NEW YORK, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over a hundred thousand religious Jews from a broad alliance of communities will join this Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. in front of 26 Federal Plaza in NYC to protest against the recent decision by the Israeli government to force Orthodox Jews to serve in its army. The demonstration was called together by leading rabbis and rosh yeshivas (heads of religious schools) in New York and New Jersey.
"Religious Jews are forbidden to serve in the Israeli army, and there are many good reasons for that," said Yirmiyahu Cohen, a spokesman for True Torah Jews. "First of all, our great rabbis ruled that it is forbidden to assist the State of Israel in any way, including fighting in its wars. Secondly, the Israeli army is known to be an environment of immorality and negligence of Jewish law, in utter contrast to the high standards of modesty and observance with which the ultra-Orthodox meticulously raise their children. Third, boys studying in religious schools would be forced to abandon their studies in their prime years.
"The secular founders of the state knew that for the ultra-Orthodox, army service was unthinkable, and an agreement was reached 65 years ago under which all young men studying in religious schools would be exempt. Although this was far from ideal, since it effectively made it impossible for an Orthodox man to leave school and support his family, our brethren have managed to survive until now. But now, the Israelis wish to renege on their agreement and give all the Orthodox the choice of the army or prison. This is nothing less than anti-religious persecution, and we will stand by our brethren in the Holy Land until their full rights are restored," Cohen concluded.
SOURCE True Torah Jews