This topic deserves a much bigger post, but we’ll just start out with this.
Ever since it became an issue decades ago, every big talmid chacham I’ve heard give his opinion on this has stated that it’s forbidden across the board, no exceptions. Ever.
This post isn’t even going to go into the whole reason why the Gedolim so strongly oppose giyus banot, but will briefly describe the historical key to Jewish military success and then address one angle of the whole shebang because it's an angle craftily used by the propaganda machine.
The Age-Old Secret to Jewish Military Victory (and it's not even such a secret!)
And that’s just one example.
And despite propaganda to the contrary, women CANNOT carry out combat duties nearly as well as men.
So practical reasons for female enlistment are almost nil.
Interestingly, the Gedolim haven’t made exceptions for females who could perform certain military tasks better than males. That’s not the issue.
A Jewish army has always depended on the spiritual quality of its soldiers and the spiritual quality of its motivation for its success.
WHO is going out to war and WHY?
You can read this in Tanach.
Yes, Jewish warriors have always displayed superior battle skills, whether in actual battle or in strategy.
But historically, the key to their success (or lack of) in battle rested in their hearts.
Again, you can see this pattern throughout Jewish history.
But certain powers-that-be are ignoring the historical facts and making giyus banot a pivotal issue.
So let’s take a look at one aspect of modern military service that gets pumped in the media because females do tend to perform better than males in this area.
Boys Can Do Surveillance Too
Does this mean that men cannot do it at all?
It just means that you’ll find more women suited to this work than men.
Does this mean that you need to draft women into the IDF for this work?
In a Nachal Charedi unit in the South (I think it’s Givati), they use males to perform this task because they can’t have females on this base due to the Nachal Charedi restrictions. And these males seem to be performing just fine.
Furthermore, my son said that when he worked on a base that specialized in surveillance, there were always a couple of guys among the girls. This wasn’t to meet some quota (“We need at least 2 males per X-number females each shift!”); this was because these guys happened to be equally good at surveillance.
So they are out there, but yeah, you might need to sift more through the male population to find them.
Furthermore, in both recent and wayback history, wars and military efforts have been carried out just fine without any kind of female participation. Defeats & losses have been due to lack of morals or lack of brains or lack of equipment, not lack of females.
But due to their hidden (or actually not-so-hidden) agenda, the media & the upper echelons of the IDF like to magnify the female contribution in IDF surveillance.
Watch for this in headlines, the slant of certain articles, and the promotional photos accompanying such articles. You'll see it.
Big Feminist Accomplishment: Girls are So Much Better at Boring, Passive Activity!
(For a post detailing the miracle without promoting female military service, please see HERE.)
The screen-watcher than alerted the (male) security forces to deal with the issue of the terrorists and the newly revealed underground tunnel.
Now, I think many of us saw the actual footage of the event.
Does it take any superior skill or courage to spot a GROUP of dark figures scuttling over a bare, empty, pale patch of terrain?
Does it take any superior skill or courage to alert your superiors to this activity?
Is a male incapable of carrying out this exact same task?
In that scenario, the real heroes were shmurah matzah, Shemitah, and their adherents.
The mass harvesting of grain to produce shmurah matzot for 2 years (including a Shemitah year) was why there was all that pale, empty, bare terrain (instead of the expected cover of tall wheat) that made it so easy to spot a group of darkly clad terrorists.
But the IDF high mucky-mucks inserted a whole thing about how a girl spotted the activity and how girls are better at this work ("boys don't have the same powers of concentration") than guys.
Yes, females tend to be better at boring, passive, visual activity ("powers of concentration") than males.
Why is THAT such a massive sign of progress for women and their society?
The REAL Heroines of Am Yisrael
That’s a big part of what makes women better mothers, better nursers of babies, and better nurturers of young children.
It's what enables us to watch our children play at a park and prevent accidents or spot unsavory people who shouldn't be there.
Attention mommies & babysitters: If you are supervising your children at the park while sitting on the bench and staring at them, YOU ARE A HERO (in Hashem's Eyes, which are the only Eyes that matter).
It's what allows you to listen to certain family members or people in your neighborhood who tend to drone on, giving them that listening ear they need. It's a big chessed.
But davka using our innate nature for military surveillance, THAT'S the only time it's considered oh-so laudatory & deserving of media publication?
Just As You Can't Defy Physical Physics Without Going "Splat" (like deciding to ignore gravity and walk off a cliff), You Can't Defy Spiritual Physics & Expect To Get Away With It
And tafkid is a GOOD thing. It's an ELEVATING thing. It's a tool!
Just like even the most musically talented and trained Yisrael cannot perform the Levite service in the Beit Hamikdash, women and men are prohibited from crossing certain gender-defined boundaries.
A man receives no merit for wearing a long, wide skirt and 70-dinar stockings. Au contraire, he earns the aveirah of beged ishah.
On the other hand, a woman who wears such clothing earns tremendous blessing and both spiritual and physical protection, not just upon herself, but upon her family and the entire Am.
Likewise, a woman is the designated candle-lighter meant to usher in Shabbat.
Have you ever heard of a husband who said, “You know what, Genendel? My eye-hand coordination is superior to yours—I can light the Shabbas candles so much better than you. Furthermore, I can say the blessing with the kavanos of the Rashash! So step aside, sweetie, and allow me to perform licht-bentschen from now on!”?
Case in point: There have been many holy mekubalim throughout the ages, yet their wives always carried out the Shabbat candle-lighting (even though the mekubalim possessed the ability to make a bracha with mind-blowing kavanot).
Because according to God's spiritual physics, you davka NEED the FEMALE candle-lighter to perform this mitzvah (and this tikkun) properly.
Men can and should do this when there is no female to do so, but a husband or son cannot perform this mitzvah instead of his perfectly capable wife or mother.
Even going back to the Nevi’im—did any of them ever light Shabbat candles in place of their non-prophesying wife?
And flipping over to the other side of the coin, did female Prophetesses lay tefillin on behalf of their non-Prophet husband? (Meaning, he didn't need to lay tefillin that day because she did it for him? Why not? A Prophetess is so much more qualified than her non-Navi husband! But Hashem's spiritual physics don't allow for such cross-overs.)
Some things just can’t cross over.
Well, not without unwanted consequences, anyway.