Female IDF soldiers at western wall.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Religious soldiers will not be allowed to leave official IDF ceremonies during
performances by female singers, Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz ruled on
Gantz did decide, however, that soldiers could ask their
commanders and receive exemptions from having to attend performances by female
singers during private unit parties.
Gantz: IDF does not restrict women from singing
'IDF religious won't hear women sing? Use earplugs'
Gantz’s ruling is part of an effort
to end weeks of controversy started by a series of incidents when Orthodox
soldiers walked out of military ceremonies to avoid hearing female
“There’s room in the IDF for women to contribute in whatever way
they can and there is no prohibition on women singing,” Gantz said last week.
“Israel and the IDF need to clarify that the commander is the authority in the
military and whenever it is a formal event soldiers will be obligated to
Gantz also announced that rabbis who want to speak to groups of
soldiers will need to first receive approval from Chief IDF Rabbi Brig.- Gen.
Rafi Peretz. A representative of the IDF Rabbinate Corps will also be present at
all outside lectures to ensure that the content is in line with military
In related news, Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh
recently decided to ban IDF units from paying singers to perform at military
ceremonies or events over the coming year, in an effort to cut back on spending.