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Degel HaTorah

Degel HaTorah (The Torah Flag) is an Israeli Ashkenazi Haredi political party.


The party was founded by Rabbi Elazar Shech in 1988 after a split from Agudath Israel, due to political differences. From its creation to 2022, Knesset members had varied from 2 to 4.


In the video below, you can see one of the first reunions of the party's leaders at Rabbi Shech's house.


Agudat Israel and Degel Hatorah sometimes feuded with each other but later joined forces under the political coalition Yahadut HaTorah in 1992.

That same year, the party won two Knesset seats (including deputy member Moshe Gafni who is still active) and joined Yizhak Shamir's coalition government. Since its establishment, three national conferences of the party have been held (1990, 2006, 2016). The conference takes place over several days and includes lectures and discussions. The conference culminated with the arrival of its spiritual leaders.


Degel HaTorah's pre-eminent sages were Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (1928-2022) and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein (1923-2023).


Party representatives have served as mayors of different cities in Israel such as Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit, Raksim, Kiryat Yaarim, and more.


Following the position of the founder of the party, Rabbi Shech, who supported the principle of Land for Peace, Degel HaTorah is considered less right-wing than Agudat Israel. But under the spiritual leaders who succeeded Rabbi Shech, there was a shift to the right in the party's positions, which was expressed in the statement of its leader, Rabbi Haim Kanevsky, on the eve of the elections to the twenty-second Knesset (2019), that the ultra-orthodox parties must oppose the transfer of territories to the Arabs.


The newspaper "Yitad Naaman" is the official voice of Degel Hatorah and reflects its positions and views.


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