Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Ellul 5761 - August 29, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Civil Rights Group Petitions Court For Charedi Soldier's Kosher Lemehadrin Food
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a petition to the High Court on behalf of a charedi soldier ordering the IDF to supply him with kosher food and to refund him for money he had spent on food.

The petition also asks the Court to issue a temporary injunction forcing the IDF to uphold an agreement with the soldier, a combat paramedic in an operational unit in the south, over the supply of kosher food.

Since his conscription two-and-a-half years ago, the soldier has purchased all his meals, because the IDF refused to provide him with kosher lemehadrin food, such as that with a Badatz or Hatam Sofer label.

The association's legal advisor, attorney Dan Yakir, said that denying a soldier food is an affront to his human dignity and a transgression of his religious freedoms.

During basic training, the soldier ate only bread and vegetables. Once he was moved to Air Force headquarters in Tel Aviv, the petition claims, he still did not receive food with an adequate kashruth certificate.

The soldier said he filed a request to receive expenses, but the Air Force Rabbinate's official in charge of kashruth refused to exempt him from eating at an IDF dining room.

In April 2000, the soldier filed a complaint with the army ombudsman, who rejected the claim, saying it is impossible to meet the demands of each soldier.

Two months later, the soldier turned to ACRI, which appealed the chief military advocacy. Subsequently, the head officer of the IDF food center, along with army rabbinate officers, agreed to send the soldier a weekly food package with a Badatz kashruth certificate and to refund his previous food expenses.

The army, however, stopped delivery after one week and only partially refunded his expenses.

The soldier claims, in the petition, that during the past shmitta year, he has suffered from malnutrition because he cannot eat most of the fruits and vegetables supplied by the IDF.

He said he has been forced to eat sandwiches brought from home after weekend breaks that usually last for a day or two. He also claims that on one occasion when he was on the base for Sabbath duty, he had to fast, surviving only on ice cubes left in a jug of juice.

He said that since he often serves in the field, away from his base, food expenses would not benefit him.

The soldier's commanding officer has also filed a complaint to the army ombudsman, demanding the soldier receive necessary supplies.

"Especially at this time, when the question of conscription of yeshiva students is getting public exposure, it is important to solve the problems of this unique sector of society, which is the vanguard and ambassador of the orthodox community," wrote the officer.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.