IDF Chief Rabbi Says No to Females as Mashgichot Kashrus


kosherJust days after the Emunah Women’s Organization brought its case to the Supreme Court of Israel; the IDF chief rabbi expressed his opposition. Emunah is working to open the door for recognition of females to work as mashgichot in Israel.

Emunah turned to the High Court after women who completed training to become mashgichot kashrus are being ignored by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Rabbi Rafi Peretz opposes having women serve as mashgichot in the IDF as well as elsewhere in Israel. Rav Peretz expressed his opposition during a meeting of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Council from about six months ago. His objections were recorded in the protocol (minutes) of the meeting, released Thursday, 19 Tammuz 5773 by Galei Tzahal (Army Radio).

Peretz feels that if civilian women are permitted to serve as mashgichot kashrus the trend will work its way into the army and he opposes this. At the same meeting, Tzfas Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, a candidate to become the next Rishon L’Tzion said there are a number of women filling that role today in Tzfas, and from his perspective, he does not see any problem. Also quoted supporting the idea is Rabbi Yonah Metzger, who added in kitchens staffed primarily by women it would enhance the level of modesty.

Nevertheless, Rav Peretz remains adamantly opposed for he fears a women mashgiach in a military kitchen with the pressures that exist in the IDF “is dangerous”.

When asked to comment, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said the matter was never discussed in the military and if and when it is relevant, the appropriate officials will address the matter.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. In the army, the kitchen staff are almost all adolescent males, and generally not the “elite” (kitchen jobs are definitely not one that someone aspires to). While a older female (someone old enough to be the soldiers mother) would get respect, the typical rabbinate person is the same age as a soldier, and expecting the boys in the kitchen to listen to a girl their own age is “problematic.”

    That is not necessarily a precedent for any other situation, nor is it a halachic ruling. It’s tachlis for that situation.

  2. Rav Peretz has given no reason why??? What is the danger? We are not talking about single women Mashgichot?
    The course was just completed with the average age women of 48-50 yrs. old…. They are far from typical age of soldier, more like his GRANDMOTHER, and she will garnish lots of Respect.

  3. #2:
    A mashgicha in the army would not be a “grandmother” from civilian life who did the course at 50, it would be a new 18-20 year old recruit.