'Why is the IDF interfering with Torah study?'

Leading rabbis call to sign petition requesting Chief of Staff reinstate Torah lesson at IDF training base.

Mordechai Sones,

Rabbi Peretz Einhorn with soldiers
Rabbi Peretz Einhorn with soldiers
Shmuel Hess

More than 3,500 mothers signed a petition calling on IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot to allow officer and reservist Rabbi Peretz Einhorn to resume delivering Torah lessons and words of encouragement to soldiers in an IDF training center every Sunday.

As reported on Arutz Sheva a few months ago, the head of the technology and logistics division, Major General Aharon Haliva, ordered that Rabbi Einhorn not be allowed to deliver the lesson to the soldiers affectionately called "Simchat Sunday" (a play in Hebrew on Simchat Torah).

The mothers do not understand why Rabbi Einhorn was forbidden to hold a lesson and a motivational talk for soldiers who are interested, when they are not on active duty or while they are off base.

Rabbi of Tzfat Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rosh Yeshivat Ramat Gan Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira call upon more mothers to sign the letter.

"The prohibition on continuing to hold the lesson causes anger, but more than anything else, surprise. Why cancel a get-together with a man wearing a uniform and arriving under the auspices of the military rabbinate to encourage his listeners - soldiers who gather around him voluntarily and not during military activity - to be sensitive to their unit comrades, to relieve soldiers on guard duty on time, to invite a lone soldier for the weekend, to treat a truck driver to a can of soda," the rabbis write.

Rabbi Eliyahu and Rabbi Shapira hint that this may be another attempt to exclude the knitted kippahs from the IDF.

"The mind and the heart refuse to believe that even today there are those who alienate themselves from Torah study out of a total lack of understanding. That is what gives motivation and meaning to so many of those serving in the IDF - religious and traditional alike. This is a national matter of principle that can not be ignored," say the rabbis.

To sign the petition in Hebrew click here.