Jewish Scene
US Army lets rabbi keep beard
Itamar Eichner
Published: 05.12.11, 08:30
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1. what about his wife ?
haim ,   TA   (12.05.11)
2. Guess the US Army is catching up with the US Navy.
Rivkah   (12.05.11)
My husband retired from the US Navy nearly 20 years ago and he had a mustache and beard on active duty in the US Navy before that. It was short and trim. The US Army always has been more restrictive in its members having beards. I remember on US Army Reserve member who was allowed to have a beard for medical reasons but most are not allowed to. In hand to hand combat, the enemy grabbing a beard is a hazard for the person who has one. But there is less hand to hand combat in this day and age. Many of the Patriarchs had beards as well as the Prophets and Rabbi Yehoshua, so the Rabbis and Preachers and Priests should likewise consider having beards to be like those whose messages from HaShem they teach.
3. Something missing in this reportage
Gideon Reader   (12.05.11)
The U.S.Military has for a considerable time allowed it's Chaplincy Service Officers to keep their beards. Sikh, Muslim and Jewish clergy have applied for and been granted exemption to the no facial hair military policies. The ONLY restriction is that beards be trimmed and neat. No "haystack McGoon" type winl and unruly allowed. I think that this case at hand may be one of and Tav wanting not to neaten up and be one of those with a smoulderiing ciggie looking like a forrest fire about to explode into flames. Let's have some background and details please before this matter gets any sillier.
4. To: #1 hiam, TA
Gideon Reader   (12.05.11)
She can keep her beard as well.
5. Beards in the IDF
solomon ,   bklyn   (12.05.11)
It is my understanding that the IDF allows soldiers to keep their beards BUT they must be clean shaven in time of war; a gas mask cannot fit with a good enough seal if you have a beard.
6. US Army allows Rabbi to keep beard.
JJ ,   Pittsburgh, PA   (12.05.11)
While I strongly support the Rabbi and it is true that Sikh's and Muslims can keep their beards on religious grounds, something is missing from the article and comments. Facial hair, from stubble to full beards makes it almost impossible to get a good seal on a chemical protective mask. That is one strong motivating factor for not having a beard while serving in a gound forces unit.
7. To Rivkah, et al
US Navy Chaplain ,   Toronto   (12.05.11)
Rivkah - The policy on beards changed about when your husband retired. They are not allowed in the US Navy. As concerns the other services, Army and AF in general do not allow beards. The exception here is an exception. It should not be interpreted as a change in policy.
8. The US discriminates
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (12.05.11)
The United States has a two tier system of citizenship. I was in the US Army when Col Seymour Moskowitz sued the US Army for discrimination. He was the senior chaplain of the Army yet was not allowed to become the Chaplain of the Army because only Catholics and Protestants are allowed in that office. US courts said the military was allowed to discriminate for any reason except race.
9. To:#6 JJ
Gideon Reader   (12.05.11)
Gas mask seal is NOT the element here. Technology has passed THAt point by with different, more modern equipment. Nor will the Rav be required to engaged in hand to hand combat making his beard not available to be gripped as would one serving at Thermoplae. Navy/Marine/Air Force do not have a Chaplain with beards problem. There is something still missing here. The circumstsnces may be as simple as a request for permission(as does approval for marrige) of meeting with superiors and filling them in so that they are not surprised by upper echelom inquiries. I had a Chaplain (Air Force) at a bast I was at in the early '60's. This Chap-dude probable ran afoul a base reg and ignored it. Even so, I am sure it is solved by now. OK. On to the pierced genitals restrictions.(OUCH)
10. Beards
JLV ,   LA, USA   (12.05.11)
All, I wore a beard in the IDF in the late 90's. We carried - no joke - emergency shave kits so if a chemical attack came, we pulled out scissors and a razor and shaved in 3 seconds flat. The guys I fought in Lebanon in '98 also wore beards. They were not concerned about a chemical attack. Currently I work in the United States. Only in the last 2 - 3 years has the organization I work for relaxed its attitudes about beards and in what I do now there is little expectation of a chemical attack. I have to call it lingering prejudice based on WASPish expectations of what constitutes "proper" appearance. As America continues to diversify and the WASP majority shrinks, I expect these attitudes to disappear.
11. #1 Haim TA Great Question by a cretin
BEN JABO ,   ISRAEL   (12.06.11)
I didn't know that Rabbi's wives were supposed to have beards Most normal women don't I guess you date the abnormal, like yourself
12. #9 gideon
solomon ,   bklyn   (12.06.11)
Gas mask seals may not be the issue here in the US, but keep in mind they are the issue in Israel. Gas masks vary from one nation to another. Beards interfere with how the Israeli gas mask fits. Long un-trimmed mustaches may also interfere. www dot survival dash homestead dot com slash israeli dash gas dash masks
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