Rivlin with Abirei Hashachar soldiers
Rivlin with Abirei Hashachar soldiersAmos Ben Gershom/GPO

Yesterday (Tuesday) Israel’s President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin visited an IDF transport base that serves as a logistics center for both routine and emergency corps and provisions transports. At the base, he met and spoke to soldiers from the haredi battalion Abirei Hashachar who serve on site and Nahal Haredi rabbis.

In the course of his conversations with the haredi battalion soldiers, President Rivlin asserted: “I see here that every person has the capacity to maintain the lifestyle that follows the dictates of his conscience and simultaneously serve in the IDF, which is our collective duty. It is a duty that is our number one priority. I know and appreciate that there are people who learn and genuinely ‘kill themselves in the tent of Torah (a Hebrew expression for dedicated Talmud students, ed.),’ and that it is forbidden to disturb or bar them from even one moment of learning—because they are the ones who can do this, who accomplish and ascend to such lofty levels."

“Simultaneously, we all appreciate that everyone must partner with our capacity to defend the nation, especially when many of our neighbors do not perceive our existence here in this land as indisputable. Beyond this, they think that they can drive us out of here.

“The capacity to maintain the economy and society, and the capacity to raise Torah scholars are collective, and we must be involved and connected with one another. I am very pleased by the IDF’s strength—which is obviously upholding the security of the State of Israel and also assisting each and every one of our sons who upon joining the IDF require this blanket of assistance. We, as residents of this country, can support the people’s army by honoring the public’s wishes and the goal of enabling each and every individual to live according to his beliefs. I am very pleased that you possess the motivation and capacity to continue serving without sacrificing an iota of your faith. You should be blessed!”

The tour was escorted by General Aharon Haliba, senior director of the Technology and Logistics Branch, and Colonel Ron Keinan, commander of the transport base. Approximately 700 soldiers serve on this transport base including soldiers from Chavat Hashomer, lone soldiers, and immigrant soldiers.

Nahal Haredi Organization rabbis stated in reply, “The meeting between the president and Haredi soldiers was very significant and a tremendous boon and encouragement for soldiers who willfully choose to join the IDF despite major social pressure against them and extremists in the haredi sector.”

"The president’s message of integration into the IDF and society through discussion and patience is even more significant due to calls by extremists from both parties that threaten the strength and unity of Israeli society. As one who has escorted haredi soldiers for over 18 years, I know how deeply we must internalize this message. Only cooperation and sensitivity to the needs of haredi society will bring about the ideal integration of haredi soldiers into the IDF.”