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Daily Briefing May 14: Day 221 – Why a 43-year-old rabbi joined the IDF after Oct. 7

For Independence Day, we speak with American immigrant Rabbi Avi Poupko who, 25 years after he came to Israel to study at the Mir Yeshiva, picked up an M-16 and put on a uniform

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 20-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.

It is day 221 of the war with Hamas. In this special Independence Day episode, host Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with Rabbi Avi Poupko, an immigrant from North America who, at age 43, joined the IDF following the massacre on October 7.

Through his early 20s, Poupko was raised in a “Haredi-leaning” milieu and he came to Israel in 1999 to study at the Mir Yeshiva, arguably the largest yeshiva in the world. He returned as an immigrant in 2007, but did not get called up to the IDF at the time.

Poupko discusses what led him to enlist at this time and his experiences during his service so far. We also hear his thoughts on the chances of a more universal conscription that would include at least parts of the Haredi community.

For the latest updates, please see The Times of Israel’s ongoing live blog.

Discussed articles include:

Government may submit Haredi draft proposal to cabinet next week

THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Civilians and soldiers killed in Hamas’s onslaught on Israel

THOSE WE ARE MISSING: The hostages and victims whose fate is still unknown

Subscribe to The Times of Israel Daily Briefing on Apple PodcastsSpotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

Check out yesterday’s Daily Briefing episode:

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