Women have long served in the Israel Defense Forces, notwithstanding strong opposition by the Chief Rabbinate. In the twenty-first century, approximately 25 percent of female graduates of Israel's religious high school system enlist, despite social disapproval. Israel's Orthodox community has largely ignored the issue in the past. Recently, however, rabbis and public figures within the religious community have acknowledged the reality of women's conscription and have shown some willingness to address it. Although religious female soldiers are still atypical, they are no longer viewed as the anathema they once were. This article presents a possible model for this legitimation as a social process. It then describes the relationship between religious women, military service, and conscription in Israel, concluding with a suggestion about broader contexts within which this change can be viewed.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018, Association for Israel Studies.
- Israel Defense Forces
- Religious Zionism
- Religious female soldiers
- Social legitimation
- Women in the military