IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Moti Almoz has commented on the issue of soldiers with beards, following updated instructions on how soldiers can receive exemptions from shaving.
According to the new orders, a soldier must ask for permission from the military rabbinate, the unit commander, and the adjutant officer of the command.
"There is no desire to hurt any soldier's feelings," General Almoz wrote on his Facebook page. "A religious soldier who wants to grow a beard should approach his commanders, as should a soldier who wants to grow a beard for other reasons."
He added that thousands of soldiers have already done so and received permission. "On the other hand, it is impossible to have a meaningful army when everyone is growing a beard, so we made clear rules.
"Every soldier who wants to grow a beard for religious or personal reasons (and not to avoid shaving for morning inspections) should talk to his commanders. They will listen, we will listen," he promised.