Mar 16, 2017

Proposed Law: speaking against IDF drafting of women

The situation with Rav Levenstein, head of the Army Preparatory Yeshiva of Eli and the Defense Ministry continue to stay hot. Rav Levenstein spoke harshly against the IDF drafting women and specifically against religious women who go in to serve. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman already threatened to de-license the institution. The public outcry has been hot as well, with many speaking against Rav Levenstein, and a common thread in Purim costumes this year was poking fun at what he said.

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) is now proposing a law as a result of that friction. Stern is proposing a law by which sanctions will be placed on rabbis and rosh yeshivas that speak out against the drafting of women or any specific sector. The law would target the army prep institutions specifically and say that such institutions that preach against the drafting of women would lose official recognition and would lose funding from both the Defense Ministry and the Education Ministry.
source: Kipa

I am not sure what they expect of a rabbinic figure. Any relatively mainstream rabbinic figure would be opposed to the drafting of women. They always have been and will largely continue to be, even with increasingly more liberal elements taking a more liberal position on the matter.

Rabbi Levenstein might have been a bit crass in the way he said it, and he could probably take a few lessons in being more tactful, but what he said is not really anything new - rabbis in both the DL communities and the Haredi communities have been taking that position since the IDF first tried to draft women decades ago.

This is a silly proposal and it wants to be the thought police. It wants to tell people what they can say and what they cannot say. Obviously people, rabbis, cannot say things that would incite violence and it is distasteful, or worse, to speak disparagingly about other people and groups just because you disagree with their style, but to criminalize regular speak against public policy? That is shameful.

And for the specific proposal, I am surprised Stern limited it to just the army prep institutions and didn't include any rabbi or rosh yeshiva of any institution. Instead of leaving his law so limited, he could have made it so much broader to deal with the same problem. I am against, in general, making laws to deal with specific people rather than broader issues. It is a good thing this law won't pass anyway, because it is a bad law, both in what it tries to do and in how it tries to do it.

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  1. Well, we can HOPE it won't pass but with so many goverment ministers, MK's and military people wanting Rabbis and religion to stay inside the walls of the Batei Keneset and Yeshivot and not bother them except when trotted out for show, I am kind of worried that it might. Expecially since a specific p'sak was given to a soldier(wanted to get the link off Arutz Sheva and suddenly its disappeared) that he couldn't accept command of a mixed unit even if it ruined his career.Since the news was trumpeting just a few days ago that the new commander of the mixe4 unit was relgious I have a suspcion we could figure out who asked even though the article didn't say. Our leaders are petrified that people are going to spoil their program of being immoral like all the "progressive" nations instead of the Jewish nation and they won't be able to run roughshod over regulations and soldiers freedom of religion. So they're going to try intimidation and coercion.

  2. Will the standard edition of the rambam need to be censored?


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