More Orthodox Girls Choosing To Enlist In The IDF; IDF Will Not Follow Chief Rabbis’ Ruling Against It
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
IDF officials say they aren't interested in openly fighting with Orthodox rabbis, but insist they will do everything short of that to keep the number of Orthodox girls enlisting in the army growing.
"If they close the door on us, we know how to get in through the window," an official in the IDF’s Manpower Directorate reportedly told Ynet yesterday.
The issue has come to the fore because Israel’s new haredi chief rabbis recently issued a ban on Orthodox women serving in the IDF.
While previous chief rabbis had issued similar rulings, the current chief rabbis wording and scope along with the IDF’s need for more female recruits to meet skilled manpower needs, drew sharp criticism from some secular lawmakers and from the IDF.
Based on the IDF’s numbers, in 2013 there were 1,616 new female Orthodox recruits. In 2012 there were 1,503. But in 2010, the number was only 935.
IDF sources told Ynet Orthodox girls are also increasingly choosing more difficult posts like the prestigious 8200 field intelligence unit and basic training squad commanders.
Fifteen years ago there reportedly was a similar trend when Zionist Orthodox girls first began joining elite combat units.
Zionist Orthodox girls can legally avoid army service by doing national community service instead.
The Orthodox girls who choose to enlist in the IDF come from Zionist Orthodox schools and often do so after meeting an older girl in synagogue or at social gatherings who have already enlisted and who are happy with their time in the IDF.
"Girls that have left the military see that army service isn't so bad. They don't become messed-up, they have the best conditions to keep their religion – and our studies show that they are succeeding,” IDF sources reportedly said.