Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef has sent a letter to the Civil Service Commissioner to cancel the planned elimination of gender separated classes for cadets studying to enter the nation’s diplomatic corps.
The rav writes, “The demand to hold a course in gender segregation does not involve any violation of women’s rights.”
In a letter sent on Wednesday, 26 Nissan, to Civil Service Commissioner Udi Prawer, Rav Yosef calls for canceling the decision that chareidi cadets will no longer be permitted to attend separate classes. “As you know, following a petition submitted to the labor court by the Israel Women’s lobby, it was ostensibly determined by the court that the training must be in a mixed and not separate setting.”
The Chief Rabbi’s letter was sent following the request of twenty cadets in the Amitim program for chareidi cadets for the service of the State, calling on Rav Yosef to intervene on their behalf as they are facing an untenable situation.
In his letter, the Chief Rabbi refers to the claim that separation is tantamount to the exclusion of women and says that “I do not wish to discuss the very petition, which according to the spirit of our Holy Torah has no place at all, since the separation between women and men has no harm to the rights of women. The woman, and on the contrary, separation will be of great benefit to both men and women.”
“I would like to draw your heart’s response that the complaints of these colleagues are consistent with the strict halacha, since these are not concerns that are considered a chumra, but rather a matter relating to the principle of preserving the Torah for every believer …”
The Rishon L’Tzion adds, “Keeping the program mixed renders it unsuitable from a spiritual point, as it has been brought to my attention it includes personal and group processes that require close ties between the fellows, which in their opinion will be impossible for them if women and men participate side by side in the program.”
“Therefore, I ask you with all my heart to try to refrain from implementing this decree, to allow these cadets to follow Jewish law and to act in all ways so that you can continue the program according to the Torah and tradition as has been the case to date”.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)