Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jewish Press (Mar. 15) Dispatch column re Rinat bas Chedva, Prohibition of military service for women

B"H Adar II, 5779 / March 11,'19


 Unlike the vast majority of modern nations, Israel not only has women serve in its military, it forces it's own 18 year-old girls to enlist in IDF military service. This, in clear violation of Halacha, Jewish Law, as articulated since the earliest days of State. Rabbis from across the spectrum, including leading Rabbis of the National Religious camp, have consistently declared women serving in the military as absolutely prohibited. Many leading Rabbis have signed public statements emphasizing that this prohibition extends to the obligation to give up one's life rather than submit to military service. Many Rabbis have declared that merely entering the IDF draft offices to try to avoid conscription as similarly yai'horeig v'al ya'avor, because of the specter (increasingly confirmed in recent years) of IDF officials convincing, intimidating, or deceiving girls to relinquish their legal rights and enlist. In theory, by Israeli law, "religious" girls are, until recently, to be automatically exempt from military service. Again, Jewish Law makes no such distinction, and requires us to that ensure no girls or women serve in the military, religious or otherwise. The Brisker Rov ZT"L is quoted by Rav Aharon Soloveichik ZT"L as being opposing the drafting of non-religious girls even more vociferously than he opposed the drafting of religious girls. An Oct.'15 Supreme Court pronouncement shifted the burden of proof of religiosity onto the girls, allowing the government to challenge her claim, and try to discredit her. Thus, many reported cases of religious girls being forced into the pervasively immoral environment of military service just because they were intentionally tripped up by trick questions, thrown at them by (often antireligious) IDF officials, or otherwise denied the religious exemption to which they were entitled, even according to Israel's own laws. Another alarming development is that, increasingly, Israeli girls are even being forced into combat units, and even mixed-units with men. Predictably, immoral misconduct and assault is a major problem (e.g. see Jerusalem Post, Nov.20,'18) a phenomenon highlighted by the ongoing plight of an Orthodox Jewish girl of Sefardi background, Rinat bat Chedva, 19 years old. Rinat had enlisted in the IDF in Dec. '17, after being persuaded by an official IDF headhunter, operating under the impression that doing so would not prevent her from Torah observance. Reportedly, while in the IDF, in mid-2018, she experienced repeated incidents of immoral assault, including assault perpetrated by at least one superior. She reporting it to IDF authorities. Allegedly, they ignored her complaints, and even covered it up. Traumatized, she had no recourse, and, on Aug. 29, '19, Rinat heeded her parents' pleas to flee the abusive IDF environment. She hid at home for almost five months. Then, on Jan. 22, '19, at 2:30AM, Rinat was arrested, and cruelly punished with abusive incarceration. She was sentenced to 41 days in military prison for "abandoning" the IDF. Additionally, in an earlier military court proceeding, her attorney's attempt to obtain a religious exemption was rebuffed. The Israeli court proceeded as if being repeatedly abused in the IDF had as little impact on her religious rights as it did on her human rights (which she apparently "ceeded" to the Israeli government on her enlistment). Worse, in the wake of her refusal to return to the IDF under ANY circumstances, starting Feb.11, the military justice system escalated their re-victimizing of their own abuse victim, subjecting Rinat to ongoing solitary confinement. This persecution all resulted from her refusal to buckle to all of the pressure and manipulation employed by the government, to compel Rinat to return to the very military system that abused her. Her appeal for an exemption based on her very obvious inability to serve for reasons of emotional incompatibility with IDF service, under the circumstances, was inexplicably denied on Feb. 21. Although freed from prison on Friday March 1, she has not yet been given the exemption to which she is clearly entitled. Therefore, Rinat now lives in constant trepidation of arrest and further abuse at the hands of the military courts. Various people in the Orthodox Jewish community internationally have been working to help Rinat, to assist her in obtaining the full exemption she's entitled to, and to save others in the IDF from Rinat's plight. Although the increasing IDF persecution of religious girls seeking religious exemptions brought this issue to the fore initially, it's important to emphasize that as Jews, as per our timeless Torah principles, we absolutely oppose any girls or women being drafted or mistreated, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, national origin, level of religious observance, or faith, and are obligated to do whatever we can to help them avoid military service. We ought keep Rinat bat Chedva in our tefillos daily until she's freed from all service demands. And we must raise the alarm, and oppose the drafting and mistreatment of all girls and women in the IDF, again, regardless of religious observance. ###

3 comments :

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEq_rd_bouM
    Demonstrations about Israeli Forced draft Boys and Girls
    Israel army drafting is Worse then any other country in the world!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kalonymus AnonymusMarch 13, 2019 at 11:15 PM

    Rav MIlevskt ztl would give a daily shiur on the parsha, and drawing from the meshech Chochma. The Meshech Chochma gives an explanation of what the serpent's strategy was to entice Adam and Chava. it was a creative explanation -the snake cannot directly tell them to break hashem's law, so he says do the aveira of the fruit even though you have have been commanded not to. This is what the ratzon of hashem "is", but he has not commanded you to so , since the reward is bigger if you do it without being commanded.

    Is he paraphrasing what we learn about Drabbanan in eruvin, ie that the mitzvot d'rabbanan are more precious than d'oraita, because we created them ourselves?

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  3. I am proud that 3 of my 4 religious daughters served in the IDF, without ever encountering the slightest hint of impropriety or promiscuity. The ideas expressed in this post (and the comments) represent complete ignorance of the "facts on the ground". They are worth of scoundrels like Trump, not of thoughtful people.

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