Israeli media outlet 0404 reported that the IDF has backtracked on planned enforcement of the facial hair ban with regards to religious soldiers. As the IDf began an all encompassing crackdown on religious soldiers growing facial hair without permission, a tactic that caused a severe backlash by the soldiers as well as many others, the order with regards to shaving facial hair has returned, almost entirely, to what it once was.
The IDF networks published the revised order this morning on official channels – and it was a new order that had been attained with the full cooperation and involvement of the IDF rabbinate. The order states that the direct commander as well as the base commander will decide on a case-by-case basis what will be allowed for each soldier who requests to grow a beard.
Cheif Rabbi of the IDF Rabbi Eyal Karim wrote instructions to all IDF rabbis alerting them to the change: “This morning the IDF published on official channels the new order regarding growing beards, which had been completely reworked in complete partnership with the IDF Rabbinate. In addition to the new-old system allowing the direct commander as well as the base commander to determine the allowance of growing beards for each soldier under their command, without resorting to the complex system of receiving an exemption from the commanding HR officer. The new order does state that the resident IDF Rabbi of the unit will also have to give his recommendation regarding the soldier being allowed to grow a beard.”
“We must fulfill our obligation in this regard, and serve as a role-model that issues the order as a means to creating a bridge between the Rabbi of the unit and those soldiers who abide by the rules of Halakhah. I sincerely hope, that from now on, the problems that have been caused by this issue will dwindle and even cease altogether.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)