An Israel Air Force mashgiach kashrus who maintains a chareidi lifestyle shaved his beard under threat of being jailed for refusing an order if he did not. The soldier serves in a major air force base in central Israel. Persons close to the soldier explain he shaved while crying for it was the first time in his life since his beard began growing that he was without it, for in his eyes halacha compels him to maintain a beard. However, he feared if sent to jail he will lose his position as mashgiach.
IDF officials tried to explain it away, citing he did not really have the beard for religious reasons, but persons who know the soldier and the case insist this simply is not so. Interestingly, 0404 News questioned the military spokesman, with the latter reporting the soldier was not religious, just how a non-religious Jew can be a mashgiach kashrus since this would be in direct contradiction of IDF Chief Rabbinate regulations. No response was received but it does appear this incident is being probed by relevant authorities.
While by and large frum soldiers are permitted to maintain a beard, in some cases, or perhaps many cases for religious soldiers outside a chareidi or hesder environment, and there are many, officers do routinely instruct them to shave and all too often there is no one around to assist such a soldier. Such a soldier is aware that if jailed for insubordination this appears on his record and will have a negative impact if and when he wishes to advance.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)