For the first time the IDF has refused to approve having the Chief Rabbis take part in an event, in this case a welcoming ceremony for a new Torah scroll at the IDF commando unit base next Monday.
Channel 2 reports that every invitation of the Chief Rabbis is issued by the military rabbinate to the upper command echelon of the IDF and the IDF Chief of Staff's office.
Because the military rabbinate consists of senior staff their invitations generally receive a nearly automatic approval.
The donator of the Torah scroll requested that the Chief Rabbis be present and they were invited by IDF sources who had gone as far as contacting the rabbis' offices. In the appointment calendar of at least one of the rabbis the event was already listed as an event the rabbi planned to attend.
But despite the invitation, the upper command echelon and the Chief of Staff's office made a surprising refusal of the request, in a rare and nearly unprecedented move.
The refusal showing contempt for the Chief Rabbinate follows on the heels of other moves in recent months indicating a troubling trend of trying to distance Jewish identity from the IDF.
That trend was seen in a decision to remove the Jewish Identity Branch from the military rabbinate and transfer it to the responsibility of the education corps, as well as a move to tighten the restrictions on religious soldiers growing beards.