The IDF has committed to make the required changes to accommodate the expected influx of chareidi inductees. This includes food with the required hechsher, kitchens with mashgichim and other aspects of life, including bases staffed exclusively with male personnel.
Some time ago the issue of ‘kol isha’ became a prominent one as frum soldiers felt compelled to walk out of IDF ceremonies in which female vocalists performed. Some soldiers gave up careers as officers to cling to their adherence to Halacha as their rabbonim instructed them to act.
Speaking with Channel 2 TV’s Meet the Press, IDF Chief of Personnel Branch Major-General Orna Barvibai acknowledged that she expects a marked increase in the number of chareidim inducted into the military in the coming years. When asked to comment on the issue of female performers at official military ceremonies, Barvibai was quick to clarify that the increase in the number of chareidim in the military will not be “at the expense” of female personnel. She assured listeners that females will continue to appear at ceremonies.
“We expect to double the number of chareidim in the next four years but this will not occur at the expense of females in the IDF” the senior officer stated. Barvibai added that additional doors will continue to open for women wishing to serve in an array of units, citing “92% careers are available to women today, including combat positions.
Barvibai explained that there is no reason to increase the presence of one sector at the expense of another and the IDF can and will accommodate additional chareidim without this new reality stifling the women. She stated there will not be any ceremonies that do not include women.
“The induction [of chareidim] will cost the nation but it is a price worth paying.” She explained the inclusion of the chareidim is the right thing towards maintaining a people’s army. “We do not wish to give up on this potential induction base.”
She explained that drafting chareidim will not be enforced until the new law is passed, but added the numbers continue to climb today nonetheless.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)