IDF Soldier Gets 11 Days in Lockup for Bringing a Ham Sandwich on Base


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idflIsrael Radio military correspondent Carmela Menashe reported that an IDF lone soldier arrived at his base with a ham sandwich, which he offered to share with some of his friends. When the incident was made known to commander, the soldier was sentenced to 11 days lockup. After Menashe intervened on behalf of the soldier, his sentenced was reduced from jail time to being restricted to his base without leave. Following Menashe’s intervention, the IDF Spokesman became involved.

IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Moti Almoz stated “Regarding the soldier who was punished for bringing a non-kosher sandwich to a base, the bottom line is we erred”. Almoz explained that from the IDF’s point of view, he was in violation of General Staff regulations prohibiting one from brining non-kosher food to an IDF base.

“The IDF will continue to maintain its standard of kashrus on the one hand, but we will not probe a soldier’s sandwich on the other hand. There is a tensions in Israeli society along with different attitude and opinions. The IDF has room for everyone. The punishment meted out to the soldier was canceled and he will be released to his home along with his colleagues in the squad commanders’ course”.

The soldier’s mom, Ms. Osnat Levy who lives in Boston, USA commented. She explains the soldier’s grandmother who lives on a kibbutz made the sandwich for him. She is outraged, explaining her son came to Israel to serve in the IDF and he is imprisoned for a sandwich. She feels her son the soldier, Ehud, “could spend his time better than he is. His younger brother who just completed school will not enlist”. She explains her son is aware of kashrus regulations and what happened was simply an oversight, not an intentional act.

“It is not easy being a lone soldier. In my opinion. This happened because he is unfamiliar with Israeli culture” mom added.

Post News adds the IDF Chief Rabbinate visited the base and determined the soldier may have treifed up some vessels, deciding to kasher the base kitchen again. The IDF Rabbinate is quoted saying it is surprised the military preferred to bend under public pressure in this case rather than upholding regulations, adding every soldier is aware of the General Staff regulations, especially those in a commander’s course.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. And every commanding officer who forces his religious troops to listen to live kol isha should be locked up for 11 days too.

  2. According to the secular press the army apologized to the soldier and cancelled the sentence.he YWN story appears to be at least 24 hours our of date and a follow-up (retraction) should be issued.

  3. #3:
    NO! This just shows why they canNOT serve in the army. This has been going on ever since. This just shows that nothing changed. They are still trying to make problems for the frum. Originally tzahal’s kitchen was always ‘officially’ kosher but stories like these have been happening through out the yrs. This time they used an american in the hopes of making it permanently treif. Chareidim must use this as proof to keep them self out of the army.

  4. Rew
    the article said that they locked the guy up, then put him on something akin to house arrest on the base (therefore no access to treif), and rabbonim were called in who re-kashered the whole kitchen, AND YET, you claim tzahal is trying to treif up the place?!?!
    I think it’s more accurate to say the possibility of treif entering the place unbeknownst to them and NOW their concern about not wanting to step on the toes of those who don’t follow protocol is what is problematic.

  5. Rew,
    Did you not read the article? The sandwich was from a woman on a kibbutz and was the error of a lone soldier who is unfamiliar with the culture. Not the fault of the IDF.

  6. Although I do appreciate how little it takes for everyone to slam on the IDF, because if it wasn’t for them you wouldn’t be allowed to visit over half of Israel. And yes I understand that it was the work of HaShem and I thank Him every day for it but we also have to be thankful to the IDF for risking their lives every day so we can go and see or live in the holy land.

  7. No one is slamming the IDF we’re just that this proves that the IDF is not a place for a Charedi Jew and just btw the army actually apologised for punishing the soldier.

  8. For all those who know so well how ‘good’ the IDF is: Were any of you in the IDF to know what their intentions are and how they go about thing? Is your knowledge from the inside or from the press? Before you tell me to reread the article read post #4!