Rav Shlomo Aviner: The Religious Community is Paranoid


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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)


  1. Jews tend to be paranoid. We learn from experience. Had the Jews 100 years ago, in Europe, been a bit more paranoid, we might have been better off. It’s not paranoia if someone actually does want to get you.

  2. And even if he is correct, that they just want us to participate, that is precisely what shmad is. It is that they just want us to be like them, and to what they do-with them.

    לשכב אצלה בעולם הזה, להיות עמה לעולם הבא
    That is what they want.

  3. The army does want the charedim, but not before they cut the charedim to a size and shape that fits their way of life. If we were to follow their wishes, there wouldn’t Yiddishkeit left in 10 yrs.

  4. popa bar abba (#4) spoke well.

    Just to add, the real problem is not the IDF. We know how to deal with them. The real problem (shmad) actually exists in Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim. Hashem Yiracheim on the Talmidi there. Nothings worse than learning by someone with Frakrumta hashkafas!

  5. He is kind of right. Even main stream chareidi newpapers run sensationlist columns with title’s claiming “open season on Orthodox Jews” and that “frum Jews will soon have to leave Eretz Yisrael and return to Russia (Europe and America) and so on and so forth. There is no sense of porportion and irrational fearmongering continues unabated

  6. Reply to #8 and #9

    You should both be seeking mechila from Rav Aviner, Shlita, one of the most chashuve and respected rabbonim in EY. His point is well taken. The public and media reaction to the recent incidents of abuse against women and children by chareidim has been responsible and even-handed compared to the hysterical hyperbole we read and hear from Chareidim who make martyrs of themselves.

  7. With all due respect, once you dilute Torah with Zionism, you can also dilute it with inyanei Erva as well, and beyond and then also try to say it’s okay, they don’t mean it….

    No, there is absolutely no compromise when it comes to issurim, and the Zionists’ insistence on religious Jews compromising the Torah is not acceptable in any way, shape or form, even if the IDF’s chief Rabbi claims it’s okay. The IDF is not a religious entity, and cannot dictate religious standards to anyone UNLESS, perhaps, if the army is 100% voluntary; MAYBE then they would be justified to do so.