Dov Sharf, a regional cooperation advisor from Eilat, who accompanied his daughter on her first day to the army, couldn't believe his eyes. While the new recruits were boarding the bus to the boot camp, an army representative handed them a rucksack from the Friends of the IDF Association - inside they found a blue book of psalms wrapped in cellophane.
The words "A book of Psalms for protection and good health, donated by Arcadi Gaydamak" were printed on the back cover. Gaydamak's name is printed in both English and Hebrew letters in a golden prominent font.
"I was infuriated," Sharf said. "I personally don't have anything against giving out the book of psalms, but it should be done by the military rabbinate and not by a benevolent Jew."
He added that the next thing would be for Gaydamak to start purchasing tanks, missiles and aircraft for the IDF. "What's going on?" he asked.
"I have nothing against that poor soldier who gave out the book of psalms to my daughter and the other soldiers, but his superiors should provide explanations," Sharf added.
The IDF spokesman announced Wednesday evening that the Friends of the IDF Association initiated the distribution of the books to soldiers and their families on the day of recruitment, and that the IDF doesn't check the source of books as the donation comes from the Friends of the IDF Association.