Degel HaTorah

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Degel HaTorah
דגל התורה
Leader Moshe Gafni
Founded 1988
Split from Agudat Yisrael
Newspaper Yated Ne'eman
Ideology Torah,
Torah Judaism,
Haredi Judaism,
Ashkenazi Haredim,
Orthodox Halacha,
Religious conservatism
Alliance United Torah Judaism
Most MKs 3 (2008–2009)
Fewest MKs 1 (1996–1999)
Current MKs 2 (as part of United Torah Judaism)
Election symbol
Politics of Israel
Political parties

Degel HaTorah (Hebrew: דגל התורה‎, lit. Banner of the Torah) is an Ashkenazi Haredi political party in Israel. For much of its existence it has been allied with Agudat Yisrael under the name United Torah Judaism.


Degel HaTorah represents the "Lithuanian wing" of the non-Hasidic Haredim (known by some as "Mitnagdim") as opposed to the Hasidic-dominated Agudat Yisrael party. Sometimes, the parties compete against each other, at other times they join forces within a political alliance called United Torah Judaism (UTJ) (Yahadut HaTorah in Hebrew).

Degel HaTorah's rabbinical arbiter (posek) was, until his death in 2012,[1] centenarian Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv of Jerusalem. Rabbi Eliashiv served as one of two Chairmen of Degel haTorah's Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah ('Council of Torah Sages') along with Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman.


Degel HaTorah was founded in 1988 as a splinter from Agudat Israel.[2] Its establishment by Rabbi Elazar Shach was due to policy disputes with the Hasidic rabbis within Agudat Yisrael. In the 1988 elections the party won two seats, taken by Moshe Gafni and Avraham Ravitz, and joined Yitzhak Shamir's coalition government. For the 1992 elections the party allied itself with Agudat Yisrael under the name United Torah Judaism.

Although the party split shortly before the 1996 elections, they reunited for the elections. This was repeated for the 1999 and 2006 and 2009 elections.

Currently the party has two MKs (of the six representing UTJ), Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev.

See also


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External links