Pre-draft teens pledge loyalty to Torah, not army


JERUSALEM (JTA) — About 200 teens soon to be drafted into the Israeli army sent a letter to the defense minister saying their loyalty to the Torah comes before military orders.

"We are students before enlistment in the IDF, who want to join the army and fight for the security of the people of Israel in their land," read the letter, which was sent to Ehud Barak on Thursday and published in The Jerusalem Post. "We consider utilizing the army for political ends and for warfare against Jews an existential danger and a destruction of the military, especially when it includes a severe transgression of the mitzvah of settling the land [of Israel].

"We pledge that our loyalty to the Torah precedes any law or order, and therefore we will refuse to execute any order that contradicts the Torah, and will not take part in the evacuation of any outpost or settlement in the land of Israel, and thus also guarding the true values of the IDF."

The letter comes days after an IDF document was leaked to several Israeli media outlets describing how the Israeli military will assist in enforcing a 10-month freeze on construction in the West Bank. 

In October, a group of new recruits graduating from basic training disrupted their swearing-in ceremony by raising a banner that called for rebuilding a West Bank community evacuated in 2005.

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