Rav Elyakim Levanon
Rav Elyakim LevanonFile photo

Students at the Elon Moreh Hesder Yeshiva, which is headed by Samaria Chief Rabbi Rav Elyakim Levanon, won first place Sunday in the Givati Brigade's competition for excellence Sunday.  The company is composed of yeshiva students who were recruited last August outperformed all other companies in the brigade.

Rav Levanon was recently inundated with criticism by Israel's loud and ubiquitous leftists after he insisted that soldiers must not attend performances in which women sing on stage. 

"The spirit that they received in the Elon Moreh yeshiva is the one that accompanied them in the military as well," Rav Levanon said Sunday. "As yeshiva students, they learn and are taught to give their best in everything: soldierliness, security, mutual assistance, love of Torah, taking care to carry out mitzvot (commandments) in a thorough way." 

Samaria (Shomron) Regional Authority Head Gershon Mesika said the rabbi's educational path has been vindicated. "The fact that the company made up of students from Elon Moreh took first place on the brigade level shows that Rav Levanon's education believes in a meaningful service and excellence in the army," he said.

"All those who twisted his words around and defamed him and attacked him recently should ask for forgiveness," he contended.

Rav Levanon came under fire when the media devoted its concerted attacks to the subject of soldiers who refuse to hear women's singing in entertainment performances, in keeping with the Halakhic law known as "kol beisha."

In an interview to Radio Kol Chai last month, Rav Levanon said: "They are bringing us closer to a situation in which rabbis will have to instruct soldiers – you must leave events like these even if a firing squad is standing outside waiting to shoot you dead. I hope very much that there will be some wise people who will block this terrible move, but if not, we will have no choice. I will recommend to whoever asks me not to enlist anymore."