Monday, September 12, 2011

Chief Rabbis Raise Issue of Religious Accommodation In Israeli Army

Yesterday's Jerusalem Post reports on a problem of accommodating religious beliefs of Orthodox Jewish soldiers in the Israeli army.  At the traditional annual meeting of Israel's two chief rabbis with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz, the rabbis raised the issue of exempting religious male soldiers from military events that involve women singing.  Orthodox Jewish law prohibits men from hearing women sing-- a prohibition referred to as kol isha. Last week, nine officer cadets walked out of an army event that featured a performance by women soldiers, and some refused to return even though their commander ordered them to do so.  Four of the soldiers were expelled from officer training school over the incident. Lt. Gen. Gantz said he was reviewing the issue.