Religious IDF soldier 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) restored the Har Bracha Yeshiva to the
hesder program on Monday.
Former defense minister Ehud Barak cut it from
the hesder program in 2009 after its head, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, refused to
retract statements he made in support of a soldier’s right to refuse orders to
evacuate Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.
Melamed also refused a
summons to attend a hearing on the matter at Barak’s office.
It was the
first time since the hesder program was created in 1953 that a yeshiva was
removed from its rosters.
There are some 40 hesder yeshivot that combine
18 months of military service with three-and-a-half years of Jewish
In 2011, Barak made a conciliatory gesture to the Har Bracha
Yeshiva and included it in the list of seminaries whose students qualify for
military service deferral.
Ya’alon said he had received requests to
return the yeshiva to the hesder program and had investigated the
“I was convinced that there is no intention [at the yeshiva to]
preach about refusing to follow orders. I have zero tolerance for disobedience;
this was true in the past and will remain true in the future,” Ya’alon
The Samaria Regional Council received final confirmation that the
yeshiva had been reinstated to the hesder program on Monday
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayti Yehudi)
said he welcomed Ya’alon’s decision, adding that the yeshiva should never have
been dropped from the hesder program in the first place.