The IDF is becoming an increasingly difficult place for religious soldiers as there is a growing effort to have women serve in all units, including combat units R”L. This new reality makes it significantly more difficult for shomer Shabbos soldiers are women in a combat setting poses an entirely set of halachic problems.
According to a post on the Facebook page of the ‘Chotem’ organization, addressing mixed gender units serving in the Bardlas Base, there is a disgusting norm that has evolved. According to some of the female soldiers, there is not even “the most minimum measure taken” to protect their modesty.
It is pointed out the base is simply not prepared to take in so many females, and this results in sharing bathrooms, with Chotem confirming testimony from male soldiers, who have seen women entering their bathroom on numerous occasions.
The Facebook post adds “the commanders always come while the females are dressing. It is pointed out this appears to be intentional as it occurs frequently. The posts speaks of other events not suited for printing, but R”L the situation on the mixed base is what one would expect in modern society.
Chotem laments this is exactly what it warned would occur and how the IDF is becoming unsuited for religious soldiers as a result of the mixed units.
In a directly-related matter, Rosh Yeshivat Beit El Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed Shlita has sent a letter to MKs citing the problems and the fact that mixed gender units will only serve to weaken the IDF rather than strengthen it. The rav questions “Who gave the IDF chief the authority to tamper with the basic values of most of the soldiers, who are religious?”
Rav Melamed adds “under the banner of equality, the IDF Chief is leading a process that is contrary to Torat HaTzava (IDF) … forcing a process that is unwanted by most soldiers”.
Rabbi Melamed calls on MKs to work with religious MKs towards eliminating the new mixed gender policies and to permit each and every soldier to live according to his hashkafa.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)