Yeshiva attendance and IDF casualties are inversely proportionate, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger said Thursday.

Speaking at an IDF ceremony at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, Metzger drew on his experience as a soldier in the Yom Kippur War as proof that the IDF suffers more casualties when yeshiva students are not praying or studying Torah.

“When yeshiva attendance is low, as on holiday evenings or prior to the Sabbath, more IDF soldiers are injured and killed,” Metzger said.

He also said that the Israeli military derives its power from religious devotion. “The more Jews study Torah, the more powerful is the army. Just as there is Air Force and Navy, there should be a God force,” he said.

Metzger was apparently making the points in the context of Knesset deliberations on an alternative to the Tal Law, the legislation ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court earlier this year, aimed at boosting military and national service participation among ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israelis.