Rabbi Druckman: Religious IDF Soldiers Shouldn’t Refuse Orders


rabbi-chaim-druckmanRabbi Chaim Druckman, who heads the committee of hesder yeshivos, today told an aide to prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau that he strongly objects to insubordination among Israel Defense Forces soldiers serving in the West Bank, reports Haaretz. 

Rabbi Druckman added that there are cases in which a soldier cannot execute orders that are contrary to his conscience, in the same way that “a person with a broken hand cannot carry a heavy load.”

He clarified that he does not view this as insubordination.

Rabbi Druckman met this morning with the Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai to discuss recent instances of IDF soldiers refusing settlement evacuation orders.

The hesder yeshiva program, which combines Torah study with army service, sparked controversy after the Har Bracha yeshiva’s rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, allegedly encouraged soldiers to refuse settlement evacuation orders, prompting Defense Minister Ehud Barak to cut ties with the institution.

In a pamphlet distributed in shuls in Eretz Yisroel, Rabbi Druckman also recently encouraged IDF soldiers to refuse orders to evacuate settlements or enforce the 10-month construction freeze.

“It is not only impossible, it is forbidden,” wrote Rabbi Druckman in the pamphlet published in Israeli media.

Rabbi Druckman added that soldiers should request to be freed from the mission “in an orderly manner.” However, he wrote, if soldiers are “backed into a corner,” they have no choice but to refuse.

“You cannot force an observant soldier to go against halacha,” wrote Rabbi Druckman. “On the contrary, a commanding officer who gives such orders will himself be subject to military trial. Disobeying such orders is understood in the army and in the public.”

In response to Rabbi Druckman’s comments, Meretz leader Chaim Oron said that the rabbi, often considered to be a moderate, is not much different from Rabbi Melamed.

“The intent to refuse, or even thwart, the future evacuation of settlements is not the domain of marginal elements among hesder yeshivos,” said Oron, who stressed that Barak and Prime Minister Netanyahu must understand the threat this conflict poses to the government.

{Haaretz/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Once you start picking and choosing which orders to follow, the army’s cohesiveness breaks down. If you want a functional state, then even orders to be mechallel shabbos or evacuate settlements must be carried out. Otherwise, the army loses its fighting abilities. I heard this from a respected chareidi rov. To say these typoes of things is putting the entire country of Israel at risk.

  2. because Jews have no heter to be michallel Shabbos or prikas ol hashamayim for the army or the state, no matter what your fictitious “respected chareidi rov” says.

    Eretz Yisroel and the Jewish people and kol ha oilom kuloi exist only for the sake of Torah. If you try to pervert that order you bring destruction to the world.