Abramov's commander, 29-year-old Supt. Meirav Amar, dismisses the concerns of the rabbis. Six years ago, Amar, then serving in the army, jumped at the chance to join the border patrol when it first opened its combat units to women. She described Abramov, who was discharged from the hospital Thursday, as among her best troopers and said the two often patrolled the border alone together at night. During an interview at Abramov's hospital bedside, Amar insisted that it is important for women to serve with men.
"We can be considerate of the religious," Amar said, "but they have no right to put women back in the Dark Ages.
"This is a militaristic country, and girls have always been on the sidelines because they were not fighters, they were only helpers," she said. "Now when I go to the grocery store in my uniform, carrying my gun, people treat me with respect."
Hani Abramov's father, Hannukah, said he supports his daughter's decision to return to her unit as soon as she is able. The rabbis, he said, are wrong to think of women as a distraction for male soldiers.
"The idea of one for all and all for one that is the ethos of this society shouldn't apply only to men," he said. "I think that if women are serving with the men, it will only motivate the men to try harder."