_ALUF_ (Hebrew : אלוף, lit. "champion") is the term used in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for officers who in other countries would have the rank of general , air marshal , or admiral . In addition to the _aluf_ rank itself, there are four other ranks which are derivatives of the word. Together, they constitute the five highest ranks in the IDF.
Aside from being a military rank, "Aluf" is used is a civilian context, particularly of sport , meaning "champion".
The term _aluf_ comes from the Bible (אַלּוּף _’allūp̄_): the Edomites used it as a rank of nobility, while the later books of the Tanakh use it to describe Israelite captains as well, e.g. Zachariah 9:7, 12:5-6, and later, for example Psalms 55:13, where it is used as a general term for teacher. It comes from a Semitic root meaning "thousand", making an _’allūp̄_ the one who commands a thousand people. Strong however connects the word used to describe the Dukes of Edom, to a different root "_alf_" denoting a teacher and the root for the animal 'ox' from which the letter Aleph itself is derived, rather than _eleph_ thousand, however they both comprise the same 3 letters.
RANK ORDER OF _ALUF_ AND ITS DERIVATIVES
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is an integrated force, ranks are the same in all services. It has a slightly compacted rank structure; for instance, the Chief of Staff (_ Ramatkal _) is seemingly only equivalent to a lieutenant general (NATO OF-8) in other militaries. _Rav aluf_ means 'arch-general', which would be equal to a field marshal or five star general in other armies and equivalent to OF-10.
* _Rav aluf _ (Hebrew : רב-אלוף): the highest rank in IDF (Chief of the General Staff rank), literally "arch-_aluf_", lieutenant general * _Aluf_: major general (arms , branches , and regional commands ) * _Tat aluf_ (Hebrew : תת-אלוף), literally "sub-_aluf_": brigadier general (divisional and corps -level) * _ Aluf mishne_ (Hebrew : אלוף-משנה), literally "secondary-_aluf_": colonel (brigade -level) * _Sgan aluf_ (Hebrew : סגן-אלוף), literally "vice-_aluf_": lieutenant colonel (battalion -level)
ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES RANKS: קצינים בכירים SENIOR OFFICERS OR FIELD GRADE OFFICERS
IDF NCO Rank רב סרן _Rav seren_ סגן-אלוף _Sgan aluf_ אלוף משנה _ Aluf mishne_ תת-אלוף _Tat aluf_ אלוף _Aluf_ רב-אלוף _Rav aluf _
NATO OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7-OF-8 OF-8-OF-9 OF-9-OF-10
ABBREVIATION רס"ן Rasan סא"ל Sa'al אל"מ Alam תא"ל Ta'al אלוף Aluf רא"ל Ra'al
More details at Israel Defense Forces ranks an officer who would be a general, air marshal, or admiral elsewhere is an _aluf_ in any of the Israeli forces.
The non-Hebrew word "general" was also adopted into Hebrew (גנרל), and is used to refer to the generals of foreign armies. It can also be used colloquially in reference to a senior Israeli officer, in a derogatory sense implying that the officer in question is over-officious, incompetent, or involved in internecine power struggles with other officers, sometimes referred to as the "war of the generals" (Hebrew : "מלחמת הגנרלים"), to the neglect of proper military duties. For example, in a speech made by the former Israeli Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz , he criticized two other party members who both hold the rank of (retired) _aluf_: former Vice-Chief of General Staff , _Aluf_ Matan Vilnai and former Commander of the Israeli Navy , _Aluf_ Ami Ayalon , referring to them (and other former senior officers of the IDF) as "the generals and admirals":
"I look around me, and hear the voices, I look and I don't believe. Whenever a party does not win the status of a ruling party, the most respectable post is the Defense Ministry. And I hear the generals, and the admirals say: 'Why the Defense Ministry?' I hear the voices, and I am happy with myself, because this means we succeeded in changing the agenda in the State of Israel. The revolution is that a social general is no longer ruled out from being a minister of defense, and our generals yearn to deal with social issues." — Amir Peretz , former Defense Minister of Israel , _"Peretz authorized to appoint Labor ministers", ynetnews.com_
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