Rabbi says flock will not serve in mixed elite units

Chaim Druckman who is a spiritual leader of religious Zionists and the settler movement says students of the Hesder yeshiva program must not be made to chose between their religious convictions and service to the country

Itzchak Tessler|
Rabbi Chaim Druckman, a former politician and a spiritual leader of the settlement movement on Tuesday, said he would prevent his students from IDF service if Supreme Court allows mixed gender combat units.
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  • "We will not be able to educate our students to serve in such units," Druckman said in a video that has gone viral on social media.
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    הרב חיים דרוקמן
    הרב חיים דרוקמן
    Rabbi Chaim Druckman
    (Photo: Shaul Golan)
    "We must preserve the Jewish character of the Israeli army. It cannot be that soldiers will be forced to behave contrary to their religious beliefs and lifestyle which is in accordance with the Halacha."
    The court was deliberating over a petitioned filed two years ago, calling for women to be allowed to serve in elite combat units as men are and demanding they be given the opportunity to go through the IDF's selection process for such units.
    Druckman heads a West Bank yeshiva which is part of a program that combines religious studies with military service. In recent years, many of the program's participants have joined combat units of the IDF and in particular elite commando units.
    While they become integrated into their units, made up of soldiers from all different backgrounds, the Hesder soldiers prioritize preserving their Jewish principles, often causing conflicts during their service where religion clashes with the liberal agenda of the IDF.
    2 View gallery
    היערכות צה"ל לחג הפסח
    היערכות צה"ל לחג הפסח
    Religious soldiers in the IDF
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)
    Serving with women could pose a problem for some who may feel they will deviate from their religious principles in order to fulfill their duty.
    Rabbi Druckman directed his remarks to the Supreme Court threatening that Hesder soldiers will be unable to join mixed gender units if the court rules in favor of the petitioners.
    "We cannot force the soldiers to chose between contributing to the country's security, or maintaining the Jewish laws," he said.

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