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A Growing Number of Religious Women are Entering the IDF

idf2013 was accompanied by an increase in the number of religious women entering the IDF despite objections from rabbonim from that community. According to the IDF Personnel Branch, 1,616 religious women entered the IDF in 2013 as compared to 1,503 in 2012. In 2010, only 935 religious women opted to serve in the IDF, signaling a growing trend among dati leumi women serving in the military.

Rabbi Eliyahu explained religious schools must direct the young women in the correct direction, one that does not compromise the kedusha of women.

Tzfas Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu recently called on principals of dati leumi girl’s high schools not to provide a forum for those rabbis seeking to persuade females that it is okay to serve, emphasizing Halacha does not permit women to serve in the IDF.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. Given the role that the Medinah and the IDF play in Dati Leumi theology (similar to the role of Torah and Mitsvos among the hareidim), it is quite reasonable that they would want to follow their rabanim’s advice, and serve in the IDF.

  2. #2- Their gedolim hold otherwise. If you hold that the creation and preservation of a zionist state is a mitsvah, which is what the Dati Leumi hold (as opposed to hareidim who hold it is an averiah, or at most, a secular political matter), then it would follow that service in the IDF is a mitsvah. If someone is following a rav who holds this way, then army service is logical. And I would suggest that defining someone who is follow a posek as “religious” is reasonable, even if I regard that posek as gravely mistaken.

    In all fairness, more Shomer Shabbos women in the army will have a good impact since most non-religious men in the army seem to feel that the women are there primarily for their pleasure (wink), and including women who will remember to wear their uniforms will shake things up.

  3. Akuperma – I am duly impressed. Finally an intelligent post. Kol HaKavod!
    The overwhelming stance on the Dati Leumi rabbinic leadership is that a girl is not allowed to serve in the army.

  4. Several of these women join intelligence, communication and technology departments & they return to their homes with their uniforms on (wink!!) every evening.

  5. #4 and #5 — Some Dati Leumi rabbanim hold woman can serve in the military. And I’m certain the Israeli army women who got in great trouble for, as the press said, “displaying military assets” were not doing so at home in the evening.

  6. The question is not how many religious women are entering the Army but how many are religious when they’re discharged. Probably similar to the percentage of Modern Orthodox Jews going to dorm at college and emerging frum after 4 yrs.

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