Jewish Scene
Rabbis to IDF: Solve women's singing issue
Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 12.09.11, 08:51
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20 Talkbacks for this article
1. Which solution they want to seek?
Jew1 ,   Ashdod   (09.12.11)
I hope the solution will not come on account of woman's right and freedom. IDf, please remember that women were part of IDF in every possible way from the initial stage of this country. Please do not dis-regard her and her rights to price someone who just woke up now. If they have problem, they they should be allowed to be not participated in ceremony but do not ask woman not to sing. We are a democratic country with equal rights to every gender and not a property of some fanatic lunatics...
2. YES to solving the problems...
ORA ,   JERUSALEM   (09.12.11)
with fair debating,and keeping the people of Israel united.This is the unescapable condition to win on all fronts.
3. rabbis are right
Israel Israeli ,   Tel Aviv   (09.12.11)
In every army I know officers are selected by their ability to defeat the enemy, not by the kind of entertainment they like. A solution? No one is forced to watch entertainment. You can see women singing, I will watch football. Now a question: Is it OK that I fire my secretary if she refuses to watch a "blue movie" with me? If it isn't OK, why is firing the soldiers OK?
4. Pass out ear plugs
R ,   Israel   (09.12.11)
5. Corrupted Command Structure
Adam Neira ,   Melb, Australia   (09.12.11)
I disagree with Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar on this point. Why ? Because the IDF is such a vital organ of the state certain philosophies and principles should be adhered to. The overarching philosophy and plan for the Jewish people is the superset to the IDF's orientation. Philosophy first. Public policy second. I also think the good Rabbis are trying to appease their religious base and are attempting a bit of mediation and peacemaking which is honourable. But sometimes you need to just completely shift to a different position quickly. Equivocation like fence sitting can be painful. Like a pregnancy that is over term, things need to be induced decisively to usher in a new paradigm. Also I can't for the life of me find any immodesty or darkness in the idea that a woman would sing a nice song in a mood of spiritual uplift in a mixed group. There are female opera singers no ? I am sure that King David would have listened to female singers, as Moses would have done so in the Sinai under the stars. What a drab, austere world we will have if men and women can't enjoy certain things together. P.S. I have commented elsewhere on about the danger of corruption of certain command and control structures.
6. Who is in charge of the IDF?
Yehudiyah ,   US   (09.12.11)
The overarching fact is that ALL Israelis, men and women, are to serve in the IDF as fellow soldiers. One gender is to not be treated differently than the other. When women soldiers are discriminated against in any way by their fellow male soldiers, it undermines the the morale and unity of all of the soldiers, especially the female soldiers. If the issue of a woman singing an innocent non-sexual song while wearing an unflattering IDF issued uniform cannot be tolerated by other officers, then this becomes a big problem affecting the whole IDF. It speaks to another issue. If a religious male soldier and a fellow female soldier are in a battle situation where the woman is injured, would the religious male soldier be able to touch her in order to pull her to safety? Would the religious male soldier do so to save her life, or would he not do so because of zniut (modesty), and leave her there because of his religious beliefs that he cannot touch her because she is not his wife? The issue of gender discrimination based on religious beliefs should not be tolerated in a fully gender integrated army such as the IDF.
7. #1
i ,   jerusalem   (09.12.11)
the solution is for the commander to be demoted and transferred, and to be reeducated until he understands the difference between the regulations of their codified rights, and this was a plain case of stupidity on the part of the commander and his superiors.
8. The commander was WRONG. He could have let the women sing
Bunnie Meyer ,   Los Angeles, CA USA   (09.12.11)
let the religious men leave while they were singing and NO ONE would have had their feelings harmed. But NO, he had to be a BULLY, he had to force the issue and throw out religious soldiers who wanted to serve their country. The commander should be retrained and the soldiers reinstated.
9. female singers an issue?
Ze'ev ,   Nbg, germany   (09.12.11)
Well, since when are female singers an issue in a fair and democratic state? The law bases on the term that men and women are equal? or did I miss something?
10. listen to music of soldiers too
moron ,   galut   (09.12.11)
if the secular want the religious to serve they should respect their sensitivities in small matters such as this or stop complaining..the rabbis are not asking idf to not sing!
11. Women singing is wrong?
Sasq ,   Bartlesville, USA   (09.12.11)
I also do not understand, why is it wrong for women to sing? The restriction of women singing and/or listening to them being the "wrong" thing sounds very backward for such a forward thinking nation.
12. Verses of women singing in the Bible.
ErnestS.   (09.12.11)
Source- King James Cordance on-line. 1 Samuel 18:6, 2 Samuel 19:35, 1 Chronicles 13:8, 2 Chronicles 35:25, Ezra 2:65 and Nehemiah 7:67 are verses that have women singing. What's the precedent or the argument? Psalm 133 is one to read.
13. clarification
Rachel ,   Los Angeles   (09.13.11)
Just to clarify in response to some of the talkbacks, I think the Rabbis are not asking for women to be barred from singing, but rather for those men who find it contradictory to their religious beliefs to be able to opt out of listening to women singing solo. Not trying to impose their religious beliefs on others, just trying to adhere to their beliefs for themselves.
14. What is hateful to thee, do not do unto your neighbor.
Sickened ,   Netanya   (09.13.11)
The idea of walking out last week shows that the religious Jews do not follow any of G-d commandments, the golden rule or common decency. Wasn't it Hillel who said, "What is hateful to thee, do not do unto your neighbor. This is the whole Torah and the rest is commentary; go and study it further!" Until the religious Jews can understand the most holy elders in history, the idea of study is a total waste of their time. Walking out last week was hateful and rude and no good Jew should behave that way
15. an acceptable trade-off
Michael ,   Haifa   (09.13.11)
If religious soldiers are to be freed from being present at events where there are female singers, so should secular soldiers be freed from attending indoctrination sessions from IDF Rabbis, or Habad sidekicks, given during this month before the Chagim
16. p a t h e t i c
Rahel   (09.13.11)
pathetic is all that comes to mind- Rabbis dictating to the military- what next? "Unbearable damage to soldier's faith" to hear a woman sing- give me a break- what hogwash. Who is in charge, the religious fanatics or the Commander in Chief? Solution? Only men in the military, including ALL religious moochers. The religious can be among themselves, fight their own wars etc. Women are exempt to lead a normal life.
17. There is nothing halachically wrong with women singing
American Sabrah ,   Israel   (09.13.11)
Men are prohibited from listening to female singers above the age of 12 who are NOT related to them. Just like you can't require a religious cadet to eat non kosher and violate the Sabbath (there are allowances for life threatening situations), so to you shouldn't make it mandatory for religious soldiers to sit through an all female military concert. Let the women sing.Let those who don't want to keep kashrut eat whatever they want.But if you are going to ask us to show tolerance and acceptances towards those who are not like us, then we expect the same consideration in return.
18. #3 blue movie?
rita   (09.13.11)
how dare you compare a woman singing to watching a blue movie? This just shows how debased you guys are. If a woman sings to her child, sings a prayer you get the hots? This woman was not doing a strip tease or singing a raunchy song I bet- yet those soldiers insulted her by walking out. The Ravs should get with it- and not interfer with the army. Instead of resenting and fighting the modern world they should try to educate their students to cope and LIVE with it. Instead they insist on totally backward thinking like mullahs- . I for one would recommend ALL women in the army walk out, next time they are forced to listen to men- sing, tell lousy jokes, pray, fart etc...
19. #18 How dare you not understand the comparison
Rebecca ,   Modiin   (09.13.11)
Get off your high horse. You are all saying that singing is such a small thing that religious soldiers can bear to hear it. If it;s such a small thing then the singers can bare to have 9 soldiers not listening. As it is the rest of the soldiers were probably talking and not listening either. I'm sick of your attitude. It has to be your way because only you are right. PS I sing to my husband - and yes, it does give him "the hots" far more than me doing dishes.
20. Women have sung in the Bible.
Joe   (09.13.11)
20Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea."
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