Daily Israel Report

Chabad Kippah at the Center of Military Hearing

Soldier disciplined for refusing to switch Chabad yalmulka with another.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/12/2013, 2:15 AM

Man wearing Chabad yalmulka (illustrative)
Man wearing Chabad yalmulka (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A soldier affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement is facing discipline for insisting on wearing a yalmulka bearing a phrase associated with Chabad.

The soldier says he has been wearing the same type of yalmulka, with the same phrase, since enlisting. Recently he was asked to change it due to an IDF rule prohibiting writing on clothing.

The soldier told his commanders that the phrase has religious meaning to him, and that he does not plan to switch to a word-free yalmulka.

A source close to the soldier told Arutz Sheva that several other soldiers received similar requests, but that this is the first case which has gone all the way to a military hearing.

A military source told Arutz Sheva that while yalmulkas with writing on them are technically prohibited by IDF regulations, commanders have generally refrained from enforcing the regulation when it comes to soldiers serving with the Netzach Yehuda brigade, which is geared toward hareidi-religious soldiers.

Eliyahu Lax, Chairman of the Organization for the Religious Soldier, said, “This whole story is about a company sergeant-major who went too far in strict adherence to the letter of the regulations, without using his own judgment.”

The question of hareidi-religious integration in the IDF has taken on new meaning in recent months as the government works to draft a new law relating to hareidi enlistment.

Earlier this year the IDF created written agreements on the accommodation of hareidi-religious observance.