Female soldiers
Female soldiersiStock

Some 130 young women currently studying in religious seminaries around Israel have been enlisted early by the IDF to assist the Homefront Command in the ongoing effort against the corona virus. Among the group, 60 are from Ohr Torah Stone's Midreshet Lindenbaum, which has branches in Jerusalem, Carmiel and Lod.

As the students are already technically enlisted the IDF framework, they were easily included within army activities without need for any special permissions. The students will be part of the Homefront Command force for the next three weeks, at which time the authorities will review whether there is a continued need for their service – based on the continued development of the healthcare crisis. After that assessment, the students will either continue in the IDF framework or return to their classes until their regularly scheduled enlistment dates in the summer.

“Corona has created a situation where the army is directly involved with areas of activity that aren’t typical for the military,” explains a student in the “Hadas” Torah-Army Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum. The student, who is scheduled to enlist in the Intelligence Corps in August after a year of Torah study in the seminary said, “Together with a group of friends, we have pushed up our enlistment to help the IDF, our country and our people in this time of uncertainty. On the eve of Yom Haatzmaut, it’s a real honor to be able to celebrate our nation’s independence in this way, where I am already directly contributing to the needs of our country and its citizens.”

Rabbi Ohad Teharlev, Director of Midreshet Lindenbaum's Israeli programs says, “We always welcome the chance to help our nation and its citizens. Early on in the outbreak we were already in touch with the relevant arms of government to recommend our services and we are happy that we can volunteer for these types of missions in ways that we have been blessed to do in the past, and we will continue to do in the future.”

Rabbi Teharlev continues, “In Operation Protective Edge our students were enlisted to work with the elderly population in the South and we see this role of assisting and strengthening Israel’s citizens as part of our national mission. Those students who haven’t been recruited into IDF operations are continuing with their Torah studies via Zoom.”

Rabbi Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone saluted the initiative saying, “The activities of these students - like those of all Ohr Torah Stone students - is motivated by a vision and commitment to use Torah study and values to embrace acts of social activism and chessed in ways that directly better our world – Tikkun Olam. We are deeply proud of these young women for their service and are grateful for our partnership with the IDF and their unwavering commitment to protecting our nation, both in the face of our enemies and all across the Homefront.”