Degel Ha-Torah (Torah Banner)

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DEGEL HA-TORAH (Torah Banner)

An ultraorthodox Israeli political party, Degel ha-Torah was created before the Knesset elections of 1988 by Rabbi Eliezer Menachem Schach, a dissident in the Agudat Israel Party. Representing the non-Hasidic Ashkenazi current and opposed to the Lubavitch movement, Degel ha-Torah won two seats in the Knesset that year. Between 1988 and 1994, in an attempt to obtain subsidies for its institutions, Degel ha-Torah backed the governments in power, left as well as right. In the Knesset elections of 1992, it formed a common list with Agudat Israel; then, in anticipation of the elections of 1996, it constituted a new list with Agudat Israel and Poʿalei Agudat Israel and again won two seats in the Knesset, which were taken by Rabbis Avraham Ravitz and Moshe Gaoni. Principal figures in the movement were Eliezer Menachem Schach, Chaim Epstein, Moshe Gaoni, Chaim Miller, and Avraham Ravitz. In the 2003 elections Degel ha-Torah formed a list with Agudat Israel as Yahadut ha-Torah, or United Torah Judaism, which won five seats in the Knesset.

SEE ALSO Agudat Israel; Poʿalei Agudat Israel; Schach, Eliezer.