A cadet in the IDF Officer's Training School has been thrown out of the program for refusing to participate in a lecture about Messianic Jews.
The cadet was removed from the course after refusing to listen to a lecture from a fellow Messianic Jewish cadet on the New Testament and his faith in the Jewish Messiah. Cadets in the elite officer's training school learn to lecture on a topics of interest for their training officers and fellow cadets. One of the cadets, a Messianic Jewish believer, apparently chose to give a talk about the New Testament and Jewish faith in Yeshua.
The bold decision taken by General Avi Gil Commander of the IDF Officer's Training School reflects a new chapter in respect for Messianic Jews and Messianic Jewish faith in Israel.
Here is part of General Gil's communiqué with the rejected cadet:
"As a future officer you will be required to hold the line with all of your soldiers, no matter their religion or ethnicity, even when their beliefs may be in tension with your own. As an officer in the IDF you must insure a safe environment in which all your soldiers can serve. You must demonstrate a balanced approach in your decision making. Remember, you do not represent your own opinions, but rather the national consensus of the IDF approach to these matters."
In his summary statement from the cadet's trial, General Gil determined that "the cadet acted in a way that is in absolute opposition to the character and conventions of the IDF. There is no place in the IDF for officers holding extreme positions. A cadet cannot negate another's religious beliefs and refuse to listen to them."
At the military trail the cadet admitted, "I have a problem listening to a belief that is different that what I believe." General Gil concluded that "the cadet did not show that he even understood the problem with his position. Nor was he willing to receive any correction. Because of this," said the General, "the cadet was removed from the Officer's School."
In spite of all of this, General Gil recommended the soldier for service in other regular units the army. He was also given the opportunity to reapply for the next officers' training course if he "would be willing and able to go through a process of coming to grips with the issues he is struggling with," said the General.
In the past Messianic Jews were considered a security threat by the authorities and could not serve in sensitive units in the Israeli army. Today there are Messianic Jews serving as commanders and officers in every branch of the Israeli military including Intelligence which requires the highest level of security checks. Somewhere very high up in the ranks of the Israeli government and military a decision has been made that Messianic Jews are no longer considered a security risk but should be recognized as reliable and trustworthy citizens of Israel.
There are currently hundreds and perhaps even thousands of Messianic Jewish soldiers serving in the IDF. Many of them openly share their Messianic faith in Yeshua.
Messianic Jews in Israel are proud to serve their country. Many Messianic Israelis choose to serve in elite fighting units and most are exemplary soldiers who want to demonstrate that faith in Yeshua is not a betrayal of their Jewish heritage. In fact, faith in the Messiah gives them an even greater desire to serve the nation of Israel. "I feel like I am doing something really important," a Messianic Jewish soldier in the elite Iron Dome anti-missile unit told Israel Today. "This is something I have prepared to do for my people. I am glad that I can be here for such a time as this."
PHOTO: Front of the IDF officers' training school, emblazoned with Judges 7:17, in which Gideon tells his 300 warrior, "Watch me and follow my lead..."