Counter Kiruv In The Israeli Army

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By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA
Director: Jewish Professionals Institute
Every action begats a counter-reaction. The Frum world hears a lot about Kiruv Rechokim, Jewish Outreach by the religious communities to the less or non-religious. There are all sorts of efforts and causes devoted to this holy task of bringing back secular Jews to the Torah heritage of the Jews’ ancestors.
Israel is a hot-bed of these efforts. With about half of all the world’s Jews living in Israel and all cramped in to a relatively tiny country the secular versus religious agendas are in sharp focus.
So what is one to make of the news coming out of the Israeli army that is creating all sorts of outlandish obstacles for the practice of simple Judaism? Forced mixed-gender bathrooms. Inserting young female soldiers into all sorts of posts and positions all over the military. Creating difficulties for keeping Shabbos. Making it hard to Daven. Backsliding in Kashrus.
What is going on here? This at record times of religious youngsters from the Religious Zionist and other sectors who are willing to serve. How does forcing more mixed gender units help a JEWISH army?
Open up a Chumash and read about what ENEMIES of the Children of Israel did. The gentile Daughters of Midian were sent out to entice and seduce the Israelite warriors. Israelite soldiers were warned not to succumb to the Eishet Yefas Toar, an enemy beautiful seductress. The Torah warns to keep the military camp holy. So many Jewish soldiers today know and want to do the right thing — unlike some of their silly and shortsighted commanders.
One has to conclude that some powers that be outright fear the natural flow and desire of many of the Israeli youth to practice the Torah and Mitzvotseven while in the army. So they have cooked up a plan that has NOTHING to do with military preparedness against Arabs and EVERYTHING to do with fighting Torah true Yiddishkeit in a kind of fake counter-Kiruv drive that will lead to nowhere.
In this time of Erev Pesach let there be hope and determination among young religious Jewish soldiers that all designs to counter Yiddishkeit will not succeed.
To be continued…


  1. When you read the israeli secular news it’s crazy how the army is becoming totally anti Torah. In a survey of 104 world armies,the israel army comes in number nine on being pro toeiva. France is number ten and United States is number 44. Now they are actually drafting more women than men and mixing them into even religious units. Last week a new craziness began. Mixed bathrooms. And they want yeshiva boys to join this army. Are they insane.

    • Those In Control are fully aware more than most of us, that even if many who serve remain ostensibly ‘religious’, if/when they’re diminished morally
      and on relations of genders, in the longer run, They will win while we will lose

  2. From this perspective, Hesder yeshivos till now were largely a failure.
    It was hoped that even with limited exposure to the army, the young men would “see the light” and, as we say, go off the derekh.

  3. The MAIN source for all this is Leiberman HE has been turning secularist/left/centrist

    Back in April 2015,The Head of the IDF Fortitude Forum, Col. (res.) Raz Sagi, told Arutz Sheva there is a lot of bluffing and leftist meddling behind the changes announced.
    The more women are placed in the combat units, he explained, the lower their combat-readiness level. For 12 years running, he said, the IDF was unable to get more than 530 women to volunteer and be accepted into combat service annually.
    This number shot up to 800 in 2014, according to Sagi – not because more physically fit women volunteered, but because the “gibush” phase of basic training, in which those unfit for combat are weeded out, was cancelled, and replaced with a preparatory course that does not weed out anyone…

  4. This from 2013. It has gotten worse since:

    IDF is the world’s most female-friendly army, statistics released Thursday showed..
    Of all 18 year old females in Israel, the IDF Spokesperson said, 59% enlist in the IDF. Ninety two percent of all positions in the army are open to women (with only a few that require extraordinary physical strength off-limits). Women comprise 57% of the IDF’s officer corps among regular soldiers, and 28% of career officers. Of the top officer positions women comprised 15% of the total .

    There was notable rise in the number of female soldiers who were on duty during the recent Pillar of Defense Operation, as compared to 2008’s Operation Cast Lead, the spokesperson said. More of those women have been serving in battlefield roles; over the past few years there has been a significant drop in the numbers of women assigned to secretarial and clerk roles, from 21% of all women serving in 2001 to just 13% in 2012.

    The IDF Spokesperson’s Office released the numbers in time for International Women’s Day, to be commemorated on Friday.


  5. For the sake of the Israeli army, which is obligated to honor tradition, it is our duty to rise up in opposition against these orders. This obligation is imposed on public officials, first and foremost, the Defense Minister and his deputy, and upon every soldier and officer.

    Secularist anti moral coercion at its best.
    The ones who are already being affected the most are the ‘amcha’ crowd

  6. MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) wrote an article in the B’Sheva Hebrew newspaper calling for the heads of Hesder yeshivas and mechinot (pre-IDF preparatory yeshivas) to delay the enlistment of their students in the IDF.
    “The IDF needs quiet and manpower. If it realizes when facing the fear of terrorism against it by the gender organizations and their supporters, that we also know how to cause a ruckus and give it a headache – another equation will be created. Moreover, if the yeshivas and the preparatory programs leave their students for a few more months, to strengthen their Torah study while skipping one recruitment cycle, the army will ask itself what is better for it, high-quality and motivated soldiers, or joint service and training base 1.”

    “Today, because we are idealists who always volunteer without taking everything into account, the army doesn’t have to face this choice. It can afford to trample on everything holy, knowing that our people will be at the recruitment center in droves. It has to understand that this will not work anymore. The high motivation to serve is not something that comes on its own, but is something that has been taught to us over many years, and it can also work in the opposite direction,”

    Education Minister Naftali Bennett slammed MK Bezalel Smotrich’s comments.
    “The IDF is us” Bennett wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.”No group, certainly not the religious Zionists, has the right to teach the IDF ‘how to behave,’ and certainly not to delay enlistment,”


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