Court orders explanation of yeshiva subsidies

Order brings court one step closer to ruling on legal disputes over state subsidies for army-age haredi yeshiva students.

By YONAH JEREMY BOB
January 16, 2013 02:29
1 minute read.
Haredi man and IDF soldiers walk in Jerusalem

Haredi and IDF soldier Tal law Jerusalem 390. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday gave the state 45 days to justify paying haredi yeshiva students’ subsidies.

The order brought the court one step closer to ruling on the ongoing legal disputes over state subsidies for military-age haredi yeshiva students – estimated at 54,000 people – and their integration into the IDF or national service, after the February 2012 discontinuation of the “Tal Law.”

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The 2002 law had provided a framework for yeshiva students to postpone their military service indefinitely, and encouraged participation in national service.

Since the law officially ceased to be in effect in August 2012, the 1949 Law for Security Service has technically applied to all haredim. That law would formally require all army-age citizens, haredi or otherwise, to be drafted into the military or national service.

However, while the state initiated a policy to increase the number of haredi draftees, it set limits on the increase so it was not universally applicable, effectively deferring the issue indefinitely.

The state also decided to continue full payments to haredi yeshiva students who are not being drafted until a new law or policy is in place. Those payments were the subject of Tuesday’s hearing.

The petitioners say the state does not have the authority to continue paying these yeshiva students’ subsidies until a new law is passed granting that authority.

In the meantime, the petitioners demand that the subsidies cease.

Other filed petitions, which did not come before the court on Tuesday, have also demanded that haredim who meet the age requirement be drafted.


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