Israel Beiteinu MK seeks to save hesder program

Rotem seeks to anchor programs in which national-religious yeshiva students combine Torah study with shortened army service.

March 11, 2012 03:13
1 minute read.
David Rotem

Rotem 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))

Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu) has proposed a bill that seeks to undo one of the legal ramifications of the Tal Law’s cancellation, by passing separate legislation on yeshivas that combine Torah studies with army service.

The High Court declared the Tal Law, which was passed in 2002 to encourage ultra-Orthodox men to enlist in the IDF or for national service, unconstitutional last month. The Tal Law also legalized hesder yeshivas, a framework in which national-religious yeshiva students combine Torah studies with a shortened army service.

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Rotem’s bill is meant to anchor the hesder yeshivas in legislation and will be put to a vote by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday.

According to Rotem, the cancellation of the hesder program was unintentional, as the court’s ruling dealt only with the ultra-Orthodox.

“The hesder track includes tens of thousands of young national-religious men that serve in the IDF,” Rotem said.

“We cannot allow this great program to be closed because of a ruling on a different topic.”

Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman assigned Rotem to draft an alternative to the Tal Law but he has yet to finish the new bill.

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