MK (The Movement) Elazar Stern expressed criticism regarding a psak halacha from Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Shlita.
The rav this week came out [once again] against frum females serving in the IDF, following recent similar statement
s by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi Eitan Eiseman. The rav stated the IDF is not a place for any woman, adding איש דרכו לכבוש ואין דרכה של אישה לכבוש.
He added that a gun is a male’s attire and a woman carrying a gun violates לא יהיה כלי גבר על אישה. He adds it is prohibited for a woman to serve in the IDF from a halachic point of view, and a woman serving as a commander over men presents even more issues including major moral and modesty issues. The rav adds that men and women may not serve at one another’s side, which he feels is not only morally unacceptable but it compromises security as well. He feels if religious women are permitted into such units that must not respond for they are prohibited from serving by halacha.
The rav concluded the IDF is not in need of the services of the women and they can serve in an appropriate volunteer framework outside the military with proper supervision.
Stern explains he is pleased to learn that more and more religious women are joining the IDF and he feels piskei halacha such as Rabbi Ariel’s does more harm to the status of the rabbonim than to the women serving in the IDF. Stern did however agree in principle with Rabbi Ariel, that women are not suited for combat positions, citing “there is something about a women’s mentality that makes her less suited for a combat position in the IDF”. Stern explains that while most women in the IDF today are not combatants, they do place a vital role in the security of Israel.
Regarding the religious women serving in the IDF, Stern feels that davka because they are religious it is important for them to serve side-by-side along the non religious women, providing a valuable social mission to their presence in the military.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)