Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Av 5765 - August 31, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Attorney General to Decide How Many Hours Avreichim Must Study

By Betzalel Kahn

Attorney General Mani Mazuz is slated to decide whether avreichim will be required to maintain the existing requirement of 40 study hours per week to be eligible for Education Ministry support as MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni is demanding, or whether they will be required to study 45 hours per week, which Attorney Amnon de Hartoch of the Justice Ministry claims has been determined by law.

The dispute has persisted for several months following the legislation of a requirement in the Security Service Deferment Law for kollel students to study at least 45 hours per week, a change that resulted from a mishap during the legislation process. Even the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and the Defense Ministry accepted Rabbi Gafni's demand to revert to the 40-hour requirement that has been in place for years but de Hartoch, who heads the support funding department at the Justice Ministry, insists the requirement set in the Security Service Deferment Law should apply to the Education Ministry's funding criteria as well.

In a letter to Attorney de Hartoch, Rabbi Gafni wrote, "I am not a jurist but I spent years studying in yeshiva and in kollel and formulating straight sevoros is the central focus of this type of study. Based on straight sevoro the Security Service Law speaks of the student, i.e. the avreich, for whom 45 hours has been set, but the regulations state the definition of the institution, i.e. the kollel, for which 40 hours was set based on the Defense Ministry's request, and this has even been approved. Regulations, which are secondary legislation, cannot alter the primary legislation, and indeed they do not differ from the law.

"Even according to your position without a doubt the Education Ministry, which is only responsible for the funded organization and not the avreich, should be in line with the Security Service Law, which demands 40 hours of the institution." In his letter Rabbi Gafni went on to demand de Hartoch restore the original criteria immediately.

Following the letter de Hartoch informed Rabbi Gafni he would turn the matter over to the Attorney General, a tacit indication he was unable to counter Rabbi Gafni's argument.


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