Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Purity, Not Enlistment

 by Steve Thorngate

Tags: Israel, Judaism, Feminism,

IAF pilot Zohara Levituv, 1948The Israel Defense Forces conscript both women and men. Last fall marked the first time the Israeli Air Force appointed a woman as deputy squadron commander.

For Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, this doesn't represent progress. As Ynetnews reports, the influential Zionist leader has ruled that it is against Torah laws for women to enlist in the IDF. “We need you to function as a pure and clean woman,” he admonished in a published open letter, “not to undermine your mental foundation.”