May 3, 2018

The Pelegesh Yerushalmi

Despite the increasing number of women choosing to serve in the IDF, as per their draft obligations, and not take the exemption given to religious women, Rav Shomo Aviner remains steadfast in his opposition to women joining the army.

According to Rav Aviner it is absolutely prohibited for a woman to serve in the IDF as it is not tzanua and is therefore against halacha. Rav Aviner even says a non-religious woman who lies to get out of serving and says she is religious is doing the right thing - even though she isnt religious she still has to keep halacha and she can keep this one even if she isnt keeping others, and even if it is only to get out of the army, at worst it is a mitzva shelo lishma which is fine.

The most interesting part of Rav Aviner's steadfast opposition is his statement that women should refuse to serve, even if it means going to jail, and he quips that at least the jails are gender-separate!
source: Ynet

Rav Aviner has always been on this side of that debate, so this is nothing really new. It is interesting because of the trend of more and more women, even religious women, choosing to serve - even in combat units. And it is interesting because of him saying they should prefer jail over serving. This is actually a strange statement because they would never need to go to jail - if they are really religious, they would easily get the exemption if they do not want to serve and would never need to choose between serving and jail.

Despite it being strange, his statement is reminiscent of the position of the Peleg Yerushalmi people for men - better to go to jail than to serve (and even rather than just signing the paper to get out of serving). Maybe Rav Aviner can head the women's division of Peleg - what can we call it? Maybe Pelegesh? :-)

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  1. Your first word doesn't make sense, it is not "DESPITE the increasing number of women choosing to serve in the IDF" that Rav Shlomo Aviner has come out strongly against women in the military, it is "BECAUSE OF the increasing number of women choosing to serve in the IDF".
    In spite of the fact that the vast majority of Rabbis are against women serving in the military, more and more women are serving, which is why many Rabbis feel they have to reiterate their opposition.

    (I am aware that there are some prominent rabbis in the DL world who encourage women to serve, and the number is growing, but they are still a minority - but Eilu V'Eilu....)

    1. I still say despite. Rav Aviner, and others, have had their opinion for a long time, and obviously fewer and fewer are listening and following that opinion. I would think seeing the new reality, they might try another approach rather than talking to a wall

  2. Might anyone name a single leading Rabbi who wasn't opposed to women serving with strongest terms?!

    And from a social :
    A big problem with females in the military is that they disrupt male bonding. People in the military die for their friends. They don't die for a cause or the nation or whatever else is being fought for. They die for their friends. Disrupting male bonding means fewer are willing to die for their friends if they don't consider those in the unit friends because of the disruption of male bonding which happens when females are present in combat and in training. All female or all male units have been successful in Russian studies, but don't mix males and females in training/combat/air combat units.

    Plus, Females do not have the bone density of
    males and get stress fractures easily and could not even carry the rifle and backpack at the USMA (West Point) without getting stress fractures so that had to be modified as is so much for females to pass requirements. In 1948, Israel had males and females in the IDF equal in combat and that caused the deaths of males to soar as they compromised their missions to protect the women and the Arabs fought harder to avoid being defeated by females in battle. It was too costly in lives to continue. There is a place for ungodly females in the military in clerical, non-combat support technical and medical. Godly females should prefer prison to military service. Most females in this age are not godly and most males are not, either. That is a special calling for females to sacrifice so much to put haShem and family and children and husband before all else.

    1. he is definitely not the only one, but you hardly hear anyone talk about anymore. maybe most of the others have given up or see it as a pointless discussion since nobody listens to their opinion. They do talk about it at a policy level. They rarely talk about it at the level of telling the young women [publicly] what to do

    2. Chaya, not sure what your definition of a "leading rabbi" is, but there are a small but growing number or rabbis who are strongly in favour of Religious girls going into the army. Rabbi Benny Lau and Rabbi Riskin are 2 names that spring to mind. And there are several midrashot that specifically prepare religious girls for the army.

      For better or worse, more and more girls from religious homes are going to the army, and the army is making it more difficult for girls to get an exception, even if they went to religious schools.

      As I said above, this is why many Rabbis from the DL world, have reiterated their opposition to girls serving, which has been the ruling of the Chief Rabbanut since the founding of the state.

  3. Oh and in tonights news Israel's first openly **# major general
    And we're supoosed to be patriots and somehow take this in stride?!
    .Levticus(Va'yikra) 20:22,18:25

    1. who cares? there is a percentage of people that are gay, and it is natural that they would be in the army too. He isnt molesting anyone (I assume), so who cares what his proclivities are? he also isnt in the barracks with the young recruits

    2. There is no Issur in being gay. The bigotry towards homosexuals seems to be something picked up from Christians.

    3. Are both of you orthodox,or maybe only for some aspects?

      Naturally there were always sinners ,this however makes it public IDF policy
      And yes that matters !

      There are Red Lines

      And while a someone may grow up from childhood a Tinok Shenishba regarding Shabbat and the like ,there is no such tolerable possibility regarding deviant acts

    4. Avi,
      Fifth columnist

      We absolutely have to push them out totally, if Orthodoxy means anything at all
      Should we also embrace incest ?!
      If they control themselves from acting upon and glorifying their urges as they ought ,then they’ll merit Yeshaya 56:2-5

    5. Avi and your ilk,

      ISSUR ?!?!

      The cardinal principles of Judaism aren’t important (to you) ?

      If someone is running to be mechalel Shabbat,even in the old days(not referring to the eccentric of a couple years ago) you were forbidden to kill him on the spot,
      if he wass running to do the act of ...
      you were (if feasible) dictated by halacha to kill him

      ( dear me how unPC)
      would you say the same of a serial murderer ?

      NOW for those who wish to control their urges- which obviously is irrelevant and just a foil here-

      People self define themselves and if they do so, Yes,they are sinners
      The rubric who you umbrella under is your grave responsibility
      At best, they are akin to people who voluntarily moved BACK to Spain to be a Marrano
      And If you have a long term problem with your Faith,
      Own up and avoid these use of foils
      Once more,Those who control their urges as they ought ,will merit
      Yeshaya 56:2-5
      (They will only if/then fall under, regarding to inability to have marriage and heterosexual relationship, the rubric of Oness)
      There have been several and/or possibly many, examples from the recent and bygone past ( e.g.the yishuv Hayashan’s most famous public activist of 95 years ago)
      They should marry their nation and give their ardor to public am yisroel affairs

    6. Chaya,

      Your ignorance of Judaism does not mean I am not Orthodox. Stop reading the Bible from your local pastor and check out a Chumash written in Hebrew.

      One specific act is forbidden. Being a homosexual is literally never mentioned in TaNaCH.

    7. So nice. Use "pastor" as a strawman

      Since what the Torah clearly propounds is too much of a strain
      and causes your crowd to run for the diametric opposite, perhaps you'll find preference to listen to one of them

    8. Tell us how does this work

      Your crowd who often rush to follow what the non Jews say and do, only will do so when/if they're promulgating AGAINST moral values and our religion??

    9. Chaya,

      Since what the Torah clearly propounds is too much of a strain

      Since I am neither homo-, nor bi-sexual, the actual prohibition is no strain for me at all. Do you know what the actual prohibition is?

  4. This is not something to take lightly. Rav Aviner is definitely correct in this regard and so are the commenters, Mr. Sedley and Chaya. Women absolutely do not belong in the military and that Israel is one of the four countries in the world demanding women serve is even worse, being that as Jews, this goes against our Halacha, mesorah and just plain ordinary COMMON SENSE, which does not seem to exist these days. If necessary, women can work in the offices, just as with any other business, but not serve with the men or in any other capacity in the military. No genuinely orthodox rabbi would permit or advise to have women serve. This is wrong whether, the females are secular, traditional, orthodox or chareidi! Just belong the rest of the world has gone topsy turvey, it should not include our people; we have the Torah as our Guide!

    1. אבל במלחמת מצוה, הכל יוצאין, אפלו חתן מחדרו וכלה מחפתה.

    2. Did any of the armies ( against the 7 nations,Sisera,Pilishtim,Amalek,maccabees,etc.) have females in them?!

    3. nobody here is arguing that women should serve in the army. the discussion is Rav Aviner's approach to it and specific statements he made about it

    4. Funny you should mention Sisera. The army that fought Sisera was *headed* by a woman, and Sisera was killed by a woman.

      Michiyat Amalek is obligatory on women, which is why women have to be present for Parshat Zachor.

      For the Maccabim, see Yehudit.

      So...try again.

    5. Dear me. For some people..
      Would any one pull up a single reference of a Battalion Of Women fighting anywhere ?Individual Women fighting as Irregulars are completely irrelevant!

      There are those who pull out a tshuva that women who live in dangerous, unsettled communities are allowed in those circumstances to carry a weapon, is there a single posek who ever forthrightly allowed a woman to don a uniform

    6. This conversation is getting silly, but as you asked "is there single posek who ever forthrightly allowed a woman to don a uniform", the following have all issued Pskei Halacha that Lchatchila women should go into the army (and don a uniforms):
      - Rav Benny lay
      - Rav Shlomo Riskn
      - Rav Shmuel David
      (there are many others)

      Yes, they are a minority within the Dati Leumi world, but Baruch Hashem in Orthodox Judaism we have a concept of Machloket L'Shem Shamyaim, and Jewish Halachic sources are full of differing opinions.

      I know that in recent years a new reform version of Judaism has developed that says that there can only be one "Daas Torah", and if anyone disagrees with him than their opinion is automatically worthless, so I guess for such Jews by definition their couldn't be a psak that goes against whoever the Gadol Hador is today.

    7. Look, you're not arguing with me. Simple halakha is that during a milkhemet mitzvah- which Israel has been fighting for over a hundred years- both men and women are obligated to fight. This is Chazal; this is halakhah. Now, some poskim rule that the women don't literally fight but serve in support positions- which is what almost all women in the IDF do anyway. But again, you're going to have a hard time saying halakhah is opposed to this.

  5. Yasher Koach to Chaya Cohen. Must applaud her for her steadfast and truthful convictions and analysis. Right On! Also, Commenter Avi always has a problem with anything Torah!
    Also, wanted to correct one word that I wrote in my above Anonymous comment @6:22 am, there was a typo on the nest to the last line; it should read "Just 'because', not 'belong'.

    1. I have no problem with Torah. It's the modern interpretations that I take issue with.

    2. Not only are you pro sin but you'll attack any who refuse to be .
      So it's
      "Missing a defense ,stay on the offense"?

    3. "No problem with torah"

      Is that
      Or Neither?!

      This should keep you busy for a while.

      What in the Entire Torah
      Is Harog V'al Ya'avor,
      One of the 7 Noahide Mitzvos,
      Mechayev Sekilla,
      One is permitted to kill end route prior to the act,
      Is never suspended in war time (as murder cf. Netziv)?

    4. Not only are you pro sin but you'll attack any who refuse to be

      How did you make this determination? Because I can read a פסוק in אחרי מות? Because I know that homosexuality wasn't even a concept 3500 years ago? Because I know that there is no place in תנ’’ך that discusses it?

      You are being מוציא שם רע, which is an actual sin mentioned in Torah. How about you work on that before worrying about other people.

      Your second comment, throwing out a bunch of terms, is utterly incoherent. If you have an actual point, I ask that you try again.

    5. False.
      Since reference to authentic sources troubles you,how about asking any scholar if מוציא שם רע, is at all applicable here ?

      What in the Entire Torah
      1.Is Harog V'al Ya'avor,
      2.One of the 7 Noahide Mitzvos,
      3.Mechayev Sekilla,
      4.One is permitted to kill end route prior to the act,
      5.Is never suspended , even in wartime (as murder cf. Netziv)?
      Need a hint?

  6. Today's religious girls are looking at the army units, and not just teaching, as one of their choices, and it's better and more halachik for the rabbis to give guidance and tools for army service, rather than just broken-record repeating "don't serve."

  7. Scholars of religious proclamations know that the more there are protests against something, the more proof it was being done. For example, there was a once a claim that all the stories of rabbanim with non-Jewish maids were bubbe meises, because there were numerous papal declarations that Christian girls could not work in Jewish homes. Scholars pointed out that the pope wouldn't have been so worked up over it if it wasn't in fact going on a lot.

    You see more and more soldiers in skirts these days.

    The ones who *aren't* religious will be going to jail, same as the men the Peleg defends.

  8. You made a false claim about me in a public forum. The claim casts me in a negative light. That is practically the definition of מוציא שם רע.

  9. a)This is your method of avoidance, whining??
    b)It is well deserved .Those who belittle Basic Morality are beyond the bounds.Everyone please study any discussion מוציא שם רע. Start with Rabbenu Yonah.
    Continue with Chofetz chaim's 1929 proclamation re: Rubinstein

  10. Chaya,

    You appear to believe it's moral to demonize a person for being born as he is. To the extent that I demonize anyone, it's for what they do.

    I think we have diametrically-opposed bases of morality, and it should go without saying that yours is not based in Torah.

  11. Some of these irrational commenters prove how the world has gone bezerk. Who would have thought years ago that a discussion of this kind would even exist. The truth is that WOMEN DO NOT BELONG IN THE ARMY, especially in Eretz Yisrael. This should not even be up for discussion. It is common sense and self-evident to normal thinking people! As far as Mr. Sedley's comment - the women he mentioned were 'heroines', such as Yael and Yehudit. not soldiers! Throughout the millenia there were many nshei chayil, in the literal sense of the word, but there was never a Jewish army of women soldiers. That's unthinkable in normal Jewish thinking. As far as bringing up 'rabbis' giving the go-ahead for army service for women, such as the likes of those named above in the comments, says it all.
    Unfortunately, there is a rebellion within our people which has descended to the 50th level.

    1. There was a time when Judaism was taught by the Kohanim, as the Torah itself declares. Now it’s taught by self-appointed Rabbis. The only constant is change.

  12. Sorry, another typo: the comment just typed by Anon needs to be corrected. Meant to say it was Nachum and NOT Mr. Sedley who wrote about the two heroines.


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