Military Rabbinate

Military Rabbinate

Military Unit
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Military Rabbinate

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The Military Rabbinate is a unit in the Israel Defense Forces that provides religious services to soldiers, primarily to Jews but also including non-Jews, and makes decisions on issues of religion and military affairs. The Military Rabbinate is headed by the Chief Military Rabbi, who is ranked a Brigadier General. The current Chief Military Rabbi is Rafi Peretz.

The Military Rabbinate constitutes the body responsible for religious institutions in the military. In every unit or military base there are Military Rabbinate soldiers assigned responsibility for assuring religious services, and in particular, the Kashrut of the kitchen and the maintenance of the synagogue and its inventory. Actively serving soldiers can request from the Rabbinate representatives to perform marriage ceremonies as well as the brit mila.

The Military Rabbinate is responsible for treating the bodies of soldiers from the Halakha standpoint, including the identifications and post-mortem treatment of bodies, and conducting military funerals. The Military Rabbinate also attends to the burial of enemy soldiers and the exhuming in conjunction with prisoner exchanges. Prior to the establishment of ZAKA, it was also responsible for treating the victims of suicide attacks. More recently, it was placed in charge of dismantling of the cemetery in Gush Katif during the Gaza disengagement plan.

The Military Rabbinate was founded in 1948 by Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who headed it until...
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