The Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: BENY SHLEVICH/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The IDF chief rabbi was reprimanded on Thursday for approving the improper request of a colonel, which led to an increase in the man’s salary.
Col. O, the head of the IDF’s Information Security Branch, will step down in February after it was discovered he applied for – and received – a higher salary than he was entitled to.
According to a senior army source, Col. O sought recognition from the Chief Rabbinate Council for the title of chief rabbi of a city, a request that was granted, and which resulted in an addition to his monthly salary. Col. O, who held a previous rabbinical role in the military, turned to the IDF Rabbinate and requested a recommendation for the title. The IDF Rabbinate agreed to provide the request, but the IDF has since concluded that Col. O was not entitled to receive the additional title, since his current role is unrelated to any rabbinical military work.
The IDF’s chief rabbi, Brig.-Gen. Rafi Peretz, was reprimanded for approving the request without an adequate investigation, though the army source said Peretz did this in good faith.
In line with a decision by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Gadi Eisenkot, Col. O was reprimanded by his superiors, and returned all of the additional income – totaling tens of thousands of shekels – that he received after getting the title. He will resign from military service on February 1.