Frum Paratroopers Turned Their Heads When Female IDF Instructor Demonstrated an Action

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About thirty religious recruits in the Paratroopers Brigade, a platoon that contains religious soldiers, turned their heads away from their parachuting instructor, a female, when she attempted to teach them about parachute jumping on Tuesday, 26 Menachem Av.

The instructor happens to be the daughter of the head of the IDF Operations Branch, Major-General Aharon Chaliva, and her mother is media personality Shira Margalit.

Shira Margalit, the director of the internet magazine for women Saloona, explained her daughter was demonstrating how to perform an exercise to 70 soldiers, and some 50 of the soldiers she was instructing turned their backs to her because she is a woman. “This wasn’t a group of Haredim,” Margalit stressed. “This is the abysmal reality.”

IDF officials report the number of soldiers involved was not 50, but 30.

After the incident, the recruits’ commander made it clear to them that according to IDF orders, there would be no separation between male and female instructors at any stage in training the paratroopers, and a trainee who behaved with disrespect towards a female instructor would be ousted from the brigade.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated: “During the paratrooper parachute training course, an instructor taught an exercise to the apprentices of a platoon composed of yeshiva students. About thirty students who did not want to watch a demonstration by a female soldier turned their heads.

“Following the incident, a conversation was held with the trainees, in which their commander made it clear to them that according to IDF orders, there would be no separation between male and female instructors at any stage in the parachute training, and a trainee who behaved disrespectfully towards instructors would not continue with training. The IDF is a national army and the unity of the ranks of the army is emphasized in all types of activities regardless of religion, race or gender.

“The IDF sees importance in realizing the IDF’s mission, with an emphasis on an egalitarian vision,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




14 COMMENTS

  1. There is a problem here with v’nishmartem. If the instructor is showing the soldiers how to accomplish something that may make a difference to their survival in combat, Why is there an issur? It’s not being done for entertainment or other frivolous purposes – it’s to help the soldiers survive in combat.

    It appears to me that these soldiers are endangering themselves, not upholding tznius.

  2. “The IDF sees importance in realizing the IDF’s mission, with an emphasis on an egalitarian vision,”

    This is part of the problem.

    How about just focus on the defense of the country, and not on “an egalitarian vision” ?

  3. 2nd question.

    Putting aside for a moment the issue of women in the army…

    What was the issue here? Were they protesting women in the army in general? Or was there something specific to this situation? Was this the first time they had a female instructor?

  4. “…a trainee who behaved disrespectfully towards instructors would not continue with training. ”
    Chochma! Brilliant way to get out of the army service! 😉

  5. Umm – the incident, while troubling, did not take place as described in the above article, and the IDF spokesperson’s office has since changed their comment. The Jerusalem Post website has an update on the story – apparently, there was supposed to be a male trainer, and when a female trainer was sent instead, several of the soldiers asked if they could look away – and were given permission by their commander to do so. There is now a whole to-do going on as to whether this was an appropriate instruction by the commander (with politicians falling into predictable positions), but it’s not as initially portrayed.

    an Israeli Yid (currently in CHU”L, where it’s not yet Shabbos)

  6. Oh – and one additional comment – the soldiers in the picture shown are not paratroopers. I recognize them and they’re in an entirely different unit.

    an Israeli Yid

  7. YWN again is trying to convince everyone that nachal chraidy is such a frum place.
    Don’t fool yourself the Israeli army is a terrible place for any jew.
    They are oiver on the gimel chamoros and anyone that encourages to go to the army is a machti es harabim.

  8. The article at the top of this page, i.e., the one about a frum talk show host inviting Ms. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to debate him, features a photo of Ms. O-C. If this is a frum website (I am not suggesting it is not), why can the photo of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez be posted by this website, but IDF soldiers cannot look at a woman instructor?

  9. I just checked the Jerusalem Post story, and anIsraeliYid has got it right. It just shows how difficult it is to get accurate information when a subject is controversial. Everybody was just using the incident as a talking point to advance their own agenda without verifying the facts.

    Shabbat Shalom to all.

  10. “apparently, there was supposed to be a male trainer, and when a female trainer was sent instead, several of the soldiers asked if they could look away“

    Why?

  11. well,what else should they do loook at her??and if it was in protest, good, when the chazon ish said it was yaharog v`al yavor for women to join the army, he didnt say just for the chareidim, that lady is also mechuyav in torrah umitzvos just like every other jew, and its for her good, becouse at least someone can tell her that shes doing something wrong and hopefully one day it will help.

  12. I served in the Netzach Yehuda (brigade? Company?) For Chareidim, the first of its kind for combat soldiers. Over there, rabbis are (were?) in charge of many aspects of the unit, and many pains and troubles were encountered to ensure that it was a male-only army experience. Again, this is because the leaders of “Netzach” had a personal interest in keeping their religious-from-home soldiers safe from the temptations of the army.

    Anywhere else, the interest is very much the opposite, and anti-chareidi feeling is abundant. Yes, even tho it id a professional environment, it makes it no easier to ignore human temptations; this is not like a doctor or another serious situation. In the IDF there is often a feeling of wanting to relax and relieve yourself of the difficulties of army life and if a female instructor is what you saw during the day, believe me, that’s what many soldiers will think about at night.

    And believe me, if the army wanted to, they could have easily granted them a male instructor as a replacement, in respect and accordance to their values. When I was at first in a non-religious environment, my wishes were respected when I asked for male instructors in various exercises and the like…

  13. Why is this called “behaving disrespectfully to a female soldier” ? Seems to me that it was disrespect to the male soldiers. Don’t they have any rights? The Army is trying to ruin the religious soldiers. A “ma’seh Midian”. That’s the only reason they want to religious in the Army- to destroy them.