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      IDF Chief Prays at Patriarchs’ Cave in Hevron

      Benny Gantz was Hevron Brigade commander 15 years ago. Now the IDF’s top general, he returned to Hevron and prayed at the Patriarchs’ Cave.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 7/18/2012, 7:53 AM

      Gantz at Patriarchs' Cave in Hevron
      Gantz at Patriarchs' Cave in Hevron
      Israel news photo courtesy of Hevron Jewish community

      Benny Gantz was the Hevron Brigade commander 15 years ago. Now the IDF’s top general, he returned to Hevron Tuesday and prayed at the Patriarchs’ Cave.

      The Chief of Staff visited the holy site and asked Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who escorted him during the tour, to recite with him the prayer for the State of Israel that is traditionally recited during morning prayers on the Sabbath and holidays.

      The prayer for the safety and success of Israel defense Soldiers also was recited.

      Gantz’s term of service as Hevron Brigade commander was one of the shortest ever. The position usually is held for two years, but Gantz exited after several months in order to study, at the height of security concerns following the Oslo Accords. He has earned two masters degrees at universities in Israel and the United States.

      Gantz, who last year succeeded Gabi Ashkenazi, has served in the IDF since 1977, when he volunteered for the Paratroopers Brigade.