Haredi soldier to be court martialed for not saluting a woman

February 2, 2016  

The non commissioned officer (NCO) of religion on the Ramat David Base is set for a court martial this Thursday following his refusal to participate in the ceremony commemorating the end of his term. The soldier was to receive an honor for exemplary service during the recent term. He is a haredi man and is part of the project that is bringing haredim into the IDF. 

The soldier had informed his officers that he spoke to his rabbis who informed him that he cannot accept the authority of a female commander and salute her, which he would have needed to do at the ceremony. 

During an interview with Arutz Sheva, the father of the soldier said that one of the criteria for enlistment into the haredi unit was a conscientious approach that would be taken by the IDF towards the haredi lifestyle. He said that if the IDF wants haredim to continue to enlist then they have to live up to their commitment and respect the relationship between the soldiers and their rabbis, especially when it comes to interacting with women in the IDF. 

According to the father, his son was supposed to receive his award from a female commander who was part of the company’s administration team. Upon asking his rabbi if this was allowed the rabbi refused and told the soldier that he cannot accept the authority of a woman, nor can he look at her in order to salute. The father claimed that the son has a right to listen to his own personal rabbi instead of the IDF rabbi for his unit who instructed the soldier to attend and salute, as the IDF rabbi is of the national religious sector and not of the haredi sector. 

The soldier has approached the oversight committee who looks after haredi enlistment. However they have not yet dealt with the issue. The IDF spokesperson’s unit has likewise not yet commented on the situation. 

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