Precedent: A group of religious female soldiers enlisted together as a group for the field intelligence observers’ unit
““The role of field observer is a difficult and demanding one, but it carries great responsibility and great weight in preserving the lives of civilians and IDF soldiers. We are proud,” said Rabbi Teharlev
Arutz 7 | 25 July, 2019
This week, eight graduates of Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Jerusalem, Carmiel and Lod campuses enlisted in the IDF Field Intelligence Corps as tatzpitaniyot – Tatzpitaniyot” [the Hebrew name for female soldiers responsible for remote video surveillance along Israel’s land borders].
Midreshet Lindenbaum reports that this is the first time a group of religious females are enlisting together as a group to serve in this position. Rabbi Ohad Teharlev, director of OTS Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Israeli programs: “Our students have already reached very senior ranks in the Intelligence and Education Corps, as well as in the Airforce, and they have served in combat support positions for special forces units; now we have added an additional unit in which our students can serve the country in a meaningful way.”
Rabbi Teharlev adds: “The role of field observer is a difficult and demanding one, but past experience has shown that it is indispensable in preventing infiltration of Israel’s borders by terrorists, and thus helps save lives. I am confident that this group of young women will ensure that being a field observer will become an attractive and sought-after role. I say this based on our experience with previous Midreshet Lindenbaum students who gave their best in IDF service for the benefit of the land and people of Israel, causing their service to be meaningful. We congratulate every religious girl who decides to enlist in the IDF. Prior to their enlistment, and also throughout their army service, we provide them with spiritual and ethical tools that enable them to play their part in sharing the military burden with the rest of Israeli society, and still remain true to their values.”
Rabbi Teharlev estimates that 2700 religious girls enlist in the IDF every year. 300 of these are graduates of seminaries, with some 150 girls graduating from OTS’s Midreshet Lindenbaum.
Speaking a few hours before she enlisted, Kerem Har-Zahav (19) from Moshav Nov in the Golan Heights said, “I decided to serve in the IDF because I believe this is the way to fulfill the saying ‘All of Israel are responsible for each other.’ I believe in mutual responsibility, and I have no doubt that as a religious girl, I can maintain my religious lifestyle while serving in the army. Midreshet Lindenbaum gave me a lot of tools to help me deal with situations in which there may be seemingly halakhic conflicts.”
Kerem continues, “I know that being in this unit is not the easiest position in the IDF. Yet, precisely because of this, it is a more challenging task. I am sure that there are also many hours of routine drudgery. And along with the routine, we have to be alert for the very moment when we have the chance to save lives and preserve the country’s security. I am certain that early detection of danger can save lives, and that is what I will be focusing on.”
The field observers will be serving on Israel’s southern border with the Gaza Strip. Four additional seminary graduates will be serving alongside them in the Control Room.
Rabbi Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone added his blessings to the new recruits: “We are proud of our students who have enlisted in the IDF. Israel’s southern border will, please God, be a safer place with them serving on the front line. The Midreshet Lindenbaum graduates are known to be young women with high morals and excellent leadership skills. They are full of love for the Jewish people and the Torah, and they represent the best of Israeli youth. We will continue to be in touch with them and accompany them throughout their military service. We wish them every success and pray for their welfare, along with all of the IDF soldiers who protect our country.”