Rabbi Winkler marching with his students
Rabbi Winkler marching with his studentsYeshivat Lev Hatorah

Yeshivat Lev Hatorah, a post-high school yeshiva for foreign students and new immigrants in Beit Shemesh which combines Torah study and military service, celebrated the completion of seven different "beret marches" for their students who were drafted to the IDF in March.

The 30 lone soldiers from the yeshiva are spread out in small groups in the Nahal, Givati, Golani, and Paratrooper brigades and the Combat Engineering and Armored Corps, and the yeshiva makes sure to accompany the soldiers for the length of their military service.

Rabbi Dudi Winkler, who cares for the yeshiva's soldiers, makes sure to attend each march together with a few students who come to support their friends from the yeshiva. These visits occur while the yeshiva is busy preparing an additional 25 students who will enlist as lone soldiers next March.

Lev Hatorah is different from the other "Heseder" yeshivas since all of its students are Americans who came to Israel to study Torah and serve in the IDF. Many of the yeshiva's alumni even choose to stay in Israel and become Israeli citizens.

In contrast with most Yeshivas, whose students usually draft together to the same unit, Lev's students are drafted to different units to not burden one unit with a large group of lone soldiers, who are eligible for special benefits.

"We are proud of our student's achievements, determination, and ability to perform despite the hardship of being far away from their parent's home. We wish them success in their future in the different battalions, and we are always waiting for them at home in yeshiva, where they have rooms in special houses during their military service. These students are the salt of the earth, with a special spice of the ingathering of the exiles. Praise to them and praise to the people of Israel who were granted with such boys," says Rabbi Dudi Winkler.