Chassidic and Chareidi Torah Prioritization


I was curious rabbis why so many people accuse haredi and hasidic Jewish people of prioritizing Talmud Torah (Torah study) more than other things (such as having a non or serving in the IDF). Torah study is important, but presumably full time Torah study is not something most people except for a small group of scholars, rabbis, and poskim are meant for? What’s the hashkafa here?



  1. In order to understand the Chassidic/Charedi world-outlook, it is necessary to go back to the end of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. The leading Rosh Yeshivahs and Halachic authorities felt that the focus of the Orthodox world needed to be the rebuilding of the Yeshivah world that had been decimated by the Nazis. Over the last seven decades the Yeshivah world has flourished and grown in a way that can only be described as miraculous, without any rational or logical explanation. It is the laser-like focus on rebuilding what was erased during the Holocaust which drives the enormous renaissance we are witnessing today.

    However, it is important to point out that there is no homogenous group called “The Charedim.” The Charedi world is actually comprised of many different communities and congregations. In some of them, the majority of the men do not go out to work. Rather, they are focused entirely on learning Torah. In other communities, the majority focus on learning Torah for several years and only then do they go out to work. Even in the communities where most of the men are learning Torah, their wives are working and paying taxes just like everyone else.

    Why do many Charedim not serve in the IDF? One significant reason is that the IDF is not really capable of absorbing large amounts of Charedim into the IDF since Charedim have very different spiritual needs than the average conscript. And those needs are something that the army admits that it cannot supply, and, even if it could, that it cannot guarantee. Those needs cover every dimension of life in the army, from the kind of food they eat to their needs to have time set aside to learn Torah to the need for modesty to the fact that many Charedim marry at a younger age, which means they have different needs than single soldiers. But, again, it is important to point out that there are many Charedim in the army, and there are many more who have served in the army and who then also serve in the reserves.

    Please join me in beseeching God that He guard over every single member of the IDF and the security services and the Medical services and Zaka, and that He bring them home safe and sound, together with all the kidnapped citizens of Israel – after having served the barbaric and evil enemy a decisive and final blow from which they will not be able to recover.

    Best wishes from the Team