Monday, February 18, 2013

Good News For ultra-Orthodox Soldiers

If the State of Israel wants ultra-Orthodox Jews in the army, this is what needs to be done:
For years, the treatment of hareidi-religious soldiers in the Israeli army has been based on oral agreements and yet-to-be-signed orders, orders which were subject to abuse in certain divisions. But on Sunday, IDF officials finally signed a written order outlining in full the mandatory procedures for accommodating hareidi-religious soldiers.

Special conditions have been extended to soldiers from religious units such as Nahal and Shachar, in which high standards of kashrut are maintained, Shabbat is strictly observed and there is complete separation between male and female soldiers.

However, these conditions were based on oral agreements, which meant that soldiers had nowhere to turn to when they felt these conditions were not being met. Soldiers voiced frustration that because the agreements were not binding, some commanders refused to follow them as promised.

Eliyahu Lax, Chairman of the Organization for the Religious Soldier, has made repeated calls for official guidelines and has claimed that public promises to make army service more religious-friendly do not always materialize and that the lack of a written standard regarding the treatment of hareidi-religious soldiers in the army makes the situation even more complicated.

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