(ASSOCIATED PRESS) — JERUSALEM — A string of protests by ultra-Orthodox Jewish activists against Israel’s compulsory military service has paralyzed Jerusalem in recent weeks in what their leaders had hoped would be a show of strength by the traditionally insular society.

Instead, the demonstrations reflect a desperate attempt by members of a vocal minority trying to preserve a lifestyle that is rapidly changing around them.

Widely seen as a drag on the country’s economy, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox world is being forced to adapt — with growing numbers embracing technology, pursuing higher education, entering the work force and even serving in the army.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.