Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz of the Israel Defense Forces rejected, Friday, the claim that halakha (Jewish law) was bending before the army on the matter of women's singing, which has resulted in controversy because of the disciplining of religious male soldiers who have left official events in which female soldiers and other women sing. Interviewed by the Makor Rishon newspaper, Rabbi Peretz said rabbinical research into the question began long before such an incident.
He stressed that, "the decision does not mean that a soldier may enter such an official event because one can cut corners in Halacha. It tells him: Enter because we are extra-observant in matters of the country, the army, rebirth [of the Jewish nation] and the beginning of our redemption. All these elements have halakhic significance. I also tell hareidim that I'm more Haredi than they are, in that I strictly maintain all the laws, and other laws on which they are not strict." The rabbi said that Chief of Staff Benny Gantz was considering the matter seriously, ahead of a final decision. He added that most rabbis he has talked to agree with him.