Har Bracha yeshiva
Photo: Courtesy of Shomron Regional Council

Ya'alon okays reinstatement of Har Bracha in hesder program

Two and a half years after Ehud Barak cancelled its status due to rabbi's support of insubordination, defense minister reverses decision

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has authorized that the Har Bracha Yeshiva, which was removed from the hesder program after its head refused to condemn insubordination, will be reinstated into the arrangement which allows students to study alongside serving in the IDF.


Two other hesder yeshivas were added – Giv'at Olga and the Ofakim branch in Modi'in.


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The Defense Ministry stated following the authorization that "things were cleared up with the yeshiva and the road was paved for its return to the hesder arrangement."


ישיבת הר ברכה  (צילום: באדיבות מועצה אזורית שומרון)

Har Bracha yeshiva (Photo: Shomron Regional Council)


The reinstatement was decided two and a half years after Ya'alon's predecessor, Ehud Barak, retracted the yeshiva's hesder status in an unprecedented move, after the yeshiva's head, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, refused to appear for a Defense Ministry hearing held due to his refusal to retract statements he had made supporting insubordination in the army.


The conflict arose in light of several displays of insubordination in the Kfir Brigade in 2009, after which the chief of the IDF's Manpower Directorate, Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir met with the hesder yeshivas' rabbis and posed an ultimatum: Either issue a sweeping condemnation of the insubordination, or the army will act on its threats and cancel the arrangement with the yeshivas.


Afterward, Central District Commander Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi announced his recommendation to remove the Har Bracha yeshiva from the arrangement, in light of its rabbi's statements.


Housing Minister Uri Ariel said in response on Monday: "I'm glad, and I congratulate my friend, Defense Minister Ya'alon's decision to reinstate Har Bracha into the hesder program.


"The arrangement shouldn't have been cancelled in the first place with the yeshiva, which teaches its soldiers to pursue a significant, high standard service in the IDF, and later for high achievement in the workforce."


The Har Bracha yeshiva was established in the West Bank 21 years ago. It holds to the same ideological line as the Mercaz Harav yeshiva.


Rabbi Eliezer Melamed's father, Zalman Baruch Melamed, is a prominent figure in the more radical wing of the religious Zionist movement.


Yoav Zitun contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 07.08.13, 23:45
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