IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, one of the first religious pilots in the Air Force, spoke with “soldiers in exile” at Yeshiva University last week,
The rabbi was the head of a pre-army military academy (mechina) in Gush Katif until the government and the IDF expelled the area’s Jewish residents and destroyed their homes in 2005.
He delivered a lecture last week at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University and held a special meeting with former IDF soldiers currently enrolled there.
“Rabbi Peretz is an impressive individual, a model soldier and a world class Torah scholar,” said Rabbi Yona Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. “From the moment he took office, Rabbi Peretz…made it his mission to instill Jewish pride in his soldiers and the nation of Israel as a whole. It is our greatest privilege to expose our students, our future Jewish leaders, to Jewish role models of this caliber while ever-strengthening our bond with Eretz Yisrael.”
“As former IDF soldiers, it means so much to us that Israel's Chief Military Rabbi would make time to speak with us,” added Daniel Green, an undergraduate student enrolled at Yeshiva College and the current president of YU's student-run “Soldiers in Exile” club.
“Israel is central to our lives and constantly on our minds. It is a pleasure to attend an institution where those values are shared,” he added.