Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Chareidiyos & IDF: Breakthrough or Breakdown?


Chareidi Women Working at an Israeli Air Force Base: Breakthrough or Breakdown?

-- And the Imperative to Fight End the Military Draft for ALL Girls, Including Secular

Iyyar 16, 5781 / Tiferes She'Be'Hod, Parshas "Emor el HaCohanim" / Apr. 27, '21

By Binyomin Feinberg

It was recently widely reported in Israeli media (e.g. TV News12, Ynet April 8, '21) that the Israeli Air Force has, over the course of several years, developed a group of Chareidi women who perform very sensitive high-tech military work as paid employees of the military, at a military base. Secular Israeli media understandably hailed this as refreshingly positive development, enabling Chareidi women to secure careers that (a) purportedly accommodate their religious lifestyle while also (b) providing financial independence and (c) reportedly making a significant contribution to the physical security of the State of Israel. This unusual initiative was spearheaded by an ostensibly Chareidi woman, Ester Solomon, who received a Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) award from the Israeli military for her "trailblazing" work in recruiting over a dozen 
ostensibly Chareidi women to work in this group. Solomon is officially involved with organizational work aimed at providing Chareidi women the "benefits" they're missing out on by not serving either in the Army or Sheirut Leumi (National Service), both of which Chareidi girls generally avoid - in compliance with the Chareidi Rabbinic leaders who have declared both as prohibited.*

On closer observation, however, not everything is as rosy as it may appear to many casual observers, as we explain in brief below. 

(* P.S.: Recent events have revealed the foresight of the Rabbinic pronouncements against the Israeli drafting of girls. Every step towards breaking the taboos of the Israeli government drafting girls into the Army leads the government to advance more of the same, inexorably leading towards mainstreaming the notion of religious, even ostensibly Chareidi women serving in the morally corrosive Army environment.)

At the very least, a few warnings are in order:

1) ANY initiative aimed at drawing Jews (either the recruits or others) away from Torah - in this case,  towards accepting the Israeli government drafting girls - involves a prohibition of the highest magnitude.*

(* For a sample of Torah sources addressing prohibitions of that which leads one astray from Judaism, see Shabbos 116a: Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Yishmoel; GR"A Orach Chaim 334: 26-28; Teshuvas HaRosh 19:17; Tosofos Pesachim 25a, Avoda Zorah 27b, Tosofos Shayni; Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Daiyoh 155:1; Teshuvas Maharam Shik O.C. 304; Sefer "MiYemini Michael" on Pesachim 58:12,13; cf. "S'dei Eliyahu" on Shabbos 116. To illustrate the severity of the prohibition against that which potentially could lead to apostasy, the world renowned  "Chassam Sofer," in his responsa on Yoreh Daiyah, 76 (quoted by the Pischei Teshuva on Y.D., siman 155) prohibited healing remedies employed with intent to draw the recipient away from Torah, even for those facing life-threatening conditions.)

A review of the publicly available information on some of the operative organizations, ATIDA and Atid Yisroel, as well as a letter on "Shalhevet" stationary, apparently signed by Mrs. Solomon, indicate that there is a concrete effort to integrate Chareidi women into the Israeli military, incrementally. Any accomplishment in that regard, however seemingly harmless, and even seemingly beneficial, leads to the next, more ominous steps.

How specifically would this celebrated 
Air Force development lead to the latter? 

2) This ostensibly Chareidi Air Force program will most likely be cited by the Israeli Supreme Court as evidence of their bizarre pronouncement in early 2019 that serving in the military does not conflict with the lifestyle of religious girls. The fact that these women are ostensibly being paid may be easily dismissed.*

[* as in the expression attributed to a famous WWII era British statesman, "Madam, what you ARE has already been established, we're now just quibbling about the price." (The full context of his remarks is not appropriate for  publication for this readership.)]

This legal landmine could explode in the Supreme Court in the course of any legal case involving a religious girl being drafted that makes its way up to the Bagatz (Israeli Supreme Court). We ought expect the unexpected. Advocacy organizations be warned: your planned forays into the notoriously leftist Israeli Supreme Court may harm tens of thousands of religious girls.

3) Additionally, the "wonderful" and truly historic precedent set here - over which Ms. Solomon waxed eloquent at her timely Yom HaAztma'ut award - will be leveraged not only to offer an OPTION to Chareidi women, but also to eventually establish a MANDATORY alternative to Army and Sheirut Leumi. Once there's a "religiously acceptable" manner of making a contribution to the military, it will become required of all religious girls. Of course, politically connected families may initially evade the obligation. But everyone else will suffer - just because these ladies opted to secure hefty salaries "to support their husbands in Kollel".*

(* as if the continuity of Torah requires the financing of this camouflaged concoction of the Army Draft Office.)

4) Consider the emotional and psychological impact that this female Chareidi taboo-breaker has on all of the courageous refusenik girls - often isolated and abandoned by the Chareidi estsblishment - enduring harassment, persecution, terrorism, incarceration in military prison, abuse by the military police, prison and justice systems. These courageous souls, often with no family or community support, are putting everything on the line to stand on principle. Now, enter some comfortable, well-paid Chareidi women - whose community connection to political parties provided them the leisure of avoiding both Army and Sheirut Leumi easily, sans mesiras nefesh - and THEY volunteer to work for the Army proper - on an Army base. Thereby they are pouring cold water on the stigma of religious girls in the Army. How do those two pictures combine?

And Where is Mrs. Solomon and other involved ostensibly Chareidi busybodies when it comes to helping those most needy and deserving of it, i.e. the aforementioned refusenik girls (e.g.: "IDF: Stop Persecuting Olga": ( Wed, Mar 3, 2021 ),, - risking so much to stand against the often brutal abuse of the Israeli Army and it's Sodomesque justice system?

If they would feel the pain of all of the girls and women being persecuted by the human-trafficking professionals operating out of the Army Draft Office, would they indeed wax so eloquent about the wonders of working for the Army? Would they pontificate about their contribution to a cause "greater than themselves" while being paid hefty salaries (shochad or es'nan) to serve as useful idiots to advance the forcible draft of untold numbers of other girls - and to advance the doomed Army attempt to decimate  the remnant of authentically devout girls risking all to avoid compromising with Army dictates to appear for a Rayon Dat [religiosity interrogation (see )]?

°  In addition, on careful observation, Solomon's public statements, organizational work and associations strike one as infused with self-focused ambition, and unbecoming of a genuinely Chareidi woman. In fact, it's hard to imagine many non-Chareidi women taking such revolutionary [or subsversive] steps, as described above, in part. Are we being played?

°  Now that we see how extensive the inroads made by the female military draft crusade into the Chareidi community are, we have the wherewithal to challenge those who until now have remained blind to the spiritual devastation being perpetrated under their noses. The question is: what is the most effective response. One central element of that response is described below: pushing for an end to the female military draft altogether, for non-religious girls as well, and, as per the Brisker Rov OB"M, even more so for them.

Part Two: A Real Solution

Not One Girl Left Behind:

Straight Shooting from the Brisker Rov, in the Jewish War Against the Israeli Army's Female Draft

"Let them close all the Yeshivos - rather than (allow the Israeli Army to) draft even one girl!"

This encapsulates the reaction of Rav Yitzchak Z'ev Soloveichik, OB"M, the world revered sage.of Torah Jewry, known deferentially as the "the Brisker Rov"
  to the objection raised to his refusal to sacrifice any girl to the draft - including non-religious girls. In fact, the Torah giant (quoted by Rav Aharon Soloveichik OBM (d. 2001), quoting Rav Michel Feinstein OBM, cited in Sefer "Yeled Sha'ashuim," p.348-50) was even more vociferously opposed to drafting non-religious girls than religious ones. The reasoning is simple: the nonreligious girls would fall further and faster in the notoriously immoral, exploitive Army environment than religious girls would. [Even if one would argue that that situation has somewhat changed nowadays, his sage observation clearly still applies to many "Mesorati" girls (traditional girls, who tend to be more "religious," rather than particularly "observant" of Torah precepts). His observation likely applies to a significant swath of "non-religious" girls as well.]

If religious parties would conform their actual policy stances to these positions articulated by the Brisker Rov, and act on the ideals of the Torah - they would sincerely push for exemptions for all girls from the military draft. If they would actually do that - we'd all benefit in multiple ways. It would attain a win-win-win scenario, for values- voters of all stripes, as well as for all religious communities (including Chareidi, religious Zionist, Mesorati), as well as for Chiloni (secular) residents. It would also advance core defense, national security, economic, social, and demographic interests. This is all the more true inasmuch as the Israeli Army does NOT need women.

1) In addition to being true to Torah, and making a true Kiddush HaShem, a sincere campaign to exempt all girls from the Army would undoubtedly yield a marked decrease in antireligious sentiment.

2) That antireligious animus has been serving as much of the fuel impelling the antireligious edicts across the board. Once the nonreligious and traditional Jews would see that we religious Jews are sincerely following the aforementioned approach of the Brisker Rov, and thus prioritize exemptions for their girls even more than exemptions for "our" girls - much of the drive would be taken out the ongoing, escalating antireligious campaigning.  Thus, even self-interest should dictate that the religious communities urge those who operate under the mantle of being representative of our views and interests to actually do so.

3) Furthermore, such a female military exemption campaign would very likely prove successful, if properly pursued.  That's because most Chiloni (secular) girls most probably would not mind, or definitively prefer a military service exemption. This is one positive legislative initiative that should enjoy broad-based support. Most Israelis would much prefer the bona fide "Equality" between religious and nonreligious girls getting military exemptions - over the false "Equality" of women and men BOTH being drafted into the  exploitive Army environment.

4) If passed, ending (mandatory) the female military draft altogether would likely remain law, inasmuch as it would be extremely difficult for any subsequent government to convince those girls who just obtained freedom to volunteer to give it up.*  Anyone who (Chas VeShalom) feels compelled to enlist in the immoral Army environment would still be allowed to. But how many female Israeli voters (other than hard core "Equality" advocates and their dupes) would actually want to impose an obligation on all girls to give away that part of their life in the Israeli military?

5) Some people may be more effectively moved by the argument when articulated thus: By removing religiosity as a criteria for girls being exempt from military service, they would eliminate the core problem behind the ongoing escalation of the female military draft. The main factor empowering the Army to make increasingly intrusive inroads and harass, persecute, incarcerate, draft and abuse more and more religious girls is their ability to - in effect - decide who is "genuinely" religious - and "religious enough" - to meet the standard of the law that exempts "religious" girls. The aforementioned proposal takes that ability off the table altogether.

°  Ending the female military draft in toto would perhaps be the most effective strategy to address the horrific statistic of about 40,000 Israeli abortions a year, totalling over two million babies killed by other Jews in the State of Israel. The State of Israel was founded on the rhetorical backdrop of the Nazi Holocaust, whose abortion legacy has continued till today. Most other pro-life legislation would be in constant danger of being undone by subsequent governments. Elimination of the female draft would most likely not. Thereby, the Jewish People would benefit from untold additional families being started, and started earlier, and growing larger than is currently the case. Now, due to the mandatory female draft of 18-year-old girls, tens of thousands of potential mothers fail to get married, do so late, and / or otherwise have smaller families.

° Such a law would save tens of thousands [and eventually hundreds of thousands] of girls from the Israeli government military-draft strategy known as the "melting pot:" using the antireligious-dominated Army to form a "new Jew," which bears little resemblance to what the Torah requires of us.

° Another windfall of such a campaign is that fighting the female military draft in toto is a perfect way to stand with all of those all of those resolute refusenik girls enduring persecution by the Israeli Army Draft Office. If they suffer so much, in refusing to bow to Army Draft Office dictates, bullying - and even terrorist tactics - then we must demonstrate that we'll turn over the world to save them. One of the best ways to do that is by fighting for the elimination of the female draft altogether. Then, even if we don't succeed immediately, we still make important gains in the war against the Army crusade against future Jewish mothers.

The opportunity is ours now, perhaps only for a very short time. The future of tens of thousands of potential Jewish mothers lays in the balance.


  1. PLease be clear what you think about the Israeli Army in general, comnsidering that the majority of the fighting forces are Men, and the wars have largely been fought by men. What we do know is that Hareidi gedolim opposed the draft of Yeshiva boys/men into the army. We also are not aware of any prayers said in Hareidi Yeshivot or shuls fo the army. Even in a supposedly "more modern" and open minded place like Ohr Someyach, they do not say prayers for the army, and they vandalize siddurim which have prayers for the State.

    So please be honest, and tell us what under the Griz's guidance is the position towards the IDF? We know for sure that

    a) The Hazon Ish and the Griz opposed frum men being called up to the army

    (interesting that halchically, they are men above the age of 13)

    b) The Griz did not recognize the Zionist state.

    So is it your position that the Army itself should be disbanded, or at least not have any jewish males in it whatsoever?

  2. Claim : "Rabbi Ahron Katzenellenbogen once related in a speech, “The Brisker Rov said that the Zionist State was the most dangerous place for Jews, both physically and spiritually. I asked him, ‘If so, perhaps we should go and live outside Eretz Yisroel.’ He replied, ‘Yes, according to halacha perhaps we are obligated to do that. But since there is no place as good as Yerushalayim for the proper Jewish education of boys and girls, for it is the only place in the world where there are no secular studies, we must be moser nefesh for the education of our children, and Hashem will help us.’” (Uvdos Vehanhagos Leveis Brisk, v. 4 p. 207-8)"

    It's so bad, we must leave, it's so good we must stay.

  3. Alarmist nonsense.

  4. Reform "gadol" menuval

  5. The State should never have been formed in the first place.

    Once a mamzer is born the solution isn't to kill it.

  6. Well, i disagree with your viewpoint, but presumably you are not neturei karta..?

    The State was not born, but only restoring what the correct ownership of the Land was.
    If ploni reclaims a valuable article stolen from his grandparents by the Nazis yemach shmam, that is not illegitimate.
    Three oaths dont appear in shulchan aruch or Yad chazakah.

  7. The state should have been formed, regardless of opposition by some rabbis, including the righteous ones .

    El Alamein - the Germans under Rommel (who himself never rounded up Jews where he conquered) we're already fatigued and outgunned by the British. Hashem willed that we get our land back.
    Even in 1967, the army was not planning to liberate the old city of Jerusalem, but the ilui of Etz Chaim, rav Goren had already predicted it would happen, and he persuaded motta Gur to get Jerusalem back. In the Yerushalmi it teaches we will build the temple before moshiach. Rav Goren learned yerushalmi with rav Isser Zalman Meltzer daily bchavruta for 13 years.

  8. The writer continues to spread lies about the "morally corrosive Army environment". What does he know about the IDF Army environment. Did he serve there? (I did). Did his sons and daughters serve there? (Mine did). Every word written above is a gross lie. Pure fiction. The worst kind of scare-mongering, creating more and more chilul hashem with every additional word he adds. Religious girls who request an exemption from Army service are granted it without any problems. Girls who attempt to use fake religious credentials to get an unjustified exemption are sometimes (not always) caught. Shame on the owner of this blog. He seems to have opposed Trump and the shameless hooligans who supported him by promulgating fake news, but he fails to see that he is doing the same thing by giving Feinberg a podium for his slanderous claims.


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