Why is it that when Jewish boys go to the army we don’t say they have the din of yehareg ve’al ya’avor, that it’s better they should give up their lives, but for girls we say that they should let themselves be killed rather than go into the army?
And the answer is simple. A boy, of course, should be in the yeshivah so he shouldn’t be drafted; but if a boy is drafted into the army although he’s going to find plenty of temptation in the army but it’s nowhere near the temptation that a girl has. A girl is going to be beset by temptations on all sides. She is the object of temptation. And it’s almost – I won’t say it’s impossible but it’s almost impossible for a girl to remain decent in the army.
That’s why we’re so incensed at the Medinas Yisrael. The newspapers this week had a whole page talking about this subject, about the benefits of drafting women into the American army. So the top of the page was talking about women in the American Army and the second half of the page was talking about women in the Israeli Army. And the second half was being presented as the model and the justification for the first.
Somebody told me that this week he called up the office of one of his politicians in Washington to complain about drafting women into the American army and the answer was, they said “Don’t the Israelis have girls in the army?”
And that’s the illustration of the passuk מרשעים יצא רשע – From the evil comes forth wickedness (Shmuel I 24:14). We are suffering from Medinas Yisroel. This gezeirah never would have occurred if not for them, and we don’t know what’s going to happen here. Let’s hope Hakodosh Boruch Hu will have pity and listen to our prayers and nullify this gezeirah.
But for girls it’s the very worst thing. Girls should make up their minds that if chas v’shalom there will ever be a time when they’re called upon not for combat, even if they’re called upon for national registration, girls should refuse under any circumstances. There are conscientious objectors, that’s all. They won’t go into any dormitories. They’ll refuse to budge. And they can say “Kill me!” And their fathers and mothers should stand at the door and say “You’ll have to kill us before we’ll let our daughter out of the house.”
Because we know what’s going to happen; it’s as sure as anything. There’s no question what’s going to happen. And don’t let anybody bamboozle you and say that a girl can remain decent in the army.
Rav Ovadia Yosef made a statement. It was printed in The Jewish Press not long ago; I think a year ago. He said that before they permitted free abortions in Eretz Yisrael the vast number of abortions were performed on girls in the Israeli Army. Now that’s a responsible statement by a responsible man. And nobody contradicted it. A vast number of abortions are being made all the time on girls in the Israeli Army.
And so there you are. There is nothing to talk about. Nobody should even dream of permitting such a thing to take place. And even if it means giving one’s life; not only the girl should give her life, fathers and mothers should give their lives rather than to have their daughters forced into prostitution, into degradation.
TAPE # 303 (February 1980)