Israel's Chief Rabbi compares immodest women to animals

Israel's Chief Rabbi compares immodest women to animals
Itzhak Yosef made a sermon on Saturday, defending the Orthodox Jewish community's respect for women, but ended up making offensive comments about women who choose not to dress conservatively.
2 min read
29 May, 2017
Itzhak Yosef also doesn't believe women should serve in the army [Facebook]

The Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel inspired outrage on social media after saying on Saturday that secular women who choose not to dress conservatively were comparable to "animals".

Itzhak Yosef also said that serving Israeli soldiers who attended events with female singers should remove their glasses and "conspicuously" turn to religious books in order not to participate.

"A woman is not an animal, she has to keep her dignity. To be modest [in her dress] is her dignity," said Yosef.

Yosef's comparison of secular women to animals came during a defence of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community's respect for women, reported on by the orthodox website Kikar HaShabbat.

"If secular people knew how much we respected women, and all that we do [is] to preserve women's dignity."

Yosef's comments on how orthodox Israeli soldiers should behave at musical events comes after a number of Israeli army cadets were expelled for walking out of a musical event where female soldiers also sang in 2011.

The cadets informed officers they would disobey all orders to attend any future similar events.

Some orthodox Jewish traditions ban men from listening to female singers and the compulsory attendance of soldiers from both genders to these musical events has been a source of controversy.

"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," said Yosef.

In December, Yosef said that this issue could be solved by not allowing women to join the Israeli army in the first place as it was "not the way of the Torah".

"All the great sages through the generations, including all Israel's chief rabbis, believe that it is forbidden for girls to go into the army."