Rabbi Yigal Levinstein
Rabbi Yigal LevinsteinLiba

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, cofounder and head of the Bnei David pre-army academy in Eli, responded on Tuesday to the storm of controversy sparked by statements last week regarding homosexuals and the Reform movement.

In a letter to the Director-General of the Defense Ministry, Udi Adam, Rabbi Levinstein clarified that his comments were never intended to be construed as support for the exclusion of groups or populations in Israel.

“My comments at the rabbinic conference last week were interpreted by many in a way I never intended,” wrote Rabbi Levinstein, “as if I had called for the exclusion of certain populations or parts of them from the IDF, or to harm the sense of comradery [in the IDF] we all place our trust in.”

Rabbi Levinstein’s letter also touched upon his recent description of homosexuals as “deviants”, a comment which elicited harsh condemnation from the IDF leadership and led to a suspension of Rabbi Levinstein’s work with the army.

“Everyone has a place in the IDF, regardless of their background, their worldview, or their personal inclinations.”

“The criticism I voiced did not express a lack of faith [in the system], rather it came from a sense of love and pain.”