Ten Religious IDF Soldiers To Be Punished For Walking Out as Female Soldier Sings

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yosef-idfYnet reports: Ten religious IDF officers’ course cadets left in the middle of a military activity after a female soldier began singing solo on the stage. Now they are waiting to be punished by the training base’s commander.

The incident took place on Monday evening during an event focusing on Operation Cast Lead, which was attended by hundreds of cadets slated to receive an officer’s rank in about a month, many of whom are affiliated with the Religious Zionism movement.

At some point during the evening, two female soldiers got up to sing. When one of them began singing solo, dozens of religious soldiers got up and turned to leave the auditorium.

“It was spontaneous. We know it’s forbidden, but we left quietly without coordinating it,” one of them told Yedioth Ahronoth on Tuesday. But Regiment Commander Uzi Klieger tried to stop them from leaving, threatening to punish anyone who walked out.

Some of the soldiers returned to their seats, while 10 left the auditorium in spite of the regiment commander’s threats. On Tuesday evening, the 10 soldiers were summoned by the training base commander, Colonel Eran Niv.

It turns out that before the event, two of the soldiers asked not to participate in it and were refused. They are not expected to receive a harsher punishment.

The soldiers told Colonel Niv that “if this incident has anything to do with our abilities as officers, it is that being strict about the rules of Halacha proves that we will be better officers. You could have been more sensitive toward us, as this is a well-known problem, and all we asked was that female soldiers wouldn’t sing alone.”

The training base’s commander told them that he viewed the incident as extremely severe and that soldiers, and especially officers, are required to carry out orders. This was not an illegal order, he added.

Bone of contention

On Tuesday, the soldiers did not take part in a regimental activity held in a different base and were told to wait for the commander’s decision as to their punishment.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said in response, “In this incident cadets deviated from the army’s orders. The entire matter is being looked into and conclusions will be made in the coming days by the Ground Forces and training base commanders. The performance of all members of military bands is an inseparable part of the IDF milieu.”

The issue of women’s singing is one of the most difficult bones of contention between the IDF and religious soldiers. This isn’t the first time troops leave military ceremonies for this reason, and they have been punished for it in the past.

According to the General Staff orders, a religious soldier is entitled not to take part in recreational activity which contradicts his lifestyle and faith, but the orders do not apply to non-recreational military events.

{Ynet/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. One of them is an alumnus of yeshivat Shaalvim.
    He was in close contact with the Rosh HaYeshiva regarding how to handle the incident.
    The Rosh HaYeshiva got up yesterday after Mincha and told the story, and praised the soldiers for standing up for Torah.
    But he said five of them wrote a letter of apology and said that they would not walk out should it happen again. The other four are being kicked out of the IDF.
    He praised those four for standing up to the Nisayon: they were all about to be promoted, but they chose Torah over everything else.

  2. I applaude the soldiers.

    Where is the chief Rabbi of Israel?

    Where is the IDF Rabbi? And why doesn’t he speak up?

    It’s not like they haven’t heard of conscientious objection!

  3. this is related to shulamit aloni. she made sure to have as many students as possible, learning that chumash does not (chas veshalom) have HaShem’s name in it, and that is partly why some of the IDF is so G-dless. But they don’t know that they have a nefesh Elokis and they are not acknowledging that.

  4. If the same thing took place in any other country would we expect our Jewish soldiers to get up and walk out, and laud them if they did? Why should the Israeli army be any different? Honestly… Is it a religious institution?

  5. “The other four are being kicked out of the IDF.”

    Rabble rousing stuff, but completely untrue, MD #1.

    The very worst that could happen to them is that they would be “kicked out of the” officers’ training course in which they were participating.

    The IDF can not (nor will it) permit itself the luxury of wasting excellent soldier material whose only “crime” was to stick to their principles.

  6. alot of these hateful people have Borderline Personality Disorder, one of their symptoms being that they punish others. It is a horrific disorder which people have and those around them don’t realize that thats what they have

  7. There’s another solution. Why do we have fingers? One use is to stick in your ears so you won’t hear stuff you don’t want to, like loshon hara or kol isha. Perhaps the soldiers could have done this, or brought earplugs to put in their ears, and afterwards they could have brought official complaints, or gone to the media in a respectful way. Walking out was perceived as a challenge and a breach of discipline, which can’t be allowed in an army, especially one like Tzahal which is constantly on the alert.

    Instead of looking for ways to fight each other, why don’t we start looking for ways to get along? Respectful dialogue goes much further than bitter conflict, and in the short run it would designate the officers as the ones at fault, not the dati soldiers.

  8. To “Just Curious”

    What would be your reaction if the officer had commanded these soldiers to transgress any other mitzvah?
    If it is not in the line of duty, what permits the soldier to compromise his religious beliefs?

  9. zacha, notel chelko v’cheleck chavaro bgan eden, lo zacha: notel chelko v’chelek chaveiro bgeihinom, R”L. yehi ratzon shetashuvu.

  10. Again just curious if there is not a better way of going about this such as the thoughtful commentor who mentioned fingers in the ears. We all must realize that although nonreligious Israelis are our brothers we don’t have the right to expect much more in the way of understanding of our chosen lifestyle than any other army/nation. Most of our brothers don’t understand the beauty of our religion/Halacha through no fault of their own and potentially major fault on our frum part. Alot of the discord unfortunately between the religious and nonreligious comes from lack of understanding. It’s our responsibility to win them over. Again, I’m not sure one has to be threatened or put himself into a position of potential court martial and leave instead
    of simply putting his hands in his ears. The sad truth is that Israel is not a religious state period, and therefore should not be expected by us frum Jews to do things according to Halacha until Mashiach gets here. Until then why not try to minimize conflict, better our communication and try to bring our brothers and sisters into the fold pleasantly.

  11. If the same thing took place in any other country would we expect our Jewish soldiers to get up and walk out, and laud them if they did? Why should the Israeli army be any different? Honestly¬Ö Is it a religious institution?

    Then you turn right around and blame those who haven’t given it support for religious reasons.

  12. I applaud Mr. OldTimer, he is a man with much common sense and wisdom. The focus must be KULANU BiYACHAD. When there is an “us vs them”
    mentality, you can not function. These soldiers were looking to break the rules and not follow orders. This would not happen if they were in any other army. It would not be an issue.

  13. this is one of the problems that the gedoilim had with the army.these are the real heroes.
    we should all take a lead from them.

    these young men are real heroes.
    we should all take a lead from them.

    I’m so so proud of them. Big kidush haShem.

  14. This is a tricky issue but there must be an agreed upon command and control structure in the State of Israel. The IDF is one of the crucial organs of the state. If people go around disobeying their commanders it is a serious problem. Armies who confuse the optimum ratio of who gives commands and who receives commands are always in danger of imploding. One should not enforce unhealthy doctrines or force a soldier to do something unethical, but I cannot for the life of me see how listening to a female singer performing respectfully and in an uplifting tone could be seen as immodest. I think some of these males are being a little too precious.

    There have been two other cases of corruption of the correct command and control structure in the State of Israel recently which are alarming blips on the radar screen.

    (1) The all too easy access the price tag vandals had to the IDF base.

    (2) Our Land of Israel head, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe approving $20,000 payments to soldiers refusing orders.

    Civil wars only happen when the collective mission, philosophy and ideology of a nation breaks down. Little cracks in the command structure dam can lead to a tsunami of damage. IDF soldiers are not automatons. They are allowed a certain degree of responsibility and independent judgement in various situations, but certain boundaries must be adhered to. Rules of engagement work best when couched in the correct frame of reference and worldview. Soldiers will also respond well to an enlightened philosophy.

  15. 24. Comment from jerr
    Time September 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    i have much to nsay on thsi


    Well say it! Nobody here will bite you.


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