Lapid slams chief rabbi for crediting yeshivas, not army, with Israel’s survival

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid assails Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef for suggesting that Israel survived attacks by terror groups throughout the ongoing war because of yeshiva students and not the work of the security forces.

“I wonder whether he would agree to not have the Iron Dome in his neighborhood. The people who applauded him should enlist like any other young Israeli,” Lapid tells Kan public radio.

Amit Mizrahi, an entrepreneur and lawyer, writes on X that “by that logic, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef should go to jail with his supporters for their failure on October 7.”

The reactions are to Yosef’s assertion in a filmed weekly sermon that “13,000 missiles were lobbed at our country; thank God for the miracles and wonders we had. Thanks to what? Thanks to the IDF chief of staff? Thanks to whom? Thanks to the Torah students and yeshiva students, who sit and study the Torah,” Yosef said in the sermon released last night.

He went on to say that Israelis were saved from attacks in the north, south and by Hamas terrorists, “only thanks to the members of the yeshivas and their students. They protect all the soldiers and all the nation of Israel.”

Yosef’s remarks, occurring amid a war and a polarizing debate about ending yeshiva students’ exemption from military service, prompt many on social networks to say he should not be given the prestigious Israel Prize, which he is scheduled to receive in a few weeks.

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