Rabbi Shlomo Aviner Shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim addressed the controversy that erupted around the kol isha issue in the IDF. He feels the religious community got carried away in its response and in its interpretation of the non-religious community’s motivation for the women singing. “With the exception of one or two meshuganas who are working against the religious community, no one in the country is against the religious community. Generally speaking, there may be an effort to repel religious coercion”.
“When many religious people hear criticism against them they begin shouting ‘Shmad’. What Shmad? Did anyone call for killing or doing something against religious Jews? He wishes to hear women sing because he wishes to hear women sing. That’s it. Why do you think this is against you? He hears women singing even when religious Jews are not present. The chilonim also want the religious to take part in the ceremonies. What do you think that they want people to begin steaming out when singing begins? Of course they don’t!”
“The chilonim are not trying to prove anything. This is not a cultural war. The IDF simply wants everyone to participate, that’s all. They are not trying to win us over. The cultural divide has always existed”.
Regarding IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Peretz, the rav commended him, explaining “He is the first chief IDF rav in history to act against the military decision compelling everyone to listen to women singing.”
The rav explained to his talmidim that there is a rav in the IDF and he has instructed soldiers to accept the word of their officers, for if this is not the case the military will fall apart. Rav Aviner expressed his support for the IDF and instructed his talmidim to adhere to the orders of superior officers.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)