religious soldiers 248.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Four officer cadets have been dismissed from the army’s officers course for leaving an IDF event on Monday in which female soldiers were singing and refusing to return.
In total, nine religious soldiers left the hall when the singing began because they did not want to infringe Jewish law that prohibits men from listening to women singing in person.
The soldiers did not heed the instructions of their unit commander to return to the event until after the female soldiers had finished their performance, despite being warned that failure to do so would be considered to be refusing an order.
After a consultation between their brigade commander, senior army
officers and military rabbis, it was decided that if the soldiers in
question did not apologize they would be expelled from the officers
course. On Wednesday, five of the soldiers did submit an apology but
four refused to so and were subsequently dismissed.
Rabbi Haim Druckman, chairman of Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and head of Ohr
Etzion Yeshiva, condemned the decision, saying that the event had
nothing at all to do with military matters and that it was outrageous to
remove the cadets from the course for this reason.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, he stated that nowhere in army regulations does
there appear an order requiring that soldiers listen to women singing,
and that there is nothing about women singing that would relevant to
whether or not they are fit to be an IDF officer.