Photo Credit: IDF

Senior Orthodox, National-Religious rabbis have strongly condemned enlisting Israeli women, but it appears that young religious females are not so impressed. According to a new survey conducted by Bar Ilan University doctoral candidate Ranit Budai-Heiman, a full 45% of religious girls who decided to enlist in the IDF do not regard seriously the objections of National Religious rabbis. The same survey found that 25% of enlisted religious women insist they should receive the identical support religious men do from rabbis and the educational system regarding their IDF service.

The survey was made public at the third conference of the Kinneret Academic College Association of Military Researchers. 744 religious schoolgirls in the 11th and 12th grades were asked about the elements that influence their decision to enlist.


Last November the IDF publicized its most recent data showing a dramatic leap in the number of enlisting religious women. 2,010 religious women enlisted in 2015, compared with 935 in 2010. About a quarter of religious girls graduating high school plan to enlist.

According to the survey’s author, “The majority of young women whose education was steeped in the values of religious Zionism express with their choices the realization of a theological ideology that views the state as sacred, which means that they must partake in defending its existence.”

She noted that their social identification also promotes their military service, “out of a desire to be partners in the Israeli discourse and in what they perceive as a significant experience in the life of a young Israeli person. The girls do not accept the gap that exists between the education of Religious Zionist boys and girls regarding military enlistment.”

Budai-Heiman argues that the girls who are enlisting nowadays are a role model and a symbol of values and quality. “This could sweep additional girls, which is why the rabbis have begun to issue severe statements against these girls, such as the declaration by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner who said that ‘a girl who enlists contributes to the destruction of the state.'” She believes such statements are rooted in the fear that the current trend will continue to increase among religious girls.




  1. The rabbinical prohibition is not about Jewish law , its about rabbinical"power" actually the rabbis fear of losing "power"i.e. control, which they now have (almost) on Israeli daily life!. Bibi needed a coalition, picked them, and had to pay the "piper" ! Part of the "payment" is paying double social security to young men who study in an Orthodox yeshiva and keep making children. By the time some of these eternal bible repeaters are 25 they already have 5-6 kids….
    so perpetuating the 18 th centuary eastern European conservatism is their aim. they want control….

  2. If Judaism had to depend on the non observant, Judaism would have ceased to exist after the Roman Holocaust. B"H that there are young Jew's willing to forego material pleasures and prefer to produce children. More than 60% of all young officers in the IDF, come from observant families, even though, only 15% of the Nation is observant.

  3. Yaakov Zelig Is it real information ? or your wishes? according to the IDF infomation office 60% of officers are non observant and or (heaven forbid) center to left on politics. also on the critical gaza border as well as the lebanon and syria borders 85% of kibbutzim that have to face tunnels and keep our borders are non observant! and are more on the left….. p.s. Hertzel, Ben Gurion and the young manand women who built Israel were non synaguogue goers and traveled on shabat

  4. Ora Cooper Your information is incorrect. I stand by my statement. 60% of all applicants to the IDF officer Corp are observant Jew's.
    You mention Herzl and Ben Gurion. Herzl"s descendants are no longer Jewish. Ben Gurians and Golda Meir's don't live in Israel. I, repeat, observant Jew's love the land and are not "yordeem". Non observant Jew's emigrate. Did you notice that the heads of Mossad, Shabak and the IDF are all observant Jew's?

  5. Yaakov Zelig every young man and woman in Israel have to serve its the law! so your assertion that some people ("observants") are more special because they serve, is not valid. Here is what I observed : You use the Torah as a tool to gain a favorable position! that is against Jewish law. You do not walk humbly in the ways of hashem ! 2nd Jewish law broken. You try to shame other Jews as being inferior because they are not like you! people you never met! another jewish law broken,! what do you observe then ? have compasion! do something good beside saying the word I I I all the time! go help the disadvantaged children who just lost their aide in the last Israeli budget ! it gave the money as bonuses to kenesset observants instead….

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