Rabbi Ohad Teharlev to religious girls: “Enlist into the IDF”
More than 2,000 religious girls attended a conference held in Tel Aviv in advance of their enlistment to the IDF | Rabbi Ohad Teharlev, head of OTS’ Midreshet Lindenbaum: “If serving in the IDF is existential for our identity, it is also existential for women.”
Yisrael HaYom | 19/11/2019
On the backdrop of the ongoing discussion surrounding women serving in the IDF in general, and as a result of campaigns waged by various groups specifically against religious women serving in the IDF, more than 2,000 religious girls from high schools and ulpanot across the country attended a one-day conference on “The Religious Girl in the IDF,” which was held in Tel Aviv’s Beit HaChayal. Speakers at the event included Brig. Gen. Amir Vadmani, head of IDF’s Planning Division and director of Manpower; Brig. Gen. Yifat Yerushalmi Tomer, the Chief of Staff’s Advisor on Gender Issues; and rabbinical leaders such as Rabbi Avraham Stav.
Rabbi Ohad Teharlev, head of Ohr Torah Stone’s Midreshet Lindenbaum and one of the senior rabbis in favor of religious girls enlisting in the IDF spoke at the event: “Whoever thinks and believes that the IDF is one of the most important entities in the Jewish nation and in the State of Israel, cannot encourage just one gender to be part of it.”
According to Teharlev, the number of women serving in the army will continue to increase in the coming years. “As the status of women and awareness of equality increases in the world at large and in Israeli society in particular, religious women are asking to be drafted into a greater variety of roles within the army including combat support and even active combat roles.” Speaking to the girls at the event, Teharlev called on them to take an example from Devorah the Prophetess and from Yael, the wife of Hever, and added: “If serving in the IDF is existential for our identity, it is equally existential for both men and women.”
“I call on you all to enlist – go and learn Torah beforehand in the various options available – midrashot and mechinot that are all under the auspices of the Security and Social Division. Charge up your spiritual batteries, serve as an example and prove to everyone that ‘Israel was redeemed in the merit of righteous women.’ You are the righteous women who are not afraid; you are leaders, who are true partners in the security efforts of the State of Israel. Thanks to you and other women who are part of the military war effort, the IDF will, God willing, be victorious and protect the Jewish people.”
Midreshet Lindenbaum is part of the Ohr Torah Stone network and was the pioneering midrasha for women that combines Torah study with meaningful military service. In addition to its main Jerusalem branch, two additional branches have opened up in Carmiel and Lod. At all three sites, Midreshet Lindenbaum offers a track that combines Torah study with military service for women in seven different branches of the IDF: Intelligence Corps, Air Force, Educational Corps, Combat Support in elite commando units, field intelligence and as operational surveillance officers.