‘The IDF certainly has barred Torah dedication ceremonies’

August 3, 2016  

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) addressed a recent assertion by Asst. Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan that the IDF hasn’t barred Torah-scroll dedication ceremonies on army bases, claiming that this is simply not the case.

“I value my friend Rabbi Ben-Dahan, but I suggest he check the facts on the ground,” Yogev said.

He related that an IDF Rabbi responsible for a Torah-scroll dedication ceremony at the Tzrifin military base, which offers special military courses for soldiers, received a call three months ago from higher echelons in the IDF, ordering him to cancel the ceremony on claims that “the singing and dancing disrupt military proceeding and public space in the base.

“After pleading, pressure and explanation, permission was granted,” Yogev said, but qualified that the IDF’s claim was “not innocent, but rather an attempt to shut down the happiness of a Torah dedication ceremony.” He also cited four other recent instances in which Torah dedication ceremonies were either cancelled or were restricted in their expression of happiness.

Yogev added, however, that he is “happy to relate to [Ben-Dahan] that, after I turned to the IDF Chief of Staff with these concerns, he agreed to regulate the issue in cooperation with the IDF Rabbinate.”

“[I have] great love for the IDF and its commanders, but you can’t hide your head in the sand,” Yogev concluded.

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