High Proportion of Religious New IDF Officers


soldier1Nearly a fifth of the graduates in the just-ended IDF ground officers’ course are religious-Zionists – lower than other years, but higher than their proportion in the population. A senior officer present at the graduation ceremony, which took place yesterday in the Bahad-1 training camp in the Negev, said, “The religious are the kibbutzniks of today.” The reference was to the disproportionately high contribution made by kibbutz members to the IDF in the early decades of the State of Israel.The fact that the religious comprise a high proportion of IDF officers is not new. Between 30-40% of graduates in recent officers’ courses have been religious – well more than twice as much as their proportion in the general population.

“The national-religious are replacing the kibbutzniks in the ranks of combat and command,” the officer said. “They learn at home the importance of sacrifice for the nation and of giving of themselves for the State.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak was present at the ceremony, as were IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and other officials.

Eleven soldiers were killed during the recent war in Gaza – and four of them were of the religious-Zionist sector. Each of them entered the army via a different route: Nitai Stern enlisted immediately after high school; Dvir Imanuelov studied in the Netivot Hesder yeshiva; Capt. Yoni Netanel enlisted after studying for three years at the pre-military yeshiva academy in Eli; and Maj. Dagan Vartman joined the army after several years at Yeshivat Har Hamor in Yerushalayim.

{INN/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. What can you say, but “Kol Hakavod L’Tzahal”? They recognize the immense self-sacrifice of these fine young men, who know that it’s not enough just to pick up a gun and fight in milchamos mitzvah; it’s also critical to keep up full-time sedorim of Torah study, and they do that, around the clock. They make us all proud to be frum Yidden! Yasher Koach to the Hesder Yeshivas, their Roshei Yeshiva, shlit’a, and all their supporters! May we all be zoche to their reward, of learning Torah, fulfilling the mitzvah of Yishu Haaretz, defending Am Yisroel, in Eretz Yisroel! Amen,ken Yehi Ratzon!