Thousands of ultra-Orthodox protest in Jerusalem against Tal Law replacement
The Tal Law, which exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from mandatory military service, was declared unconstitutional by the High Court in February, and is due to expire in August.
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox gathered on Monday morning in Jerusalem's kikar Hashabbat (Sabbath Square) to protest the replacement to the Tal Law, that exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from mandatory military service.
The protest, under the banner "Prayer rally for the cancelation of the decree over civilian and military conscription," took place against a background of the Plesner Committee, which is working on a replacement for the Tal Law
The law, which the High Court of Justice declared unconstitutional in February, is to expire in August.
Hundreds of women also took part in the demonstration, and a side road in the Mea Shearim neighborhood was set aside for the purpose.
The protest was organized by the Edah HaChareidis faction, but rabbis from the central stream also took part, including Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, one of the spiritual leaders of Degel HaTorah.
Auerbach said during the protest that, "We must give our lives against the drafting of yeshiva students [to the army]. In an issue that belongs to the heart of Israel, there are no compromises."
Pini Rosenberg, one of the speakers at the rally, said: "Instead of preparing the prisons for immigrants from Sudan, we suggest to those haters of religion to prepare 50 thousand places of detention for yeshiva students who will refuse to be drafted."
The Plesner Committee started working on a replacement for the Tal Law one month ago.