Sunday, 6 January 2013

Haredim Will Have To Flee Israel If Yeshiva Students Drafted, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Says

Speaking during a lecture Friday in Jerusalem, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the founder and spiritual leader of the Sefardi haredi Shas political party, said if the Israeli government follows through with its plan to draft yeshiva students into the military, haredim would have to leave Israel en masse to avoid the draft and to allow the students to continue their studies in yeshivas outside the country, the Israeli daily Maariv reported.

“The Torah is in danger! How will they be Torah scholars if they are drafted into the army?

“We will – God forbid! – have to leave the Land, to travel to outside the Land of Israel, in order to ensure that the yeshiva students will be free to study! We are in great sorrow and in grave danger!

“This is the time for each and every person to commit to vote for the parties that support the Torah. There is a terrible edict hanging over our heads, God forbid.

“But we would have no choice but to leave the Land of Israel in order to ensure that the yeshiva students are not forced to fight. We are surrounded by enemies and haters, but for these evil ones who hate Torah, it doesn’t matter. All they are interested in is punishing us and decreeing harsh and evil decrees against us – [against] the haredi yeshiva students!

“This is a terrible edict! We are in great sorrow! Who can tolerate such a thing for our yeshiva students to be drafted into the army instead of learning Torah and becoming strong in Torah?

“Therefore, people, do not be silent!

“I cannot sleep from this. I have great agitation over this matter. We are in great danger.

“Understand this situation well. These [the High Court of Justice and all Israelis, including political leaders, who want to draft haredim] are men who do not know and do not understand. They walk in darkness. They don’t know what Torah is,” Yosef reportedly said.

For those Israelis – especially for Shas’ core constituency of non-Orthodox-but-traditional Sefardim – who plan on voting for non-Haredi political parties, Yosef also had words, in this case, a sharp warning.

“They must be aware of the Judgment Day! What will they answer God on that day? God will tell them that they forsook the Torah and left it in the hands of evildoers. May God upset the plans of our enemies,” Yosef reportedly said.

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