Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger on Thursday said that there is a correlation between the safety of the IDF and the Jewish nation's adherence to the torah, Army Radio reported.
Speaking about the Tal Law, which allows haredim (ultra-orthodox) to indefinitely postpone IDF service, and which was struck down by the High Court of Justice earlier this year, Metzger said: "When synagogue attendance is lagging, as is the case on holiday evenings or prior to the Sabbath, more IDF soldiers are injured and killed."
Metzger added that "The more Jews that learn Torah, the stronger our military will be."
"Just as there is an Air Force and a navy, there must also be a God Force," Army Radio quoted him as saying.
The rabbi's comments came amid growing public anger over haredi draft-dodging. Earlier on Thursday, protesters gathered at the offices of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, calling for a more equal alternative to the Tal Law.
The protesters also condemned the Plesner Committee, which was formed to find a solution over the draft issue. The protesters stated that the committee was formed to institute cosmetic changes and would not make real inroads in spreading out the burden of IDF service among different segments of the population.
Miri Braun, chair of the "Equal Burden" organization, stated "the national unity government has the opportunity to institute real change for the public and should not just represent one sector."
"Nobody asked our children whether or not they wanted to be drafted," she said. "They do so in accordance with the law. We will not rest until a law requiring a draft for all."