Hesder yeshiva heads to stick with IDF


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The heads of 60 hesder yeshivas agreed to continue their arrangement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The Union of Hesder Yeshivas met Sunday to form a united response to the removal of the Har Bracha yeshiva from the hesder program. 

 "We oppose it and will do everything in our power to stop it from happening," said Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Governing Council of the Union of Hesder Yeshivot at the beginning of Sunday’s meeting.

The Har Bracha yeshiva was removed from the program after its head,Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, reportedly encouraged his students to disobey army orders.

Melamed reportedly attended the meeting and agreed to conform to the union’s stand on the yeshivas’ relationship with the army and its officers, Ynet reported.

Under the hesder program, religious men serve 16 months in the army and nearly four years in religious studies. The first hesder program began in 1953.

The rabbis were set to discuss ways to persuade Defense Minister Ehud Barak to rescind his decision and allow Har Bracha to remain in the hesder program, the Jerusalem Post reported. Barak has said he would not reverse his decision, no matter what the yeshiva heads decide.

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