Should yeshiva students move away from the South to avoid the missiles?
The south of Israel has been under missile/rocket attack for the past few days. It has been publicized in the name of R' Chaim Kanievsky that yeshiva students should move to the center of the country (e.g. Bnei Brak, Yerushalayim) to avoid the rockets. The Rosh Yeshiva of the Hesder yeshiva in Sderot published a response to this that the Yeshiva students should stay because they are soldiers and need to show solidarity with the other residents. He also made the point that according to the Rambam (ספר המצוות ל"ת נ"ח) it may be an Issur D'oraysa to run away.
Source: הרב קנייבסקי הורה לתלמידי ישיבה לעבור למרכז. ראש ישיבת שדרות: תלמידי חכמים לא עוזבים את העיר.
In truth I posted about this 3 years ago in a similar situation, Yeshivas are moving north out of danger, what about the protection of Torah learning? , and made the following point at the time (similar and maybe more comprehensive then R' Fendel's argument):
The Charedi world justifies the draft exemption for yeshiva students based on the following:
1. Torah learning protects everyone
2. The boys are engaged in מלחמתה של תורה
3. Talmidie Chachamim don't need protection
Based on these it would seem that the Yeshivas should stay where they are. If the boys who are learning are engaged in war just like the soldiers why should they abandon their posts? In addition if Torah learning protects, let them stay where they are and be protected by their Torah. Their move undermines the claim for draft exemptions and looks very bad. The soldiers are entering Gaza to fight while the yeshiva bachurim are fleeing to safer havens.
This argument is even more relevant today as the country deliberates on what to do now that the Tal law has expired.