Rabbi Levenstein
Rabbi Levenstein Liba Center

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit prevented Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) from holding a hearing for Rabbi Yigal Levinstein in order to remove his hesder yeshiva from the list of approved hesder programs, Yediot Ahronot reported.

Prior to the report, Mandelblit spoke with several senior executives in his office and Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber sent a letter in which she wrote that Liberman has no authority to hold a hearing for Levenstein, and cannot remove Levenstein's hesder yeshiva from the list of approved programs.

In Zilber's opinion, such steps are too "extreme" and are therefore inappropriate for use in Levenstein's case.

She also said Liberman cannot close Levenstein's pre-army yeshiva (mechina) since it is under the Education Ministry, not the Defense Ministry.

"Rabbi Levenstein's words were extremely hurtful," Zilber wrote. "This is something which is very painful and gently breaks apart the cohesion of the Israeli society and the IDF, by insulting and demeaning certain communities.

"Many others in Israeli society feel the way Liberman does about Rabbi Leveinstein's remarks."

Previously, Rabbi Levenstein spoke out against women in combat and said he does not approve of mixed units, since the soldiers often spend more time with each other than they do completing the assignment, This angered Liberman, who insisted on closing the yeshiva since Rabbi Levenstein was "not fit to teach."

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