Thursday, December 9, 2021

Drafting Yeshiva Bachurim



Parshas Hashavua 

רק אדמת הכהנים לבדם לא היתה לפרעה
      Drafting Yeshiva Bachurim 

In the times of the Chasam Sofer, Governments 
imposed quotas on the community
to supply them young men for the military.
It was the community's responsibility to 
supply a set amount of young men to the draft. 

The selection of who to or not to be drafted
were in the hands of the community leaders.

Officially they would enter all the names in a   
גורל  (lottery) and pull out the lucky ones who
would be exempt.

Historically there was a lot of corruption in the
selection process. Terrible injustices were done
against the poor and the defenseless.
The Chasam Sofer (Shu"t 6:29) writes that many
גדולי ישראל had no choice in the matter and had to 
keep their eyes closed. 

The Chasam Sofer rules  " Since the law of the land 
is for the community to supply the army with young 
men. we have the rule of דינא דמלכותא דינא 

Halachically, everybody is equally responsible
to serve.
We may not give favoritism to some over others.Even
the lowlifes and non-Frum Mechallei Shabbos etc.must
be treated equally and their names entered in the גורל.  

Those who send the secular Yidden to the army by not
placing them in the lottery and giving them a fair chance
are גונבי נפש ומכרו (kidnappers)

The only exception, are the Yeshiva Bachurim.
Since they are exempt מדין תורה from serving in the army
(based on the Gemoro Bava Basra 8a.) therefore even
if there is no specific exemption from the government
we exempt them automatically". 

The Chazon Ish (Bava Basra 7b*) writes that the exemption
of רבנן (Yeshiva Bachurim) is only applicable when there
are others available to serve. If however, all are רבנן then
the rule of אין סומכין על הנס applies and even 
Yeshiva Bachurim need to be drafted.

* printed in Ch. Mishpat Siman 5




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