Rabbi Druckman: It's pure libel

Rabbi Haim Druckman applauds the strengthening religious establishment, in light of the media storm surrounding IDF Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim

Rachel Kaplan,

Rabbi Haim Druckman
Rabbi Haim Druckman
Yoni Kempinski

In an interview with Arutz 7, Rabbi Haim Druckman, the Director of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and head of the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement, started off by celebrating the recent appointment of judges to the Religious High Court.

"The judges chosen have stature in the true sense of the word. I am happy that the [Religious] High Court is returning to its fully operational status. In the good old days this was the maximum number - ten judges, and two chief rabbis. It's wonderful.

"For years now, the High Court has been diminishing, and in latter years there were almost no set judges, just temporary judges. It was a very harsh blow to the honor of the Torah. Is it conceivable that the Supreme Court would be that way? Yet that was the way of the High Court. Now, the benches are filled. It raises the status of the Torah in Israel."

Rabbi Druckman admitted that he doesn't personally know all of the judges, however the Religious Zionist judges he knows quite well, as "excellent judges that the Israeli nation can be proud of."

He gives full credit to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) for making it happen. "She should be blessed, the Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, who invested a lot in [appointing the judges], and I know how much effort that took. She did not surrender, and with her great acuity and firm stance [she] completed the task."

Rabbi Druckman then touched on the intense political outrage directed from the Left toward IDF Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim.

"It's evil for evil's sake. I have no words. I don't normally say things like this, but this is evil."

"It's evil, as even Yediot Aharonot, which is a nonsense publication, on its front page writes that 'The New IDF Chief Rabbi Says that it is Okay to Rape in War.' which is a complete lie, and which never happened, and even offhand, it's slander."

Rabbi Druckman, although not personally affected by the matter, says he would love to sue the newspaper Yediot Aharonot for libel.

"If Rabbi Karim answers to explain the Torah concept of a 'captured woman,' does that apply today? The fact is that the Torah teaches that Israeli soldiers are the only ones who don't commit this ugly act, an act that all other armies in the world are known to do today. It is simply slander and libel, born out of a desire to ruin his name."

Rabbi Druckman proposed a theory that the entire orchestrated campaign against Rabbi Karim is intended to damage the standing of the military rabbinate, as Rabbi Druckman is convinced, because they have nothing else to do.

"There is no one as appropriate as Rabbi Eyal Karim to be the IDF Chief Rabbi. He was a combat soldier and a commander in the special forces and combat units of the IDF, and is a genuine Torah scholar. He knows the IDF like the back of his hand, and he knows [how to fulfill] the needs of the IDF. During his leadership until today, he would give halachic (Jewish law) direction to all the soldiers, how to behave on Shabbat etc., and every soldier can attest to it."

Regarding Rabbi Karim's approach, which puts Torah law ahead of a military order, Rabbi Druckman added: "What do they think? That a rabbi in Israel could say that if a soldier is given orders then he should violate the Torah, and uphold the order?

"Thank God, even back in the days of Rabbi Goren it was established that such a situation couldn't happen. There is no rabbi in Israel who could say such things. According to whom would he be able to source his opinion? According to Meretz, and the Joint Arab List? Of course he has to find a solution according to halacha (Jewish law)," said the rabbi, and compared the matter to a military doctor, who needs to work based off of his medical knowledge, and not according to the words of this sergeant or that commander.

"It lacks integrity and it lacks honesty, it lacks humanity,"concluded the rabbi. When asked if, in light of his years of experience, Rabbi Karim's appointment would be retracted, he answered in the negative, pointing out that both the Chief of Staff and the Head of Personnel know Rabbi Karim well, and based on that picked him for the job.

The normally soft-spoken Rabbi Druckman addressed the whole matter dismissively: "The dogs bark, yet the train moves on."


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