ISRAEL: Exemption for the Pious

A law to aid religious women, and perhaps draft dodgers too

A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man .. .for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

—Deuteronomy 22:5

That ancient biblical injunction returned to haunt Premier Menachem Begin last week. Only a last-minute compromise between religious conviction and military necessity appears to have saved Begin's coalition government from its gravest domestic crisis in 13 months of rule. The issue: Israeli women in uniform.

The Premier's troubles began when he agreed to a request by the ultra-Orthodox Agudat Israel Party to amend Israel's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!