Israel Yudkin
Israel YudkinCourtesy of the family

The family of Israel Yudkin, a haredi soldier who fell in Gaza, is due to go to his grave this week at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl to erect his tombstone.

Along with the family tragedy, the bereaved family has appealed to the Ministry of Defense, as according to his brother Dubi, a company commander with 93 fighters serving under him, the Ministry of Defense has refused the family's request to write the words ‘God shall revenge his blood’ on his tombstone.

"It is greatly disturbing us as a family that on Thursday, we must submit the wording of the headstone to the Ministry of Defense and my mother has asked that the words ‘God shall revenge his blood’ be written on his tombstone," he said in an interview with Channel 14.

"This is the wording that haredi people write on their gravestones. The Ministry of Defense does not approve the word "Hashem" [God], nor the root of the word "Yakum," because revenge is forbidden, so the Ministry of Defense has not approved this."

He added: "If you don't respect the fallen haredi soldiers, then how do you want me to stay in the army? If you don't respect my brother who fell during his service, why should I respect you at all?

"We're talking about drafting, we're talking about haredim. The army is not built to take in haredim, it has no infrastructure for that. I'm not talking about Torah lessons, about mikvahs, about gender bases, I'm talking about weapons, about shoes."

"I’m talking about a haredi soldier who is killed, the family wants it to be written, 'God will avenge his blood,' on the tombstone. It’s quite simple, it's a simple request from my parents, and that's what will show him respect. He grew up as a haredi, he was killed in the haredi regiment. They want these words to be written on the tombstone, so they come to the Ministry of Defense but they say, 'No we are not approving these words," he wondered painfully.

Captain Israel Yudkin from Kfar Chabad, a 22-year-old combat soldier in the Kfir Brigade, was killed in battle in the northern Gaza Strip about six weeks ago.