The month of Elul, 5783, is opening, marking the beginning of a new year in the world of yeshivas, midrashot, and seminaries. Let's start with the bottom line: This is going to be the best Elul month in the history of the Torah world ever.
The estimated numbers are around 180,000 male and female Torah learners at the national level, and around 30,000 in the Zionist-religious Torah world. The projected growth is between 6% to 10% each year since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The yeshivas are bursting with students to the limits of their capacity; the women's midrashot are opening up like mushrooms after the rain.
For those who are worried - 8 students from preparatory schools and the Hesder sessions are fighting for every place in Golani; The percentages of volunteering for military and national service in the general sector were not affected; The economy is not collapsing; And there is an increase in going to work in ultra-Orthodox society. We have not included the Torah study frameworks for adults here, which simply cannot be quantified; Millions - including those who define themselves as traditional and secular - are in contact with Torah study at one level or another.
Where does all this goodness come from? According to the prophets of rage, the youth is crumbling, awash in smartphones, hating their parents and the institutions they grew up in, debating between clinical depression and leaving the country. So it turns out that reality, as always, is different from the media image.
True, there are problems, and many; But there is something stronger - the desire for meaning or what we call "closeness to God". I suggest you stop being afraid or apologizing to anyone.
For those who are interested in listening, we will explain that the country we aspire to is not a 'handmaid's tale' but a modern country, without coercion, that is connected to Jewish tradition and values.
80% of the Jewish public defines themselves as traditional, they are the ones who fill the National-Religious education frameworks (400 thousand students); they are the ones who have long been in the midst of changing shifts in the army, academia and the economy. 3 million Israelis will probably visit the Western Wall in the month of Elul, 5783. The Jewish people are going back to their father in heaven and no one will stop it.