Religion Magazine

Learn for 5 Days Straight

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

On Shushan Purim this year, or Purim d'Mukafin as it is more commonly referred to in Israel (at least among the yeshivishe crowd), Rav Shteinman released a letter to the public regarding the "haredi draft" issue that is still hovering and threatening the haredi yeshiva world.
Learn for 5 days straight
The letter is all good, except for one line that makes me wonder what they are telling him. The letter gives some words of encouragement to the yeshiva boys as to their role as being the future generation of leaders in Torah.. and then calls on the yeshiva boys to strengthen themselves in Torah and mitzvos - learn more, use the time better, be careful in the details of keeping Shabbos properly and that will bring about God's mercy. Also, Rav Shteinman calls upon the yeshiva bochurim to adopt the suggestion of the Ramcha"l and take upon themselves to learn for 5 days straight, in order to annul the decree. All good.
The part that makes me wonder is when he says the decree is to cancel all the yeshivas from Israel.
I think increasing learning is great, and if they see the potential of a draft as a threat, I can see them saying to cancel the decree of the draft that might weaken yeshivas or might stop some boys from learning for certain periods of time. But nothing in the "decree" is going to shut down yeshivas, nobody is looking to close any yeshivas, and nobody is stopping anybody from learning and performing mitzvos the way the Romans and Greeks did - for a certain period, boys will need to go to the army (if a law will be formulated and passed) - before that and after that, and maybe even along with that in a system such as civil or national service, people can learn as many or as few hours of the day as they want..
Rav Shteinman does not seem to me to be one for hyperbole, so I wonder if he is simply being told that the government, or at least some in it, want to shut down the yeshivot.

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