Daily Israel Report

Barak: Hesder Rabbis Will Not Issue an Ultimatum

After meeting Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Barak said Hesder rabbis do not plan to get tough in the matter of Har Bracha.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 12/16/2009, 8:41 PM / Last Update: 12/16/2009, 8:47 PM

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After a meeting with Rabbi Chaim Druckman, chairman of the Committee of Hesder Yeshivas, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that Hesder rabbis will not be issuing any ultimatums to the IDF regarding the status of the Har Bracha yeshiva.

Joining Barak in the meeting, which was called at Rabbi Druckman's initiative, was Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai. The rabbi requested the meeting in order to give clarifications regarding the Hesder yeshivas' position on the ousting of Har Bracha yeshiva from the Hesder program with the IDF. The Committee of Hesder Yeshivas will be meeting on Sunday to discuss the matter.

Barak said that Rabbi Druckman sought to refute claims reported earlier in the day that the Hesder Yeshiva Committee is going to issue an ultimatum to the Defense Minister next week demanding the return of Har Bracha to the IDF program. According to the Defense Ministry, Rabbi Druckman said that the Hesder yeshiva heads see military service as one of the basic, unconditional values in their world view.

Barak said, "The IDF will remain outside the political debate and there is no compromising on that. The decision to end the Hesder arrangement between the IDF and the Har Bracha Yeshiva is still in effect." He called on the other yeshiva heads to assist the Har Bracha students in finding alternate seminaries in order to continue their dedication to military service and the State of Israel.

Prior to his meeting with Defense Ministry officials, Rabbi Druckman told Arutz Sheva that he hoped to be able to reverse Barak's decision. The ouster of Har Bracha from the Hesder agreement with the IDF he called "unacceptable".