The Basic Law on Torah Study

Gadi Eizenkot on the new law proposal: "A disgraceful decision"

After the Torah Judaism party submitted the Basic Law on Torah Study to the Knesset, it faced sharp criticism from the opposition. Gadi Eizenkot stated: "It is a human blow to the IDF as a professional army."

(Photo: Yonatan Zindel, Flash 90)

The day after passing the preliminary reading, this morning (Tuesday), members of the Torah Judaism party submitted the Basic Law for Torah Study, which regulates the issue of conscription, and now the reactions in the political arena are surfacing. Member of Knesset Gadi Eizenkot: "A shameful decision."

Member of Knesset Gadi Eizenkot (HaMachane HaMamlachti) wrote: "The submission of the Basic Law for Torah Study, or in its true name, the 'Conscription Bypass Law,' following the shameful decision the government received last month to avoid conscripting yeshiva students, is a cruel blow to the IDF as a national army. The Zionist and national forces in and outside the Knesset must act together to replace the worst government in the history of Israel.

The Chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, MK Avigdor Lieberman, also responded on his Twitter account to the proposed law, writing: "Just yesterday, Netanyahu declared that every legislation would come with an agreement, and today Netanyahu, Deri, Gafni, and Goldknopf - the hypocrisy."

It will reduce the ability of the High Court (Supreme Court) to invalidate laws

As reported this morning, members of the Knesset from the Torah Judaism party proposed the "Basic Law: Torah Study," which aims to grant exemption to ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from military service in the IDF. The purpose of the law is to present the value of Torah study as a fundamental law, placing it on the same "constitutional level" as the "Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty" and other basic laws, thus reducing the Supreme Court's ability to invalidate laws that grant exemptions to the ultra-Orthodox from military service.

Ultra orthodox youth studying, illustration (Jonathan Zindel/ Flash 90)

As part of the coalition agreement with the Torah Judaism party, it was stipulated that the government would advance a Basic Law that would regulate the status of Torah learners before the budget transfer. Due to delays in promoting the law, MK Moshe Gafni, along with Knesset members Yaakov Asher, Eli Ben-Dahan, Moshe Gafni, Yaakov Tessler, Yitzhak Pindrus, and Israel Eichler, submitted a private bill that would establish the value of Torah study and the unique status of Torah learners.

The utmost importance seen in encouraging Torah study

In the proposed law, it is written that "the State of Israel, as a Jewish state, sees the utmost importance in encouraging Torah study and Torah scholars." Accordingly, the initiators of the law propose to properly anchor in the Basic Law the significant importance and value that the country attributes to Torah study, and its desire to promote Torah learning.

The law also stipulates that "those who undertake to devote themselves to Torah study for a significant period shall be considered as serving and contributing significantly to the State of Israel and the Jewish people, with implications for their rights and obligations." A central clause in the proposed law addresses a ruling by the Supreme Court that sought to address the issue of enlisting yeshiva students. The initiators of the law argue that the Basic Law of Torah Study will clarify to the Supreme Court that the Knesset supports the recognition of the centrality of Torah study.

Moshe Roth (Photo: Yonatan Zindel/Flash 90)

According to MK Moshe Gafni, "In the coalition agreement, it was agreed that this bill would be a government bill, but it was not done according to the agreed timetable. Therefore, we decided to submit the law as a private member's bill on behalf of the entire faction so that we can advance the law immediately at the beginning of the winter session."


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