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Hgr"y Schwartz: retires from Nahal. I will not take part in the cultural war

Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, founder of Nahal Haredi, retires • interview with B'Chadrei Charedim, he says: "If the war continues against the Torah, Nahal Haredi and Shachar frames will be dismantled
Yoel Koritz, B'Chadrei Charedim, ד' אב תשע"ג 11/07/2013 18:23

צילום אילוסטרציה: בועז לב ארי בוע לב ארי

Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, founder of Nahal Haredi, announced today (Wednesday) that he is retiring from his role and does not intend to cooperate with the army recruiting haredim. "If the war continues against the Torah – Nahal Haredi and Shachar frames will be dismantled. As soon as they impose, this is war - and war should be defended."

In the late '90s Rabbi Schwartz was one of the architects for the Nahal Haredi track for the ultra-Orthodox youth ejected from yeshiva, and headed the association which accompanies the battalion. In recent years he accompanied the Haredi recruits to lectures, classes and ceremonies, talked and walked with the families whose sons enlisted. Today he announced to the Rabbis of the association that he is leaving his position.

In a conversation with B'Chadrei Charedim he explains the decision: "I said a few weeks ago that if they continue to force the recruitment on us, I will not be part of the Nahal. The success of the track resulted from collaboration between the military and the rabbis. Once everything has to be abandoned, I do not want to be a partner. This is a culture war and I cannot be part of it.

Rabbi Schwartz worked with the Nahal Haredi for years. "I did a lot for the Nahal and suffered because it was a handy job. As soon as the situation has become so severe, I'm not ready to sacrifice for this job." From now on, he says, he stops to give lessons to the soldiers, and will not be part of the ceremonies or the Nahal Haredi draft.

The case of the attack, he says: "I'm very sorry that extremists did what they did, but I'm also sorry that the soldier was not smart enough to not enter the neighborhood with a uniform. Sometimes one has to be cleverer than the right. I thought that this case would open the eyes of the leadership and the public, but instead of finding a solution we find them engaged in putting out fires.

"You have to shock the public in the way I do not know if it exists. If the prime minister or someone on his behalf will not sit to resolve things with the Gedolei Yisrael - without the mediation of activists or politicians, we will continue to engage in putting out fires and will never resolve the situation."

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