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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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The Rabbi Wore Battle Fatigues

Rabbi Yehuda Amital

Rabbi Yehuda Amital

Other roshei yeshiva preferred to concentrate their students in homogeneous companies. Their main reason was educational – to reinforce the shared religious steadfastness of all yeshiva students in the army. There was a technical reason as well – so that rabbis could meet with as many of their students as possible during their visits to the base.

Ultimately, the students were not dispersed through the various companies, and Rav Amital’s fears came true during the First Lebanon War when many yeshiva students who served together were injured at the battle of Sultan Yacoub. Only after the war did the gradual dispersal of yeshiva students begin.

Adapted from “By Faith Alone: The Story of Rabbi Yehuda Amital” by Eliyashiv Reichner, translated by Elli Fischer (Maggid Books, a division of Koren Publishers (www.korenpub.com).

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Rabbi Yehuda Amital

During the Yom Kippur War and its immediate aftermath, Rav Amital would travel from base to base, visiting his students. His frequent visits brought him into close contact with senior IDF commanders, and soon after the war he was asked by the upper command echelons of the IDF to be the rabbinic liaison between the army and the hesder yeshivot. The military even allowed him unfettered entry, in uniform, into IDF camps.

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