A special emergency meeting of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael and Degel HaTorah, and the Moetzes Chachmei HaTorah of Shas has been called for Monday night in Bnei Brak to chart a unified response to the Knesset committee’s passage of a chareidi draft bill.
The bill, which must still be voted on by the full Knesset, imposes both economic and criminal sanctions on those who refuse to leave their Torah studies for army service.
At the meeting, the pain and outrage of the entire Torah community will be expressed, and specific measures will be discussed on how to respond to the government’s plan to jail people for learning Torah.
In advance of the historic gathering, the secretaries of the Torah councils met to work out the details of the agenda: Harav Mordechai Stern, secretary, Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael; Harav Avraham Rubenstein, secretary, Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Degel HaTorah; and Harav Amir Krispal, secretary, Moetzes Chachmei HaTorah of Shas.
Organizers noted in particular the betrayal of the chareidi community by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose rise to power was largely due to their support, and who had only recently promised to prevent criminalizaton from being included in the bill approved by the Shaked Committee.
In addition, they mentioned the conduct of the Jewish Home party, which despite repeated pledges of support for the chareidim in the end voted with Yesh Atid and Likud for a bill that threatens national division.
The gathering on Monday night will signal the beginning of a unified struggle of the Torah faithful, in all of its various groups, against the government’s plan to throw Jews into jail for learning Torah in the land of Israel.