Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz's recommendation to appoint Col. (res.) Avihai Ronsky to the post of IDF chief rabbi. Ronsky was expected to take up post in few months, following the retirement of current OC Chaplaincy Corps Brig.-Gen Yisrael Weiss
Ronsky, 54, a resident of Itamar, is the author of three books of responsa on halachic issues pertinent to the religious soldier. He has a lenient halachic position regarding allowing the desecration of the Shabbat for military needs. This position, which has been criticized by other rabbis, may make him more attractive to IDF commanders who want a minimum of religious restrictions on their soldiers.