Friday, May 26, 2017

Letter in FJJ from HaRav Aaron Shechter shlita on the threat to the Torah world pertaining to Giyus

Text Version:

Countdown to Catastrophe

Witness to the Fallacy of Blindness

It’s obvious to all that Eretz Yisroel is in a perpetually precarious state of existence: Living in the shadow of an Iranian nuclear bomb in the making,
encircled by heavily armed, sworn enemies, singled out for scorn by the so-called community of nations.
All of this makes the situation of acheinu b’nei Yisroel in artzeinu hakedosha unique, and uniquely dangerous. This mortal threat to our survival is
something of which we’re all painfully aware. Yet, there’s another crisis unfolding there that few if any of us are aware of. It presents an immense existential threat to our nation in general and to the yishuv in Eretz Yisroel in particular, and
it raises the danger posed by the enemies seeking our destruction to unthinkable levels. Simply stated, the danger we speak of is that the flourishing community of yeshivos and b’nei yeshiva, that has grown by leaps and bounds across the length and breadth of Eretz Yisroel will be decimated – not by 2040, nor even in as long
as a decade from now. Instead, within a handful of years, the world’s largest and most vibrant community of lomdei Torah will undergo a drastic downsizing. The Olam haYeshivos as we know it – and with it, the frum community of which it is the
beating heart – will cease to look as it does today. That’s not hyperbole. It is incontrovertible fact. And it is chilling beyond all words. The following paragraphs will set forth the state of affairs in Eretz Yisroel today regarding the drafting of b’nei yeshiva into the Israeli army, based on first-hand knowledge, in-depth research and copious documentation. Little if any of this information has been known or publicly discussed in the American Torah community – until now. Anyone who contests these plainly demonstrable facts is welcome to step forward and provide
counter-evidence in refutation of what is written here. We are confident that our rendition of the terrifying reality will withstand scrutiny. As the Israeli draft law stands today, the government is required to set a goal of drafting several
thousand chareidi young men for military service each year and to engage in various activities designed to achieve that objective. This includes the use of well-trained, undercover government agents from within the chareidi community whose
mission is to persuade the b’nei yeshiva they target to enter the army.
Currently, all b’nei yeshiva are exempt from serving, provided they follow the prescribed procedures and otherwise qualify for exemption. It should be stated that under the current law, a majority of b’nei yeshiva have a fairly easy time in securing their exemptions: They’re able to appear in groups at conscription offces, spend minimal time undergoing physical examinations and promptly receive the necessary exemption papers. But here’s the untold story: Thousands of b’nei
yeshiva – in particular, those who are vulnerable either because they learn in smaller or lesser-known yeshivos, or due to having certain backgrounds,
such as Sefardic b’nei yeshiva from weaker chareidi backgrounds and ba’alei teshuvah – are being targeted by the army and other governmental departments for intensive recruitment efforts. Many of these b’nei yeshiva have been imprisoned for
failure to comply with every last detail of the bureaucratic exemption process, despite good faith efforts to do so. Many others remain free but live in constant fear of being apprehended and jailed. Large numbers of these b’nei Torah, however,
are neither in military prison nor on the run. Unbelievable as it may seem, they are now serving in the Israeli army. Despite being full-fledged b’nei yeshiva, they have been wrenched from the bais medrash and forcibly inducted into the IDF for failing to meet the legal requirements for exemption. Their conscription enables the army to
fill the yearly quotas of thousands of chareidim demanded by Israeli draft law.
The basis for the drafting of many of these bnei yeshiva is that they fail to meet the technical requirements of a “ben yeshiva” as defined by law. For example:
A bochur cannot qualify for exemption as a ben yeshiva unless he learns in a yeshiva gedolah that has at least twenty-five talmidim who qualify as b’nei yeshiva, i.e., who are at least eighteen years old. A bochur who has earned any taxable money
from employment, even if only during bein haz’manim or bein hasedarim, cannot qualify for exemption as a ben yeshiva. Thus, for example, a bochur who earned a meager salary during Yom Tov break to help with his impoverished family’s
expenses will be forced into army service. Only talmidim of offcially recognized yeshivos qualify for exemption; no new recognitions, however, have been issued in over a year, and the talmidim of such institutions are thus not exempt. Under new rules about to be instituted, 1) a bochur in his last year in a yeshiva k’tanah (the equivalent of an American mesivta) who will be one of the first in his class to reach the conscription age of eighteen, will not be eligible for exemption because
his yeshiva k’tanah doesn’t have the minimum number of b’nei yeshiva, as described in a) above; and 2) bochurim learning in yeshivos that do not accept Israeli government funding will not qualify for exemption from the draft. The army is in the process of setting up a sophisticated inspection system under which, in an
unprecedented breach of the religious autonomy of the yeshivos, it will begin to directly intervene in those institutions to enforce the draft law. Appeals to individuals and organizations to use their political clout to help the large numbers
of bnei Torah who are in desperate straits, in the army, in prison or cowering in hiding from the authorities, have been in many cases unsuccessful. Everything that has been described until this point reflects the deeply disturbing current state
of affairs. The Israeli military refers to it as a “tekufat histaglut,” a very temporary “adjustment period,” in order to enable the frum community to adapt to the coming, far more ominous reality. In 2020, the next stage of the draft law will come
into effect, under which what were previously non-mandatory yearly recruitment goals will become mandatory yearly quotas of chareidi young men required to enter the army, and the quota levels will rise as well. Then, in 2023, the law providing exemptions to b’nei yeshiva comes to a complete end. The only b’nei yeshiva who will continue to be free of army service will be those over the age of twenty-four,
who are entitled to a permanent exemption. However, the large numbers of b’nei yeshiva who reach conscription age each year, numbering approximately seven thousand annually, will be forcibly drafted. It boggles the mind to envision the
mass conscription of b’nei Torah in Eretz Yisroel, but that is the looming reality.
Let us speak plainly: The world is looking on mutely as the evil Iranians, hell-bent on destroying the Jews, proceed with building the Bomb; by all accounts, they are perhaps a decade away from achieving that diabolical goal. But long before that point – indeed, in a short six years from now, if the current situation continues – the peerlessly glorious world of yeshivos overflowing with young and old, with talmidei chachomim delving continuously into the depths and breadth
of Torah, will simply no longer exist in the form it does today. And with it, the single greatest source of protection from that Bomb and all the other threats we face – the intense, nonstop limud haTorah of thousands -- will be severely
undermined. In the foregoing paragraphs, you’ve been introduced to events and facts of which you were probably unaware; of which, strangely, no one speaks; and about which, our numerous media outlets are inexplicably silent. You, too, have a
choice: You can turn the page, and turn your attention to other matters.
Or not.

אהרן משה שכטר

בשם חברים


  1. Powerful!!! What an amazing, brilliant, high end letter from a true Adam Gadol!
    Shame on the so called frum media for giving us fake news and hiding the real facts. Yated and Hamodea must go. Time for a real objective charaidy newspaper that proudly presents and respects daas torah.

    1. The so called charged I media in the US does not represent the real yeshiva world. Yated Matzav Hamodia Mishpacha have all bent to the left in their quest to reach a broad audience and readership and be accepted by the balei batim. Even the FJJ that printed this letter is very zionistic.

  2. Why does the machlokes in EY need to be brought to America? What good can come from it? From my admittedly small eyes, the only purpose of such an asifa is to try to influence and pressure Hagaon R' Aharon Leib Shetinman and Hagaon R' Chaim Kanievsky Shlita to change their position.

    1. The only one who sees machlokes is you. If there is a disagreement amongst gedolim it's not up to us little guys to decide on it. This asifa is directed at the Knesset members who have the power to change the laws. Good try to spin this into a machines against the bnei brak gedolim. The Roshei yeshiva who are behind this know very well what the circumstances are.
      As for you anon 8:46 KEEP OUT!

    2. Pressure Reb Aaron Leib?! That doesn't happen. He will continue to do what he has always done, ignore rabble rousers and pasken according to Torah. The current status quo was decided on by Reb Aaron Leib, and virtually all Rosh Yeshivos in EY signed on. Perhaps two or three tell their talmidim to ignore it. The rest all see this as the best way forward. Reb Aaron Leib was fully functioning then, and even now when physically he is weaker, no reliable source is even suggesting his mental faculties are waning.

      This demonstration is one newspaper editor against another one. No bochur who signed up like the Gedolim have been instructing has beem drafted, none at all.

      Stay home on Sunday Parshas Shlach, you know it is better for your neshomo

    3. You cant oick and choose Rav Shach was also fully functioning when he told the chavrei knesset what to do with Giyus, so was Rav Elyashiv and so are the gedolim in American and Eretz yisrael of today.

    4. Rav Shach, Rav Elyashiv, Reb Chaim Shmulevitz and the Chazon Ish all said the same thing. Save the Yeshiva leit, those learnin2in Yeshiva. Those not in Yeshiva are not the priority.

      One of Rav Shach's biggest maarochos was against those who believe they represent dead Gedolim. Either you're a Gadol or not.

      Rav Shach said nothing about the current law, neither Rav Elyashiv. Because it did not exist at the time. But Rav Elyashiv did sign off on the חק טל, which included attempts to draft those not in Yeshiva.

      Bottom line, until someone actually involved with the law in EY tells us to go, stay home

    5. You are having a hard time as the truth finally came out about the shmaad of the army even for those who are not cut out to lern in yeshiva. No ne is arguing against having them go to work the problem is that the army is no longer an alternative. Rav Aaron Shechter knows a bit more than you, posting comments on a blog.

  3. AP let the gedolim in America decide what they want to do. As you said you have small eyes. Every one knows R A L is not well any more and Reb chaim is totally not involved. There is currently a leadership crisis in Degel Hatorah.

  4. So are you saying the asifa is directed at Gafne, Litzman, Porush, Moses, Eichler and Maklev?
    I did not take any position on which side I support and I will not claim to know the current mental state of R' AL, but the bottom line is that UTJ is in the coalition and the guidance from their gedolim (whoever they may be) is to report to induction centers and not to protest.
    My point was that so long as Degel and Agudah support the coalition the knesset wont care what American Yidden do.
    The only purpose of such an asifa is to swing public support in America toward one side in the machlokes in order to pressure the other side. That is what has been happening in EY. The protests in EY are on chareidi streets and designed to turn chareidi public opinion against the government, not to pressure the chilonim. The gedolim listed as supporting this asifa have been known as backers of Hagaon R' Shmuel Auerbach for a few years already who has made clear that he feels protesting is correct even if other gedolim disagree.
    I stand by my statement that by calling for the asifa, these gedolim are bringing the machlokes to America and taking a stand to bully and pressure the other side.

    1. Good to see you are feeling the heat. The Yeshivaleit in America are no fools they know exactly how the corrupt chatzeiros are run. It's about time the Yiddin in America have a chance to speak out without fear of having their yeshiva closed or loose funding from the Vaad hayeshivos. Does the opinion if Rav Elyashiv, Rav Shach mean nothing to you? Learn to respect there are 2 sides let the others be heard.

  5. As follow up to Anon 9:03, I would like to keep out, but by calling for this asifa, the organizers are asking that American yidden get involved in something that has created great divisions amongst the bnei torah in EY. They are asking us to step-in.

  6. Not true. Everybody agrees that the law us not good. The machlokes in EY is only if they should register now or protest. But the law itself is terrible and needs to be changed. Why don't you deal with the facts in the article. If they are correct,then its terrible. If you know these facts yo he incorrect then the article invited you to state your knowledge. Let us hear your correction to these facts so we can decide.

    1. I never said the law is good or disputed the facts. The machlokes is about how to respond to the facts. The article is written to implicitly encourage people to protest due to these facts, which represents one opinion in the machlokes. The other side does not support protesting now.

    2. If the facts are true,then we are being fooled. We are being told that anybody that will ever want a ptur ,has no,problem getting one. According yo,these facts ,in a few years that will change drastically. Why are we not being told the truth ?

  7. This Asifa is bringing Machlokes to America. Hashem hates Machlokes.

  8. To Hefkervelt . I posted two comments. You only posted the one that suits your agenda. You are a rotten egg. I won't read your blog anymore

    1. he always only posts comments that fit his agenda.

  9. The only known,machlokes is whether to register or not. Who said there is a machlokes about whether to protest the law that even you agree is terrible in the next couple of years. We ate not talking about stopping traffic and being crazy in the streets. We are talking about a peaceful ,lawful gathering. Who can possibly be against that ?

  10. Np go back to the poop

  11. The letter is hanging all over Yerushalayim in Lashon Hakodesh and they cant deal with it. Finally the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aaron spoke up and they cant take that someone stood up. You wont see this letter printed on the American Yated because someone with asach gelt wont let

    1. its not true i didnt see it in yerushalayim,

  12. This is not called bringing the machlokes to America. We Americans B"H usually know how to disagree respectfully unlike the rabble rousers in Bnay Brak. The American Gedolim have an opinion and that should be respected. Lets stay focused the facts in this letter are shocking and they need to be addressed. The fact the frum media is not being objective by reporting them is also very shocking.

  13. someone on the groundMay 29, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Is it against R Shtienman to mention a word about the terrible situation with the IDF draft? He also holds that the current law is not good just he has a solution to use the Chavrei Hakneset but if we see that its not helping why cant we try other channels to help. Why cant "Frum" media mention the current situation? why cant people know about the facts that R Ahron Shecter so eliquently wrote so they can Daven that Hashem should take away this terrible gezeirah?

  14. A few questions so I can know where the Rav stands:
    1) What is your opinion regarding signs in Haredi neighborhoods calling on those who are drafted to use their weapons to murder female soldiers and commanders?
    2) What is your position on boys and adults stoning women whom they feel are not dressed "right"?
    3) What is your position on rewarding KIDS for getting arrested for assaulting soldiers.
    4) When Iran gets the bomb, do you think they will only target soldiers? Do you not believe it is a milchemet mitzva to protect fellow Jews?

    No, and this is not a separate topic...these issues are ALL connected.
    I thank you in advance for your answers.

  15. Tactic is lacking. The zionists are sick of the same learning excuse and we don't get sympathy anymore from anyone. They don't even hear us.

    If we could make conditions that would be logical, the the Israeli government will not be able to provide, plus some nice threats, we might succeed!

    Remember, we have no voice and no friends when it comes to the issue of not sharing the burden; I'm not taking sides...

    First, we need to clean our base:

    Why is kolel closed on Fridays (Oy Torah???)
    Why do we see our own bochrim having no respect to rabbanim?
    Why does it seem like the Ranbbanim are so distant from the folk?


    We can state that we don't want to serve in an army that prosecuted a soldier for killing terrorist (know that most Israelis are against the court decision!)

    What about mandating a full fledgled Rosh Yeshivah in the training barracks to make sure the talmidim will learn while not in reserve (they'll never agree and it'll be a legitimate concern).

    To top it off, we need tge government to issue harsh punishments for anyone leaving their barrack, unless time of war (again, they'll never allow but they'll understand)

    See, the chazon ish zt"l, the fight against zionists, satmar, etc, has expired it's call. 64 years has passed since the Ch"Ish and we need new tactics that will work and not lower our standards.

    Just stop the kollel and yeshiva rap to the public because they are not interested. What is this going to accomplish? Zero, nada, bupkis...

    Imagine we expose the government at such a time that they're trying to get the world on their side! We can partner with the left and/or the right and cause lots of concern to the government.

    I'm not naive and threats that are thought through through new lenses might really work