Second Lieutenant Yonatan Peretz, Second Lieutenant Ze’ev Pate, Second Lieutenant Tal Gabay and Second Lieutenant Adi Omasi are four IDF officers who grew up together, studied at the Or Etzion Religious Military Academy for Commanders, joined the IDF together and last week completed an officers’ course, once again together.
One of the officers, Yonatan Peretz, told Arutz Sheva on Monday that being a student at Or Etzion, where students combine Torah study with intense physical preparation for their army service, is demanding but also something which comes with a lot of satisfaction.
“We study for matriculation exams and undergo religious training under the guidance of Rabbi Haim Druckman, and at the same time we study military and security Studies which include military training, parachuting and diving, among others,” said Peretz.
He noted that the students at Or Etzion pass a series of tests and evaluations for officers, and at the end of the ninth grade sign up for a service of six years in the IDF. The good preparation they undergo at the military academy, said Peretz, enables the students to be exempt from basic training and continue directly toward their chosen IDF track.
“Signing on for six years in the army is not a simple decision and many people raise an eyebrow,” Peretz said. “But, thank G-d, there are good results from this decision. Of course there must be support from one’s family, because this track is very demanding.”
Lt. Peretz, who will now continue his service as an officer in the Givati Brigade, will also be celebrating his wedding to his bride, Adi, on Tuesday.
“We grew up together in Beit Shemesh and over time our relationship developed until we decided to get married,” he said. “The army is very supportive, but I’m not requesting any different treatment just because I’ll be married. Adi also knows what she is going into.”