IDF Regs in Sefer Torah Dedications

YERUSHALAYIM -

New IDF regulations will place strict limits on the size of sefer Torah dedication ceremonies, Arutz Sheva reported on Tuesday.

It came as part of a directive issued by the head of the military’s donations and welfare branch, Brig. Gen. Einat Ratz-Levi, which redefined protocols for donations to IDF bases.

Civilian visits to IDF bases will be limited to eight persons. However, a military source said that if a family donating a sefer Torah scroll wishes to invite more people, exceptions might be made.

The writing of the final letters of the Torah scroll will be permitted on base, as well as a celebratory procession to the beis knesses, with the participation of soldiers.

Picture-taking and modest food offerings will also be allowed. But any specially-decorated vehicle for the ceremonies was ruled out.

As of this week, donors who wish to visit IDF units must go through the Association for the Well-being of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS). Requests for coordination of visits will be submitted to the donations branch of the Personnel Directorate at least three weeks in advance.

The new regulations were published following recent allegations that the IDF had been seeking to prevent such Torah ceremonies. Assurances were given that the military has no such policy, but that all must be done in accordance with protocol.