IDF to investigate commander's disgracing of IDF rabbi

IDF rabbi booted from ceremony by commander minutes before he was to stand before soldiers and read a prayer.

Tal Polon ,

Religious Soldiers
Religious Soldiers
Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot has instructed an investigation into the conduct of the Commander of the Engineering Corps Oshri Lugasi against Rabbi of the Combat Engineering School Aviad Gadot during a Memorial Day ceremony, 0404 reported.

According to the report, the Rabbi was minutes away from standing before soldiers in order to read a prayer at a Memorial Day event, when the Commander booted the Rabbi from the ceremony, embarrassing him in front of all the soldiers present.

This incident came amidst previous tensions between the two, after the Rabbi had designed a special race for religious soldiers after the soldiers had requested to run a required training race without women on the course for modesty reasons. When the Commander objected to the Rabbi’s conduct, a military investigation was held in which the Rabbi was found to have acted in complete accordance with his duty. A letter published by 0404 from the Rabbi’s wife to Eizenkot calling for an investigation into Lugasi’s conduct indicated the belief that the incident at the Memorial Day ceremony was an act of revenge over the previous episode.

According to the report, MK Betzalel Smotrich condemned the conduct of the Commander, also writing in a letter to Eizenkot: “Would it be conceivable to act this way towards any other officer, or is the status of army rabbis such that they can simply be trampled?”

He called on the Chief of Staff to “verify the matter thoroughly, and that the Commander apologizes publicly and in a way that returns the Rabbi’s authority and ability to continue to fulfill his duty properly as an officer and rabbi in the IDF.”

The IDF spokesperson told 0404 that the Memorial Day incident is being investigated, as are “the other assertions,” and emphasized that “there was no intention to hurt the Rabbi.”