Ynet brings us the wacky story of soldiers who violated rules, were sent to prison, and while there began to take Hebrew lessons. Apparently, these soldiers who are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, didn’t have opportunities within Israeli society to study the language.

“A guy didn’t even know how to write his name in Hebrew,” a prison source told Ynet. “The first class had 18 soldiers.”

The soldiers are highly motivated in their prison class, and have met with success and popularity.

“The lessons ran from morning to the afternoon and the soldiers received homework and did it like good students,” the source said. “At first, those who avoided joining the class made fun of those who did, but whoever was standing on the outside soon asked to come in.”

The enterprising commander of the prison is already planning another, more advanced Hebrew class for them.

I think Jewlicious may have the answer to our Jewish education difficulties. Move to Israel, join the IDF, break military rules, go to jail and study Hebrew for free.

I’m sure Judaism classes are pending. Where’s Michael Steinhardt?

About the author



  • It’s good to do the army at a young age. Alot of Olim have to go when they are older, as I did.

    But overall I am glad that I served in the IDF. I still have my army boots which I use when there is alot of snow out.

  • Three squares, lots of exercise, and now Hebrew lessons? Sign me up for a year of prison!

    This does seem like a w(h)acky story. I don’t understand how immigrants get to be in the national army without speaking the national language. Doesn’t Israel provide Hebrew ulpan opportunities for new olim? And more importantly, how do you tell your unit to duck if you don’t speak the language? Makes combat (or any other)situations a little bit more hazardous if not everyone’s on the same linguistic page.

  • There would have been one or more interview days yes. I would think that the officers would have noted the lack of language, unless it doesn’t bother them, or they might have been Russians themselves and simply talked in their native language.
    I am not sure if it is an IDF rule that one knows Hebrew. I believe they have to have a bagrut, a high school diploma. but I am not sure how it works, if you need Hebrew. It would depend on the military assignment.

  • This story is borderline bull, there are so many different programs for learning hebrew catering to all the olim..

  • I dont really know what is so difficult to understand about this is, nor do I see this as anything realy new about dealing with Military service issues in Israel. You have a bunch of Olim from who knows where and everywhere get into trouble, which happens, you have a country at war that uses a wierd forriegn language… Unless you got exemption you got to go in the Army. You can take an issue with those exemptions but I don’t care to go into that now. That how it is. This is good story, but not the only one of its kind that happened over the years.

  • I think it is commanders’ fault. These Olim should not have been allowed to be in the position to break rules without proper knowledge of the language. It is definitely unsafe conduct, and those in charge should be responsible, because safety of the fellow soldiers and outcomes of the mission can be jeopardized. Unless, these soldiers are faking it and taking advantage of the Hebrew class as a way to get a lighter duty in prison.

  • I am here in houston, christian(sister converted)and I pray for you Israel.You do the right thing without worry about what the world thinks.4 some reason america is held hostage by LA and NEW YORK and have turned to a government of wimps

Leave a Comment