JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of haredi Orthodox held a prayer rally to protest the forced enlistment of yeshiva students.
The early Monday morning demonstration by men, women and children was organized by the Eda Haredit organization in Jerusalem. Participants reportedly read psalms and lamentations.
The protest came as the Plesner Committee was meeting to find an alternative to the Tal Law, which grants military exemptions to haredi Orthodox Israeli men. The law is set to expire next month, and it is believed the committee will call for the required draft of haredi Orthodox men.
Eda Haredit leader Rabbi Tuvia Weiss told rally participants, "We will not allow yeshiva students to be taken to the army or police, and will not be fazed by their seductions." He added that forced army service or designated service are being required by the government "in order to destroy the Torah world."