New Yeshivah Draft Law Passes First Knesset Reading

draft law
Bachurim learning at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Knesset plenum approved the first reading of a controversial new draft law for yeshivah students on Monday night by a vote of 63 to 39.

The chareidi MKs of United Torah Judaism and Shas stood firm in their opposition to the proposed law, and all voted against it. It passed with help of the opposition Yesh Atid party, which joined the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu to vote in favor.

“We opposed the draft law according the directives of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah,” Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said in a statement after the vote. “Throughout the generations Am Yisrael has been moseir nefesh for limud haTorah and saw in it the most important value for the future of the Jewish nation. We will not agree to limit the number of lomdei Torah and will not support placing sanctions on yeshivah students who [have made] Toraso umanuso [full-time yeshivah students.]