Hassidic rebbe calls for sharing burden of Torah study

With moves afoot in the government to institute obligatory national service for haredi yeshiva students, Rabbi Simcha Avraham Halevi, the rebbe of the Ashlag hassidim, declared on Saturday night that in order to achieve an equal share in the burden of national defense, all secular youth should have to undertake religious studies.
“The Jewish people survived it’s entire cruel history not through the might of arms, not through airplanes or tanks, not through the deterrent effect of the IDF and not through the power of the State of Israel, but through the merit of Torah study and the fulfillment of its commandments,” proclaimed the rebbe during his weekly Torah lesson.“Therefore, we are obligated to bring about equality in the burden among our brothers of the Children of Israel, so that all secular youth bear the yoke of preserving and defending the inheritance of the Jewish people and fulfill his national duty through Torah study and the fulfillment of the commandments.”
Speaking about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to establish a working group to implement the principles of the Plesner recommendations on achieving national service for all citizens, the Rebbe of Ashlag said that “malicious programs” are being plotted by the heads of government “to stick their paws” into the yeshiva system “with their empty claims about equality and responsibility.”
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