Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, one of Religious Zionism's most prominent leaders, is calling on IDF soldiers to walk out of any military events – both formal and informal – featuring women performers, thus violating new instructions approved by the General Staff forum.
"A soldier ordered to listen to a female singer during a live performance as part of a ceremony must lave. Now that this has become a public issue, he should do so openly with his head held up high," the rabbi wrote in an article published by religious weekly Besheva.
"Despite the media attack on the 'exclusion of women' because of the refusal to listen to women's live performances, and despite the General Staff's decision, and although there are military rabbis who say the army's orders precede everything – Halacha still stands and is obligating as always."
Melamed is the head of the Har Bracha Yeshiva which was removed from the hesder arrangement with the IDF due to his refusal to condemn soldiers refusing orders.
He accused the Chief Rabbinate and Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz of giving into the General Staff's dictations and subjecting mitzvot to the state law.
"The Chief Rabbinate has never hit such a low, and the chief military rabbi is personally responsible," Rabbi Melamed wrote.
He added that members of Israel's Chief Rabbinate Council must intervene, warning that "if, God forbid, they were to bow their heads and surrender, each soldier will be forced to defend the dignity of the Torah on his own and refuse the secular order…
"It will be tough, it will entail sitting in jail, being dismissed from courses and humiliated, but eventually they will manage to restore the dignity of the Jewish heritage."