In an unprecedented mobilization of the haredi community, more than 2,000 ultra-Orthodox Israelis have requested to join the IDF.
Following Hamas’s worst single-day assault on the Jewish people since the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of more than 1,400 Israelis and the injury of thousands more on October 7, volunteer recruitment has begun.
On Monday, over 150 orthodox Jews showed up at the IDF recruitment center in Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan, as the military started to enlist them as volunteers.
The majority of the volunteers, who varied in age from their mid-20s to late 30s, are ultra-Orthodox Lithuanians (Litvaks).
A highly criticized, decades-old policy normally exempts ultra-Orthodox male yeshiva students from military duty.
The Knesset was supposed to review and reauthorize the agreement this fall. Israel granted exemptions from military service to 500 ultra-Orthodox Jewish scholars in the early years of the state; this number has since risen to tens of thousands.
As more people chose not to serve in the military, the general public grew resentful of the ultra-Orthodox’s belief that studying the Torah is the best defense for the state.