There is a possibility to get an exemption from serving in the IDF on religious grounds. One can start the process of getting a Ptur (exemption – פטור) before or after receiving their Tzav Rishon (first notice – צו ראשון).
In order to get a Ptur (exemption) from the army for religious reasons, you must:
- Go to the Rabbanut. For a listing of Rabbanut offices throughout the country, click here. Bring 2 passport pictures. There is a 45 NIS processing fee (the Rabbanut does not accept cash, only Israeli credit/debit cards). While the Rabbanut offices open at 8:30am, you may not be seen until after 9.
- State to the Rabbanut that you don’t want to go to the army for religious reasons. Some girls are asked to meet with a Rabbi who might pose questions to see “if they are religious”; others are able to obtain the Hatzharah (declaration) without further questioning.
- Once you have the Hatzharah you have to take it to the Lishkat Hagiyus and hand it in. Handing in the Hatzharah only takes a few minutes, but receiving the Ptur from the Army can take around two months.
- When you receive your Ptur in the mail, make sure you hold on to it since without it you will not be able to do Sherut Leumi. (If you lose it you can call up Lishkat Hagiyus and they will send you another one.)
Please be aware that the army has gotten stricter about accepting religious girls’ Ptur from the Rabbanut. The army has the right to question whether somebody is living a religious lifestyle or not and they have the final decision of whether or not to draft someone into the IDF. The army can invite anyone for an interview and has the legal right not to accept the letter from the Rabbanut.
If you haven’t received your Ptur before the date of your Tzav Rishon, you must go to Lishkat Hagiyus on the assigned day. You must follow the instructions of the army until you receive your Ptur.
You must obtain your Ptur at least 90 days before your Giyus date. If you do not receive your Ptur in time, the army may decide to enlist you.
For more information on Sherut Leumi, please contact our Sherut Leumi advisor, Racheli Davidson, at firstname.lastname@example.org