Friday, August 10, 2007

Haredi rabbis in IDF fear replacement

Aug. 10, 2007 8:42 | Updated Aug. 10, 2007 8:59

Haredi rabbis in the IDF rabbinate are concerned that the army wants to replace them with rabbis from the national religious sector, Israel Radio reported on Friday.

The rabbis say the haredi presence in the military rabbinate is decreasing, and that there is a growing tendency to prepare national-religious officers for the rabbinate.

According to one IDF source, the fact that priority is given to rabbis coming from fighting units rather than haredi yeshivot could cause a rift between those yeshivot and the army.

The report also said the number of rabbis taking the army's officer's course has doubled in the past year, and even tripled in comparison to previous years. The rabbis receive the rank of lieutenant following the course.

The IDF said in response to the report that the number of rabbis pressed into officer positions due to a shortage of reservist rabbis has grown, and added that the army respects every rabbi as-is and will continue to encourage the service of haredi officers.

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