Friday, March 13, 2015

Role of Rabbis In Israel Army Ceremonies Is In Dispute

Times of Israel reported yesterday on a controversy within the Israeli army over the role of rabbis at the swearing-in ceremony for new recruits.  Currently the ceremony, held at the Western Wall, features the unit commanders, the military rabbi and the rabbi of the unit.  However, the IDF's chief education officer Avner Paz-Tzuk has written the Manpower Directorate saying that a number of soldiers-- presumably secular ones-- have expressed “resentment” over “the centrality of military rabbis” in the ceremony.  Paz-Tzuk recommended that a commander, rather than a rabbi, read portions of the Bible at the swearing-in ceremony.  Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon disagrees with the recommendation that reflects long-standing tensions between the Education Corps and the IDF rabbinate over educational roles in the military.