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Yeshiva may get boot from Israeli army program

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A West Bank yeshiva may be removed from a special army program because its head rabbi reportedly encourages his students to disobey military orders.

The head of the Har Bracha yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, will be called to the Defense Ministry by the end of the week for a hearing on whether or not the yeshiva can continue in the hesder program, which combines religious study with military service.

Melamed is accused of urging his students to refuse orders to evacuate West Bank settlements and outposts.

The announcement of the hearing came Tuesday night after the heads of some of the yeshivas participating in the hesder program met with Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the army’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, according to reports.

About 30 yeshivas participate in the program, which was inaugurated in 1953. Five rabbis reportedly attended the meeting.

The meeting was called after the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff recommended that Har Bracha be kicked out of the program. It would be the first time that a yeshiva is removed.

 

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