Jerusalem – Nachal Charedi, Hailed As A Vital Component Of The IDF, Celebrates 18 Years Of Service


    **FILE** Israeli soldiers of the IDF 'Nahal Haredi' unit seen during a shooting exercise at the Peles Military Base, ni the Northern Jordan valley. The purpose of the 'Nahal Haredi" unit (Netzah Yehuda battalion)  is to allow religious Israelis to serve in the IDF in an atmosphere favorable to their religious convictions. Photo by Yaakov Naumi/Flash90.Jerusalem – 18 years after the Israel Defense Force established its first religiously observant military unit, the Netzach Yehuda batallion celebrated the milestone moment with a commemorative ceremony that included Major General Roni Numa, commander of the IDF’s Central Command and Colonel Eyal Krim, chief rabbi of the IDF.

    Also known as the Nachal Chareidi, the Netzach Yehuda battalion is part of the IDF’s Kfir Brigade. It was established in 1999 with just over 30 soldiers to give Charedi soldiers the opportunity to serve in the military without compromising on their religious standards.

    The success of Netzach Yehuda, battalion number 97, has far eclipsed its founders expectations, Lieutenant Colonel Itamar Deshel told Arutz Sheva (

    “When the first group of 31 soldiers was formed, no one could have imagined the incredible results that we see here today,” said Lieutenant Colonel Deshel. “This is a battalion that engages in combat and wins, that is a unifying factor for all of the tribes of Israel from all corners of the world. It is a model for other projects within the IDF and I am proud to serve as the commander for this battalion that is at the forefront of the war on terror.”
    Rabbi Yoel Schwartz greets Religious Jewish soldiers attend a swearing in ceremony as they enter the orthodox Jewish IDF "Nahal Haredi"  unit. May 31, 2012. Photo by Noam Moskowitz/FLASH90
    Just one month ago Netzach Yehuda was honored for neutralizing several terror attacks, including a car ramming at a military checkpoint near the town of Ofra, and another attack in the Romema section of Jerusalem. Netzach Yehuda was honored as the most outstanding battalion for the month of January and has been the recipient of several other accolades for its outstanding performance.

    Rabbi Yitzchak Bar Chaim, one of the founding rabbis of the Nachal Chareidi, said that the 18 year milestone was concrete proof of the battalion’s success. He pledged that Netzach Yehuda would continue giving Chareidi soldiers an opportunity to distinguish themselves while still conducting themselves in accordance with their religious beliefs.

    “We see thousands here who have chosen the path of Netzach Yehuda, who have become part of Tzahal and have fulfilled their dream of protecting the State of Israel while still being able to uphold their religious beliefs,” said Rabbi Bar Chaim. “We are an inseparable part of Israeli society and we will continue to serve our country while staying true to the Torah values that are important to us.”

    More than 10,000 soldiers have served in the Netzach Yehuda battalion since its inception. Uri Dror, head of the Defense Ministry’s recruitment department, described the battalion’s 18th anniversary as a landmark event.

    “The recruitment of ultra-Orthodox young men will grow the next leaders of the ultra-Orthodox youth,” said Dror. “It is a gradual process that will have the number of Chareidi soldiers continually increasing. This is an important social, national mission that will contribute to Israeli society in general and to Charedi society in particular.”

    Six Orthodox Jewish soldiers from the New Jersey area were inducted into the Nachal Chareidi battalion this past October as reported by The Jewish Link (

    One of those was Marc Cohen of Elizabeth, who said that having being raised in a home that was extremely supportive of Israel he had always dreamed of becoming a soldier in the IDF but never expected that his dream would one day become a reality. All that changed when three Israeli teens, Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach, were kidnapped and murdered in June 2014.

    “I felt helpless,” said Cohen. “Then Operation Protective Edge broke out. While sitting in camp and reading the names of the soldiers killed in battle, I realized that they were my age and I decided to act. With the approval of my family, I enlisted this past March through Netzach Yehuda so that I could continue my learning and daven with a minyan three times a day.”

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    1. What a sad day! Not a time to celebrate. Yiddn, shomer torah imitzvohs serving in the army for the “Jewish State” that desecrates Hashems name with every second of its existense. No donning the talis or davening 3 times a day will change the sad picture of yiddn doing whats totally forbidden by our holy Torah. It nauseates me to see these pictures. Its like saying kosher pork.

    2. All the noise against military enrollment, during the Lapid era, was it only because the Chareidim weren’t in the coalition?
      Can one please explain? (Bash)?

    3. I hope that the One Above protects these boys from Islamic Arab terror and from Jews bent on taking them away from their rich heritage.

    4. Marc Cohen, Hashem is very grateful to you for securing the land and fighting back, he can use the spare time solving the antisemitic epidemic in your home country.
      After all, we were promised by the land’s founding fathers, once we’ll have a homeland, antisemitism will be abolished

    5. Nachal Charedi has done a great service to klal yisroel. It offers a viable option other than learning in a healthy frum environment. Its a real shame that the issue was hi-jacked by hot heads who called nachal charedi a gezaras shmad. Its pure nonsense. Its a stupid excuse not to go to work. I guarantee you the environment in nachal charedi is ten times more ehrlich than any guy who works in the city. But work is trief in EY. So why not blame it on the tzionim.

    6. No. 1 — ill take the bait — although i should know better….”Jewish State” that desecrates Hashem’s name with every second of its existence. What is your preference? What should be there in its stead? This stuff is nonsensical — but its a diversion — so go ahead.

      As to some of the others — my son is in Netzach. i worry about his physical well being every second of every day.(If you want to be religious, careful, frum etc…in the army it is not an issue at all). If you ask the “chareidim” why they dont go into the army (not neturei karta types) — the excuses are not all that compelling. The thing that bothers me the most is — at very least — the charedim should “say thank you and be on their way. Otherwise, pick up a weapon and man a post.”


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