Tuesday, March 1, shall enter into force a new order on the wearing of beards by IDF soldiers. According to the new order, for permission to wear beards the soldier must apply for a military Rabbi, then to his commander, and then in the personnel Department of the military unit. Only in the case of approval requests of all three, the soldier will have the right to grow a beard.
This order caused an outcry in religious circles. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner compared it with the «punishment inflicted on the Jews during the time of Nazism», and the former chief Rabbi of the IDF Yisrael Weiss called for soldiers, which will require you to shave off your beard to refuse to obey the order. «The beard is a symbol of religiosity, and bale,» said Rabbi Weiss. Note that he served as chief military Rabbi during the period of the destruction of the settlements in gush Katif and demanded servicemen to execute the order.
The head of the press service of the IDF, Brigadier General Moti Almoz wrote in his account on the social network Facebook that «nobody wants to hurt the feelings of religious soldiers who can turn to your superiors and get the appropriate permissions». According to Almosa, «at the same time, we cannot speak of a disciplined army, when everyone grows a beard».
On February 29, some media published information according to which adopted the decision to postpone the entry into force of the Ordinance for three months. From the press service of the IDF edition NEWSru.co.il said that this is not true. According to information obtained from military sources, it could be only a postponement for a few days but not for three months.
The head of the legislative Committee of Knesset Nissan Slomiansky («Bayt Yehudi») demanded urgent convening of the special meeting of the Knesset foreign Affairs and defense. In turn, the former head of the personnel Department of the General staff, now a Knesset member from the party «Yesh Atid» Elazar stern told the rabbis «to provide the army the one to decide that that’s the right thing for the IDF, and for Judaism».