An urgent Asifa of the Union of Hesder Yeshivot was held to discuss the IDF regulation compelling soldiers to be clean shaven, including those soldiers who declare their beards are for religious reasons.
They met on Sunday, 19 Adar-I, addressing a new regulation that goes into effect on Tuesday, 21 Adar-I which coincides with March 1, 2016. Those soldiers who are not shaven will be viewed as disobeying a regulation and may be sent to jail for insubordination. This of course does not include soldiers who have been given special permission to maintain a beard, which according to reports pertains to soldiers in chareidi units while their dati leumi counterparts serving in regular units are being instructed to shave.
A leading authority in the dati leumi community, Rabbi Tzefanya Drori Shlita, Rosh Yeshivat Hesder Kiryat Shmona, has instructed soldiers not to shave under any circumstances.
The Union of Hesder Yeshivot released a statement backing their religious soldiers, explaining any soldier who has a beard for religious reasons and signed a declaration declaring this, will find the method to appeal if required. Every hesder soldier can rely on the organization for assistance.
The head of the hesder umbrella organization, Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita, spoke to the head of the IDF Manpower Branch, Major-General Chaggai Tupolinsky, explaining that every request from the hesder union to Manpower Branch regarding the beard issue would be dealt with immediately by the appropriate officers in the respective units.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)