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Religious Women Should Consider the Draft – They Aren’t So Fragile

Israeli female Border Police soldiers lighting Chanukah candles. There is no reason why religious women not consider military service, although they might do better to avoid combat roles in mixed units.

Israeli female Border Police soldiers lighting Chanukah candles. There is no reason why religious women not consider military service, although they might do better to avoid combat roles in mixed units.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

It’s true that some young women are better off not enlisting, but should serve in a different framework. There are also spots in the military where no woman has any business serving. But some military jobs are no different from what these same women would be doing in a few years for a living.

To summarize: not every woman, and not in every job. Also, it would be beneficial to every young woman preparing to serve in the IDF to seek religious instruction before enlisting. But that’s a long way away from a sweeping prohibition on women’s military service.

You might say, religious women are not protected when they serve together with secular men. but the same is true in many National Service jobs. National Service women often serve alongside women soldiers, in the very same places, and usually they get by.

Our young women are not so fragile. They are religious, they have values, they have a strong character, not any less than men their age. They can be trusted. Every woman should decide individually what better fits her personality: serving in a tight, sheltered religious environment, or in a more open society, in a civilian or military environment.

A few weeks ago, I hosted in my home on a Saturday night some of my former students from Midreshet Lindenbaum, who today are serving in the army. I heard with pleasure how they make sure to pray and study Torah in the army. They also told me how they read on Shabbat in one of the shul newspapers a statement by an important rabbi who declared: “the vast majority of religious women who serve in the army – are damaged.”

They asked me: why would a rabbi say untrue things about us?

I didn’t have an answer.

This article was originally published in Makor Rishon.

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8 Responses to “Religious Women Should Consider the Draft – They Aren’t So Fragile”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Reb Yankel- they do serve, what the hell are you talking about

  2. Anonymous says:

    My kid is in a combat unit and she is religious, so what are you talking about? Spreading lies using the Rabbi foil

  3. I don't know who is posting asShirley Cohen – there are quite a few with the same name as me , but it is not me.

  4. Millie Kashuk says:

    Religious Woman and young Woman over the age of 18 do serve in the Military with distinction and Honor…………. They are happy, well adjusted, intelligent
    but most important love the State of Israel……

  5. Ronny Mol says:

    This is another secular media event to kill off our HOLY Jewish women. War is a man's business. There should be NO women in the IDF, not instructors, clerks, intelligence especially in combat. But, the war is coming and unfortunately, by the time the it gets through the heads of generals and the PM it will be too late. Read the Jewish bible, there were no women in the army of King David.

  6. Ora Cooper says:

    men like Ronny Mol are scared of offering women opportunities and some autonomy.I can see it!
    What women with bigger horizons, would want to be the "property"(aka. "wife") of this kind of controling little dictator? I lovet hat he calls women "holy" and then demands that they sit at the back of the bus .. (from holy to Jezebel…) please stop following muslim laws…

  7. Gideon Yavin says:

    War is a terrible thing. We are waging war on many fronts. We might be ahead in the war against the people who want to kill us, but we are definitely loosing the war against the destruction of the family structure. We are seeing more and more divorces and more and more dysfunctional families in ALL communities. The Traditional Orthodox role of the woman is to build the home and build society. She is the only one that can bring physical life into the world and spiritual life into the home and society. The spiritual condition of the unit is dependent on the woman(en). By trying to compete with men in male roles they lowering and degrading themselves to a far lower level. How can we compare the amazing power of bringing life into the world with the primitive and destructive power of removing life from the world. How can we look at the mirror when we are seeing 20,000 murders every year in the form of abortions? Don't attack me for stating my opinion.

  8. War in the 21st century is inevitable. If I were young enough I would fly to Israel from Ireland and fight for Israel too. Building a home cannot built while Islam is ding its level best to raze Israel. Time for children and families after the war is won as it will be. G-d Bless Israel and long may she flourish.

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Israeli female Border Police soldiers lighting Chanukah candles. There is no reason why religious women not consider military service, although they might do better to avoid combat roles in mixed units.

Despite what some rabbis would tell you, there is no halachic law against women serving in the army.

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