Electric mini ambulance United Hatzalah.
(photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH)
The ultra-conservative hassidic Gur community has forbidden men under 30 from volunteering in the Magen David Adom ambulance service, the United Hatzalah emergency service and the police force.
The measure is said to be a reassertion of an already existing stipulation for the Gur community and is officially designed to protect young men spiritually and mentally from a world they are unprepared for.
According to Haredi media reports, anyone who does volunteer in these services under the age of 30 will not be welcomed in Gur institutions and neither will their children.
The measure was communicated by the Gur leadership to members of the different communities around the country on Monday by synagogue and community administrators.
The Gur sect is renowned for its severe approach to sexuality and interactions between men and women, including within the context of marriage, and has a set of regulations, known as the Tekanos, which minutely detail how men and women should act when together and by themselves.
Yisrael Yeret, 33, a Gur Hassid and volunteer in United Hatzalah, insisted that the measures against volunteering until age 30 was necessary to protect family life in the Gur community and to prevent young men from entering situations they are unfamiliar with and unable to handle.
He also noted that the phenomenon of men from the Gur community had become noticeably more widespread, especially those of a younger age.
“There are lots of kids like this, aged 21, 22, 23, who are barely married with small children at home, who work eight hours a day in an ambulance,” Yeret, who has volunteered with Hatzalah since it began operations in Israel in 2006, told The Jerusalem Post.
“This comes at the expense of the household, and some also do shifts in the ambulance with women and it creates chaos, so they stopped this. When you’re 30, with five children, and you’re calm in yourself – then you can do this,” he said.