(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Following an outcry from the national- religious community, the IDF will reportedly postpone the implementation of a protocol for soldiers requesting a permit to have a beard during their service.
The new protocol was scheduled to come into effect Tuesday.
Several national-religious rabbis and Bayit Yehudi MKs spoke out forcefully on Sunday when the Association of Hesder Yeshivot made public the fact that it had received hundreds of complaints from religious soldiers whose requests for a beard permit, made according to the new protocol, have been rejected.
According to a report in Israel Hayom, the IDF has decided to postpone the implementation of the tougher terms for obtaining a beard permit because of the outcry.
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said the army did not want to stop religious soldiers from having beards, but that a ruling by the High Court of Justice in favor of secular soldiers who demanded the right to grow beards had led to the toughening of the application process.
According to Ben-Dahan’s office, the deputy minister suggested postponing the implementation of the new application system until the concerns of religious soldiers who had their requests denied could be addressed.
“Soldiers whose requests are still being processed will not be required to shave their beards and will be able to wait until they receive a final answer and after all options are exhausted,” said Ben-Dahan.