(photo credit: )
Following a High Court of Justice hearing on Wednesday, Har Bracha
Yeshiva students withdrew their petition against Defense Minister Ehud
Barak's decision to remove the institute from the hesder arrangement with the
It followed a High Court opinion issue by the panel of judges
against the IDF continuing the arrangement - under which men serve 16 months in
the army and spend close to four years studying in yeshiva – due to “extreme” statements
made by head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, supporting insubordination
in the army under certain circumstances.
In a statement, the Defense Ministry stressed that other hesder yeshiva students
will continue to give a “significant and important” contribution to all military
units, in the form of former, current and future soldiers and commanders.
Barak's decision came after Melamed voiced support for
insubordination in cases where IDF soldiers are ordered to help evacuate Jewish
settlements in Judea and .
As a result of Barak's decision, some 150 students at Har Bracha who are in various stages of a
five-year program combining military service with Torah studies will be forced
to either transfer to another hesder yeshiva or serve a full three years of
active duty in the IDF.
Although the IDF gave Har Bracha
students a two-month extension to move to other hesder yeshivot, the petition
had claimed that the request for the students to find other places to study was "causing them immediate and serious harm."
The petitioners, including three students due to be drafted into the IDF in
10 days, had further claimed that since the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee had not ratified the decision, Barak had no legal authority
to make such a ruling.