Israeli soldiers should remove their glasses to blur the view and bury their faces in a holy book when compelled to listen to female singer, according to the country’s Sephardi chief rabbi. He went on to compare immodestly-dressed women to “animals.”
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef gave the guidance while delivering a sermon on Saturday night, according to Hebrew website Kikar HaShabbat.
Yosef, like many Orthodox Jewish men, believes that listening to the voice of a woman singing is a violation of religious law. In fact, the mandatory attendance of Orthodox soldiers at ceremonies where women perform has been a source of controversy in recent years.
“I was at an event where a woman was singing, and what did I do? I took a little book in my hand and removed my glasses. I put the book in front of my face, conspicuously, so others around me, the prime minister and the president, could all see that I wasn’t listening, that my head was in a book held close to my eyes,” Yosef said.
He went on to explain that Orthodox male soldiers should do the same, if they’re ever given the “strange order” of hearing a female singer.
“That’s what the soldiers should do. If the soldiers are somewhere that they are ordered to hear a woman’s voice — and what kind of strange order is that anyway?” he asked.
Yosef then proceeded to state that soldiers should behave in the same way he previously described.
“Take off their glasses, put a book in front of their eyes, and show conspicuously that we’re not listening, that our mind is on Torah,” he said.
The issue of females performing at military ceremonies has long been a hot topic among the Orthodox community.