

More related stories:

Ready for another DRAFT? New GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson says U.S. "boots on the ground" may be necessary for America to "stand with Israel."

GET READY: The U.S. military-industrial complex is planning a military draft so Americans can fight the bankers' third world war.

Watch: Zennials are terrified of military draft as war looms.

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