Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tal Law And Hesder Yeshivot

I think it is fair to say that the hot topic of the upcoming elections will revolve around replacing the Tal Law - the law exempting the Haredi public from serving in the IDF. It is also safe to speculate that at some level the Haredi community's free ride is about to end - and a large portion of that society will end up either serving in the IDF or doing some version of national (or civil) service.

Traditionally the National Religious (Dati Leumi) public has been a vocal critic of the Haredi position on the IDF. However, I think the Dati Leumi public is about to get a rude wake up call. Because as equal service for all become the national rallying cry, the public (almost certainly urged on by the Haredi media) will start asking about the preferential treatment given to Hesder Yeshivot.

So long as the Haredi public wasn't serving at all, the Hesder program seemed like the "good" option. However, with the elimination of the "extreme" pole of the Haredi yeshivot, it will become increasingly hard to defend the Hesder program.

 * In Hesder Yeshivot, the Dati Leumi men serve only 18 months of active service in the IDF, and another 3.5 years studying in the Yeshivah.

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