Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office

'Loyalty to IDF can't be trifled with'

Chief IDF rabbi urges religious teens to enlist with army despite recent outcry over 'secular coercion'

Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz called on religious high school seniors to enlist with the army Thurday, saying that loyalty to the Jewish state must be unconditional.


Peretz's remarks came in response to a petition that was put forth by yeshiva students urging the army to abandon policies of "secular coercion."


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"Loyalty to the IDF should not be trifled with," Peretz told students at Zeitlin High School, a religious institution. "We must be careful with … the State of Israel and the IDF. We should protect it vigilantly."


Yeshiva students and hesder soldiers circulated a petition earlier this month, demanding IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz to reconsider his order to forbid religious troops from leaving official IDF ceremonies that feature women singing.


The youths claimed that "enforcing the attendance of religious soldiers when women are singing is in direct opposition to the Jewish Halacha and is in fact secular coercion, which goes against the principles of liberty, equality and justice in general and the spirit of the IDF particularly."


Perez warned Thursday that recent calls to boycott the army over the policy could have a devastating effect.


"Unfortunately, I have heard many voices coming from amongst our folks, saying 'we won't enlist,' or claiming that the loyalty to the State of Israel is conditional," Peretz said. "Of course, these statements come from a minority, but to my great sorrow, a minority can be destructive if not addressed properly.


"You should enlist," he added. "It's very important. We must be aware that our army is the army of the people."


Yoav Zitun contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 01.19.12, 17:59
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