The rosh yeshiva of the Elon Moreh Hesder Yeshiva, HaRav Elyakim Levanon Shlita has announced he is stepping down in protest over the military’s trampling of Halacha. Rav Levanon is also the mora d’atra of the yishuv, as well as the rav of the Shomron Regional Council, viewed as a leading Halachic authority in the dati leumi community.
During the conflict surrounding the kol isha issue in the IDF, when soldiers were ousted from officers’ training school for leaving a kol isha event, the rav stated that Halacha will never be compromised and if he is compelled to choose, he will instruct his talmidim not to enlist in the IDF. The event that sparked the issue took place in September 2010.
This was the case with Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the rosh yeshiva of the Har Bracha Hesder Yeshiva, who publically came out against the IDF directives for violating Halacha. Rabbi Melamed stated that Halacha would not be compromised, instructing his talmidim to walk out of kol isha events.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak halted budgeting for the hesder yeshiva, officially expelling Har Bracha from the hesder network in April 2010. Rabbi Melamed nevertheless remained true to Halacha and made no effort to apologize in anyway. Quite the contrary, he condemned the IDF’s policy, for turning its back on the best of its fighting force, the kippa sruga soldiers who today comprise the backbone of the IDF infantry combat units and the most elite units.
It is now revealed that Rabbi Levanon and other rabbonim met last week with IDF Chief Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Rafi Peretz, during which the rabbonim called on Peretz to step down. They were referring to his unacceptable statement of late, publically declaring that if there is a conflict between Halacha and military regulations, the latter must supersede Halacha.
Rav Levanon explained that by resigning, he is no longer affiliated with the hesder network, and as such, he may speak his mind, which he plans to do.
Rabbi Levanon, 62, will undoubtedly comment in the immediate future for during recent weeks he warned state and military officials that they are coming “dangerously close” to creating a situation in which rabbonim will have to instruct talmidim to distance themselves from the IDF. This was before the IDF officially announced that soldiers, religious and non-religious alike may not walk out of kol isha performances during compulsory ceremonies.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)