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Friday, November 04, 2011

Idiot: Soldiers not listening to women singing greater danger than Iran

Former Mossad director Ephraim HaLevy has met the true danger to Israel and it is the Iranian nuclear threat religious IDF soldiers who won't listen to women sing.
"When I was in Bnei Akiva, there were boys and girls [mixed]. Were we not religious? Were the rabbis then not religious? What happened to us?" he asked, speaking at a military academy meeting commemorating 130 fallen soldiers.

"Thousands of children are born to parents who immigrated to the state and were told that they are Jews, and here the religious authorities decided that they aren't Jews. A generation grew up here without personal status," he said.

Last month, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger said in a religious ruling that the IDF must ensure that religious soldiers are not forced to listen to performances by female singers.

The statement came after an incident in which nine officer cadets left an army event involving a performance by female soldiers, and some subsequently refused to return after their unit commander ordered them to do so. Four of the soldiers were expelled from the Officers Training School – better known as Bahd 1 – after refusing to apologize for the incident.
We've had a lot of this here lately. Male soldiers not listening to female singers is straight halacha (Jewish law), particularly when it's a live (not taped) performance and there's a female singing solo. Is this really the greatest danger to Israel - that IDF soldiers don't want to listen to female singers?

Over the last 20 years or so, a split has been developing in the national religious community. Parts of the community are moving to the right religiously, and are acting more and more like the Haredim in terms of insisting on stringent halachic observance. HaLevy is one of those resisting that trend. This past week, there was a series of features on Israel Radio's morning drive time program on why the national religious community is 'becoming so religious' by insisting on things like separate classes for boys and girls.

But what really bothers the branja is that many of these national religious soldiers are consulting with their rabbis when they can, and then deciding how they will behave in the army. That can lead to all kinds of 'terrible' things - like refusing orders to expel Jews from their homes, insisting on a higher standard of Kashruth in the army, and insisting on more time for prayers and Torah study, at least during non-emergency situations.

The IDF officers' corps is about 40% religious today. If anything, that percentage is going up. This bothers a lot of the anti-religious Left more than anything else in the world, except the fact that most of the western immigration to Israel is coming from religious communities. The IDF has three choices: It can work with the officer corps it has, it can try to recruit other officers (an endeavor at which it has been largely unsuccessful), or it can surrender to our real enemies. Under the circumstances, I would say that the last thing that's worth a fight is forcing religious soldiers in an officers' training course to sit through a female soloist.

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At 6:28 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

I won't say that Israeli male soldiers in the IDF troubles me more than Iran. Obviously, that is a ridiculous statement to make. But I will say that I find it to be a backwards and offensive viewpoint that a woman's singing voice is so sexy, that listening to it can cause a man to lose control. It comes from the same misguided perspective of Sheikh Hillali, Grand Sheikh of Australia, who said that men are like cats, and women are like meat, and you cannot blame the cat for eating uncovered meat.

I think it is much healthier to encourage self control than it is to tell men that they are committing some form of a sin to listen to a woman sing.

Long term, I am worried about the demographic trend of Israel. It is a tremendous concern of mine that the fastest growing segment of the Israeli population are the Haredim, who (mostly) do not work, and who (mostly) have a sub-standard education system, thereby making it extra difficult for them to work in the secular world, even if they wanted to. Long term, this means that those who do work will be supporting a larger and larger population who do not work. That is not sustainable, long term.

At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gaoniim of the past and the present, the rabbis individual junior officers revere, from their neighborhood or their studies, are not in their direct chain of command. It is not for junior officers to decide to refuse orders and/or initiate actions outside the chain of command--whether to refuse to listen to a woman sing or throw a disco bikini beer bash on the Sabbath, to remove or refrain from removing Jewish inhabitants of Yesha from their homes, to fire or to refrain from fire, to attack positions or to refuse to attack positions.


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