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Chayalot and their shoes

Batya over at me-ander has written before (I swear, that post originally had pictures) about the practicality of Israelis when it comes to shoes, and this is something I’m finding very refreshing.   (I always wore what was comfortable, especially since my ankle was broken two years ago, but at least now, I fit right in!)

And yet, every day I puzzle over chayalot travelling around the country in pretty much full army gear like their male companions… but with very cute and not-exactly-practical-for-battle model sandals.  These are about average; some are prettier and less practical, others closer to the basic army-boot model.


(typical chayelet shoes, seen on the train from the airport to Haifa)

I don’t know if they carry their battle shoes with them or (more likely, I think) if they’re doing the sorts of jobs that  can be done in pretty sandals.

Meanwhile, these are not the shoes of a chayelet:

That’s my daughter’s friend, from Canada.  I picked the two of them up at the airport today and they’re off to start seminary in Yerushalayim tomorrow.


(Atypical sem-girl shoes, seen on the same train from the airport to Haifa)

Oh, yeah, the chayalot also usually carry purses.  I guess it’s just strange to me because any time I’ve seen women in the Canadian military (rare; I have a cousin in the army but haven’t really seen her in all her gear), they are ALL done up – hair up, boots on, the whole nine yards; as indistinguishable from male soldiers as possible given their obvious physical differences.

Hmm… if women have to be in the military, I think I like the “softer” Israeli model better…


  1. Thanks for the link.
    And you should know that religious female soldiers get skirts (of varied lengths) as part of their uniforms. And you can find married religious women in the permanent army with hats and scarves.
    And of course, men can have beards in the army. This is a Jewish army, though not yet perfect. The more datiim (religious) to serve in the army, the more Jewish it will be.

  2. I have seen them - it was initially a surprise as I thought all dati girls became bnot sherut. A nice surprise! Still, nothing much out of the ordinary; in Canada, Sikhs have fought for the right to wear turbans instead of the standard-issue police / military / Mountie hats. :-)


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