Ultra-Orthodox Jews Quietly Joining Military

|
News,World

With Israel recently passing a contentious law to gradually increase ultra-Orthodox enlistment, soldiers like Captain Moshe Prigan could symbolize a historic shift among those known in Hebrew as "haredim," or those who fear God. (May 4)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Bnei Brak, Israel - April 30, 2014

1. Tight of Captain Moshe Prigan draped in Jewish prayer shawl praying

2. Mid of Prigan reading prayer book, wearing phylacteries, bowing and beating chest in prayer ritual

3. SOUNDBITE (Hebrew) Captain Moshe Prigan, Orthodox Israeli soldier (Transcript Below)

4. Various of ultra-Orthodox men walking in the street

Tel Aviv, Israel - April 30, 2014

5. Mid of Prigan and soldiers from his unit has seen through window in door at military offices

6. Mid of Prigan seated with one of his unit's soldiers, dressed in Orthodox black suit and hat

7. Tight of soldier dressed in Orthodox black suit and hat

8. SOUNDBITE (Hebrew) Captain Moshe Prigan, Orthodox Israeli soldier (Transcript Below)

Jerusalem - March 2, 2014

8. Mid of prayer rally against military draft, with placard reading (English) "War against religion"

9. Wide of ultra-Orthodox Jews protesting against plans for them to serve in the Israeli military

10. Mid of placard held in crowd reading (English) "Military service will not be imposed upon us!"

Tel Aviv, Israel - April 30, 2014

11. Tight of Prigan praying

12. SOUNDBITE (Hebrew) Captain Moshe Prigan, Orthodox Israeli soldier (Transcript Below)

13. Wide of Prigan standing in front of soldiers in class

14. Tight of phylacteries wrapped around Prigan's arm as he is praying, tilt up to Prigan

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

AN ISRAELI AIR FORCE CAPTAIN DRAPED IN A JEWISH PRAYER SHAWL.

AN IMAGE THAT COULD SYMBOLIZE A HISTORIC SHIFT IN ULTRA-ORTHDOX JEWISH CULT URE.

SOUNDBITE (Hebrew) Captain Moshe Prigan, Orthodox soldier:

"The Arab Spring is also taking place in the ultra-Orthodox public. There is a whole haredi spring which is taking place over the last 15 years, it is really happening."

FOR ISRAEL'S 66 YEARS OF EXISTENCE, THE ULTRA-ORTHODOX HAVE MOSTLY KEPT THEIR DISTANCE FROM MAINSTREAM SOCIETY, AND WITH GOVERNMENT SUPPORT, THEY HAVE SKIPPED MILITARY SERVICE, WHICH IS COMPULSORY FOR MOST JEWISH MEN.

THE ISSUE OF MILITARY SERVICE IS AT THE CORE OF A CULTURAL WAR OVER THE PLACE OF THE ULTRA-ORTHODOX JEWS IN ISRAELI SOCIETY.

SOUNDBITE (Hebrew) Captain Moshe Prigan, Orthodox soldier:

"What the rabbis are afraid of is culture changing. Slowly, slowly, it is seeping through."

A RECENT LAW WAS PASSED TO GRADUALLY INCREASE ULTRA-ORTHODOX ENLISTMENT, CAUSING LARGE SCALE DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST IT AND A WARNING OF AN UPRISING IF IT IS CARRIED OUT.

BUT QUIETLY, ULTRA-ORTHODOX SOLIDERS HAVE BEEN GROWING IN NUMBERS.

ACCORDING TO THE MILITARY, SOME 1,860 JOINED LAST YEAR, UP FROM 288 IN 2007.

SOUNDBITE (Hebrew) Captain Moshe Prigan, Orthodox soldier:

"It is possible, we must do it. This is our war."

IT'S A FAR CRY FROM THE HIGH PARTICIPATION RATES AMONG OTHER ORTHODOX GROUPS, BUT NONETHELESS REFLECTS A NEW OPENNESS IN THE COMMUNITY AND A SIGNIFICANT SHIFT IN THEIR CULTURAL PRACTICES.

MATTHEW BURGOYNE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

View article comments Leave a comment