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Photo: Ofer Amram
Parents of combat soldiers serving in the elite Duvdevan unit have told Ynet that the IDF is permitting a rabbi who is identified with the teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane to give lectures to their children on a regular basis.
According to IDF protocol, such lectures require the Military Rabbinate's authorization.
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Rabbi Yehuda Kreuzer, the chief rabbi of Mitzpeh Yericho in the Jodran Valley, is considered to be one the most prominent students of Rabbi Kahane, whose far-right Kach party was banned from participating in the 1988 Knesset elections due to its extremist ideology.
Kahane was assassinated in 1990 by an Egyptian-born American citizen following a speech in New York.
Kreuzer heads the "Jewish Idea" yeshiva, which was founded by Kahane, and has publicly supported Kahane's ideology.
Ynet has learned that Kreuzer has been speaking before the Duvdevan soldiers twice and even three times a month since the beginning of the year. Last year he met with the combat soldiers even more frequently. Several dozen soldiers attended the lectures, which were optional and focused on various religious issues.
"Even if Rabbi Kreuzer did not brainwash the soldiers into adopting his politics, the fact that he is a regular guest in the army grants legitimacy to his positions, at least as far as the soldiers are concerned," one of the parents told Ynet. "The soldiers can easily 'Google' the rabbi and find out what his political views are."
Residents of Mitzpeh Yericho said that during his lectures the rabbi does not reveal his political positions and focuses on weekly Torah portions and the halacha.
One of Kreuzer's students said, "Two of the rabbi's sons were killed in a car accident, and during the lectures he describes to the soldiers how his faith helped him overcome the tragedy. So why make such a fuss just because some of the parents don't agree with his views?"
One of Kreuzer's relatives said the lectures are given in commemoration of the rabbi's eldest son Shlomo, who was a captain and served as a company commander in Duvdevan.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the rabbi's lectures deal "only with issues related to the Torah and are not mandatory."