IDF Publishes “Ten Commandments for Chareidi Soldier”


idf-soldierIn the early morning hours of Shabbos, members of Netzach Yehuda – the IDF’s chareidi battalion – participated in a special forces operation in the Jenin refugee camp. The charedi soldiers were securing the perimeter of the area of operations; they may have wondered to themselves whether they broke the Shabbos before and after the complex operation.

Yediot Achronot reports that the IDF admits to the difficulties of catering to charedi soldiers and has produced an instructions manual for the battalion, in an attempt to solve a few of the dilemmas faced by religious soldiers who participate in operational actions on Shabbos.

In recent months, the military produced a pamphlet dealing exclusively with dilemmas and issues faced by combat soldiers who partake in operations on Shabbos. The pamphlet, titled “Defending the Nation, Guarding the Torah” contains a set of rules, all written by military rabbis serving as officers.

Yediot Achronot reports that the very first directive emphasizes that the mentioned rules apply only when there is no urgent need for action. In other cases – like a firefight or immediate danger – the soldier must fulfill his mission as soon as possible. “Desecrating Shabbat due to operational necessities is not a sin, but a mitzvah,” says the pamphlet.

Main principles noted in the pamphlet

Shabbos check-list: Remove unnecessary equipment from flak jacket and vehicle, change batteries in radio equipment, prepare list of guard shifts, call parents to wish them Shabbat shalom, light candles. Refuel vehicles and check water and oil before Shabbos.

Civilian action or operational activity? Determine beforehand whether the weekend missions are of a civilian nature – like securing tourists and reinforcing other units.

Driving on Shabbos: One should not push the gas pedal unnecessarily nor drive more than is required. Driving is only permitted for security incidents and medical emergency.

Using electricity: A fan may be turned on only if the temperature may harm the operational status of the unit.

Using radio: Announce ahead of time that you do not answer non-operational calls on Shabbos. If there is any doubt as to the nature of the call, the soldier must answer.

Outpost and base drills: Only before Shabbos.

Sticklight and thermal bag: Permitted on condition they prevent worse violations of Shabbos. Flak jacket may contain food, snacks, Torah, map, binoculors, compass, and night-vision gear, but not sunglasses, keys, and wallets.

Driving to a guard post on the far-side of the base is not permitted, and the soldier should consult with the rabbi on the correct procedure for larger bases.

Showering on Shabbos: The IDF heats its water using a thermal system relying on gas and solar energy; thus, hot water is not allowed on Sabbath. Cold showers are permitted.

{Courtesy: Yediot Achronot / Israel}


  1. The Zionists should first keep the Ten Commandments required by all Jews before educating Chareidim about what a “mitzvah” is. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any of the Ten Commandments they keep, sadly.

    The Sitra Kadisha, the Chareidim, must continue to keep strong against the sitra achra, the Zionist illiterate boors.

  2. The simplest solution for getting from one place to another on Shabbos, without driving a car, is to use a bicycle.

  3. The headline is misleading. This is the IDF attempting to help the Chareidi soldiers. They have not tried to rewrite the Aseres Hadibros.

  4. > “The Sitra Kadisha, the Chareidim, must continue to keep strong against the sitra achra, the Zionist illiterate boors.”

    >> These are words that you use to draw near to Torah the tinokos shenishba in Klal Yisrael? On the contrary, with words of sinas-chinam such as these you destroy the 3rd Beis HaMikdash before it is even built! Shame on you.

  5. Who’s deciding what’s an emergency situation–the non-religious commander? That’s the unwritten caveat to the whole list above.

  6. Agree with #1, Shalom. The enlistment program is solely for secularizing the chareidim. If there is anyone stupid enough not to understand this by now, then they are obviously ill & un-informed of what’s happening. Read some more of the news that really goes on. Until the IDF will be led by truly religious commanders and be under a non-hating political agenda against the religious, the IDF will purposely use the chareidim in a way (where there is no need to be mechalel Shabbos, etc.), to be mechalel Shabbos, etc. Just read on Esser that former IDF chief Rabbi Ronsky, agrees with Lapid & the leftists and disagrees vehemtly with the chareidim and Bayit Yehudi about the enlistment ordeal. What does that tell you? We need to pray for a truly ‘Jewish’ Israel.