Rabbi Mordechai Blau, head of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Guardians of Sanctity and Education group, implored parents to prevent their children from dressing up like IDF soldiers, Israel Hayom reported on Wednesday.
“We are at a time of evil decrees, and dressing up as a soldier in this period does not increase happiness, rather it increases sadness,” Blau said. “There are children for whom soldiers are likely to take on a frightening meaning, like taking their older brother away [to the army.]"
The rabbi suggested that boys dress up in U.S. army costumes instead.
Israel Defense Forces costumes are popular among young Orthodox boys at Purim time.
Last week, ultra-Orthodox demonstrators throughout Israel protested against millions of dollars in cuts to yeshiva funding ordered by the Finance Minister Yair Lapid in response to a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court over the haredi Orthodox yeshiva students’ draft deferrals.
A government committee headed by lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the Habayit Hayehudi Party is working to finish revising a universal draft law that already has passed its first reading in the Knesset. The final bill is expected to be brought for its second and third reading in mid-March.
The leaders of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta have in previous years urged their followers not to dress up as soldiers, policemen or rescue workers on Purim.