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IAF Chief Rabbi Ram Moshe Raved
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IDF: No coercion of haredi soldiers
Army informs haredi soldiers that they will not be forced to attend military ceremonies featuring female performers. MK Gafni urges haredim not to join IDF

The IDF informed haredi soldiers serving in the Air Force that the conditions of their military service will not be altered, Ynet learned on Tuesday.

 

The announcement came on the heels of a debate over whether haredi soldiers should be excused from official military ceremonies that feature female performers.

 

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Last week, IAF Chief Rabbi Ram Moshe Raved, who heads an IDF program for recruiting haredi soldiers, resigned from his position, claiming that the pending changes might inflict spirtual harm on religious soldiers. He later retracted his resignation.

 

On Tuesday morning, Raved met with IAF Commander Major-General Ido Nehushtan and the two decided that Raved will not remain in his current post, but will continue serving in the Air Force.

 

Also on Tuesday, Chairman of the Knesset's Finance Committee MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) called on haredim not to join the IDF. Speaking in a radio interview, Gafni noted that haredi males "must not enlist" because "(the IDF) will turn you into a different person. It has failed the test."

 

Last month, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz decided to prohibit soldiers from leaving official ceremonies because of women's singing. The decision was made following several incidents in which soldiers and cadets walked out on military events featuring female performers.

 

On Monday, students and Hesder Yeshiva soldiers sent a letter to Gantz, urging him to reconsider his decision. "Forcing religious soldiers to attend events in which women sing is contrdictory to Jewish halachic rules and constitutes secular coercion that conflicts with the values of liberty," the soldiers wrote.

 

 

 

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