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Givati Soldiers Ordered to Shave

The commander of the IDF’s Givati Brigade, Colonel Ofir Levy, has ordered his subordinates to instruct soldiers to shave, explaining they may not have a beard in his brigade, Arutz-7 reports. Family members of soldiers and rabbonim have filed complaints on behalf of frum soldiers serving in the infantry brigade.

According to the information available on the IDF Personnel Branch website, one of the justifications for a soldier having a beard is a “religious lifestyle”. It adds the beard must be neat and kempt and if a soldier in compulsory service shaves his beard, he will not be permitted to let it grow again.

Despite the clearly stated rules by the military, officers have already passed along the colonel’s order, instructing them to remove their beards. In addition, Colonel Levy stated that anyone insisting on keeping a beard will have to appear before the deputy brigade commander and he will decide on a case-to-case basis. The colonel adds that he will personally recommend that the deputy commander does not permit anyone to remain bearded, adding that anyone wishing to appear before the deputy commander for such a hearing must appear clean shaven.

Some of the parents that spoke with Arutz-7 are quoted as drawing a comparison to the government removing the peyos of the Yemenite Jews in 1948 upon their arrival in the country. They point out how they want the chareidim in the military yet they make religious life difficult on the dati leumi soldiers already serving.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office confirms the regulations, that a frum soldier may indeed have a beard, as well as someone with a special medical dispensation. The response adds that a soldier may not cut or modify the length of the beard.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. Stop whining. If Israel were a Jewish state, this would be shocking. But Medinat Yisrael is a secular democratic (which means rule by the people, and it just happens that some people are more equal than others) state, founded with the goal of freeing the Jewish people from the yoke of mitsvos.

    Admit it. The “Dati Leumi” crowd are a bunch of suckers who kiss the zionists boots, and get kicked in return.

  2. Don’t worry, Chareidim, the IDF will do everything in its power to accommodate your religious hashkafos. Yeah, right. Tell me another one.

  3. If YWN had made any effort to check it would have found that the IDF spokesman was asked about this order and replied that IT DOES NOT APPLY to soldiers who have beards for religious or medical reasons. The IDF spokesman did not merely confirm the generic regulations. Nobody is trying to make life difficult for religious soldiers in Givati. As another frum website reported:

    דובר צה”ל מסר בתגובה: על פי פקודות צה”ל, החיילים המורשים לגדל זקן הינם אלה המנהלים אורח חיים דתי, או אלה המחזיקים בפטור רפואי. על פי הפקודה, החיילים אינם רשאים לקצץ או לפגוע באורך הזקן.

    מפקד החטיבה הנחה כי יש לאכוף את הפקודה הצה”לית הנוגעת לגידול זקן, ועל כן כלל החיילים שאינם מורשים לגדל זקן, או שאינם בתנאי הפטור הורו לגלחו, אך בניגוד לטענות המועלות בכתבה, ההנחיה איננה גורפת ואיננה מחייבת את כלל בעלי הפטור.

    Ktiva vechatima tova.

  4. In his defense, pturei zakan is widely abused. Officially to be eligible, you have wear a kipa, and daven 3 times a day. Many times I’ll have people run over to me to borrow my kippa because “the rasag (rasar gdudi- the high ranking nco in charge of discipline and decorum) can’t see me without a kippa. Even amongst the religious guys who get the ptur, the vast majority have no halachic problem with shaving with an electric shaver.
    I only met a few guys who actually had beard for halachic or religious reasons. Everyone else gets the ptur because they are too lazy to shave every day. Then they start playing around with the rules; trimming, shaving when they go home etc.. All the commanders know this but their hands are tied because they are required to give the ptur according To army regulations. It looks like the machat of givati actually decided to do something. If you have to see the samchat, only the really committed people will stick through the process and have the guts to request the ptur. By making the process hard, he is eliminating those who get the ptur because “why not”. I’m not sure about the part that you have to see the samchat clean shaven, though. That seems a little too harsh, considering that there are people who really can’t shave and I don’t agree with it. I’m guessing its just a knee jerk reaction to the many abuses until now.

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