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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yair Lapid does what no one else could

Give Yair Lapid credit. He managed to do what no one else has managed to do. He managed to get together the three rabbinic councils of the Israeli Haredi world - the Lithuanian Degel HaTorah, the Hassidic Agudath Yisrael, and the Sephardic Shas - all in the same room to work together to defeat the new law intended to draft Haredim into the IDF.
The new conscription bill being drafted in the government Shaked committee is slated to be a historic move on the issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox. But the controversy surrounding the bill has already caused history to be made: on Monday, the leading rabbis of the three ultra-Orthodox factions -- Shas, the hassidic Agudat Yisrael and the Lithuanian Degel Hatorah -- gathered for the first time to discuss how to defeat the new law.
Senior rabbis attended the historic event, including Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, leader of the Lithuanian sect; Shas Council of Torah Sages member Rabbi Shalom Cohen; and senior hassidic leaders. Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, the extremist leader of the Lithuanian-Jerusalem stream, who is in a dispute with rivals from centrist factions, also took part in the meeting. The rabbis said they planned to hold a mass prayer rally the Sunday after next and decided to "immediately cancel the [government] committee's decision to force military service." 
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the demonstration.
"This is a bad law, never before seen," said MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism.)
Meanwhile, the Knesset committee for equating the military burden was slated to vote on Tuesday that the new draft law applied only to yeshiva students who studied in ultra-Orthodox institutions, meaning that more ultra-Orthodox students will need to enlist to meet the law's draft targets.
Let's go to the videotape.

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