Israel Air Force Mashgiach Kashrus Shaves His Beard Under Threat of Being Jailed


idffAn Israel Air Force mashgiach kashrus who maintains a chareidi lifestyle shaved his beard under threat of being jailed for refusing an order if he did not. The soldier serves in a major air force base in central Israel. Persons close to the soldier explain he shaved while crying for it was the first time in his life since his beard began growing that he was without it, for in his eyes halacha compels him to maintain a beard. However, he feared if sent to jail he will lose his position as mashgiach.

IDF officials tried to explain it away, citing he did not really have the beard for religious reasons, but persons who know the soldier and the case insist this simply is not so. Interestingly, 0404 News questioned the military spokesman, with the latter reporting the soldier was not religious, just how a non-religious Jew can be a mashgiach kashrus since this would be in direct contradiction of IDF Chief Rabbinate regulations. No response was received but it does appear this incident is being probed by relevant authorities.

While by and large frum soldiers are permitted to maintain a beard, in some cases, or perhaps many cases for religious soldiers outside a chareidi or hesder environment, and there are many, officers do routinely instruct them to shave and all too often there is no one around to assist such a soldier. Such a soldier is aware that if jailed for insubordination this appears on his record and will have a negative impact if and when he wishes to advance.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. The IDF needs to make an adult decision. Either stop aggressively conscripting religious boys to the army, or make the army a place they can retain their lifestyle. Stop lying!

  2. This is a gezeras hashmad in which case there is יהרג ואל יעבור even on any mitzva/avairah which is not of the 3 cardinal sins.

  3. Why did he choose to join the army? Perhaps he was putting money ahead of Yiddishkeit – so this comes back to haunt him.

    First, he can apply for a discharge. Second, if he challenges the matter in court it would be a while before he can be locked up. Third, since this is now clearly a “sha’as ha-shmad” issue he should be refusing to cooperate with the army.

    And certain anti-zionists probably think this a good time to say “I told you so”.

    If the religious zionists were truely religious, all of them would be growing beards to show solidarity. Perhaps they will. It will be interesting.

  4. So now if there is a Kashrus violation how can we expect that he will be man enough to speak up?
    Maybe he’ll be afraid to lose his job if he insists on a Kashrus issue?

  5. YWN: You print this without any source and without even a name of the reporter. If you have any journalistic source for this, please tell us what it is, so we can try to judge for ourselves how reliable it is. But with no name and no source??

  6. what about his supervisor in the IDF mashgiach system or the IDF Rabbinate in general? What does it mean, there is no one to help him?

  7. Chevre, I have many neighbors with beards who serve a variety of functions in the IDF. The rule is that you must get a letter from your Rav and present it to your superior. This is what people do and it works. I don’t know the details of this story, but it doesn’t add up. It could be a case of middle management messing up. It happens. Buy 99% of the time, the army is very, very accommodating. You have to follow the rules, but the rules allow for every type of frumkeight and chumra.

  8. Adar 29, please educate us: how is the IDF treating religious Jews like the Nazis and the Inquisition treated them? And if you can’t answer satisfactorily, please explain how an exaggeration and incendiary comment like that helps anyone?

  9. jdb is right. My friend’s son is a mashgiach on a base & not only does he have a full beard he has lange payos as well. He has never had a problem, but he told me that some individual base commanders can and do make life impossible for chareidi soldiers, even those who work for the Rabbanut. It seems there is no clear policy and every base has its own regulations. I understand the mashgiach didn’t want to be jailed, but I can’t help thinking he could have done more – maybe going public, asking for a transfer etc.

  10. Thousands learning in the Mir, in Brisk, in Chevron, etc., Countless Batei Medrash and Batei Knessess all over the country – Ashkenazi, Sefardim, Chassidish of all stripes, kashrus, sofrim, mikvaos, the ability to daven at the kosel and mekomos hakedoshim – Most of this did not exist in 1948. And, yet, not a word, not a positive word, of hakaras ha-tov, not even to the Ribono Shel Olam, and certainly not to those who at the very least allowed this to happen. So sad, so very sad. Instead, false comparisons to Nazis, vicious criticism of army and politicians, pesakim of sha’as ha-shmad. Are there serious problems in frumkeit in Eretz Yisrael? Yes, there are. Is this the way to resolve these problems? Yidden, wake up! Lo zo haderech. Teach, show love, kindness and teach and show kindness again and again and again. Is that easy? Of course not. But constant, unremitting criticism without even a shred of genuine love shown to those not of your ilk, has not worked and we all know will not work. Wake up! Lo zu haderech!