Statement Read at the Conclusion of the Atzeres Tefillah

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel reading the statement.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel reading the statement.

Klal Yisrael has no treasure greater than the Holy Torah, no calling greater than the study of Torah, no asset more precious than those who devote themselves to learning and growing in Torah.

B’siyata diShmaya, we have been privileged in recent years to witness the flourishing of Torah study across the globe, and especially in Eretz Yisrael. In the aftermath of the destruction of European Jewry 70 years ago, when so many predicted the demise of Torah-true Judaism, we take pride and solace in this open manifestation of the Yad Hashem.

Now, however, a new law is proposed in Israel that is designed to severely limit the growth of Torah in the Holy Land. It would not only abandon Israel’s longstanding exemption of full-time yeshivah students from military service, it would expose bnei Torah who refuse to be conscripted into the military to potential criminal sanction. This development in the Eretz Hakodesh is both deeply dismaying and profoundly shocking, an affront to the world Jewish community and to the honor of Hashem’s Name.

We join with the hundreds of thousands of Jews who gathered in the streets of Yerushalayim last week to pour out their hearts in tefillah, and to express their anguish and protest regarding this proposed new law.

This is our message to our dear brethren in Eretz Yisrael: Know that the Torah community in America stands with you in this difficult moment of challenge!

May He who is Melamed Torah l’amo Yisrael have mercy on Klal Yisrael and usher in the time when we witness the fulfillment of Yeshayah Hanavi’s prophecy: “V’chol bana’yich limudei Hashem v’rav shlom bonayich — And all your children will be students of Hashem, and your children will have peace.”