Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Pentagon Pandering: Soldiers may choose Halal or Halal, but not Kosher

ו' לחודש השנים עשר תשע"ד

Jewish Daily Forward: Orthodox Demand Kosher Army Meals
JTA, February 4, 2014

Agudath Israel of America asked the Pentagon to restore kosher field meals.

The Orthodox umbrella group on Monday said that the Defense Logistics Agency had solicited a bid in April for kosher and halal “meals ready to eat,” but had recast the solicitation last month to include only halal, which adhere to Muslim religious precepts.

Rabbi Abba Cohen
“As things stand now, no kosher MREs are being produced and, as previous stock has become depleted, there is essentially nothing currently available for Jewish members of the Armed Forces that meet their religious dietary needs,” Abba Cohen, Agudah’s Washington director, said in a release. “How long this state of affairs will continue is unknown.”

Cohen said he wrote Maj. Gen. Donald Rutherford, the top military chaplain, expressing his “deep concern” but also confidence “that the department will find a way to address the dietary needs of Jewish service personnel” given that the Pentagon is showing “greater interest in broadening religious accommodation” in the military.

The Pentagon announced last month that U.S. troops may accommodate religious beliefs in their garb or grooming, including kippahs and beards for Jewish servicemen, as long as it does not frustrate their mission.

Cohen told JTA that Rutherford and his staff already are looking into the matter and contacting the relevant agencies.

The U.S. military introduced kosher MREs in 1999, a result of complaints from Jewish troops during the 1991 Gulf War that such meals were not available.

(Tip: Comfortably Frum)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):

Nobody should really be surprised by this marginalization of Jews and pandering to Muslims. I guess throws Jewish-control conspiracy theories out the window, huh?

Of course, Comfortably Frum aptly states,...

"I cannot understand why a Religious Jew would want to serve in a foreign army (by choice, no less)."

Woody Allen
Brilliant, but nebachy
My only answer to this is these Jews are probably looking for acceptance from their neighbors, wanting to feel part of something, and have not found that sense in their own Jewish communities.

These Jews have also apparently, not yet discovered the various Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] programs, allowing them to bring out their internal Jewish warrior, yet to be acknowledged by their rabbis and/or Jewish community elders. That goes doubly so for those Jews having only had negative experiences, if any experience at all, with a Jewish community.

Rabbi Meir Kahane
IDF programs include MARVA, volunteer enlistment, and, of course my favorite, making aliyah (immigrating to Israel). No one is suggesting that leaving ones family, and immigrating to Israel to become a "lone soldier" is easy. Yet, many have done it, including Comfortably Frum, Daniel from Heart Of Adam, Eitan from A Jewish Israel, and countless others.

Rabbi Meir Kahane hy"d, among several other rabbis, reminded us that Jews have traditionally been scholar warriors. We have only reverted back into our nebachy shells (alla Woody Allen-types), thinking this was our best strategy for survival in galuth (exile), for the past 2,000 or so years.

Of course, there have been a handful of Jewish soldiers of foreign armies, who have brought the skills which they have learned through their military experiences here to Israel, for Israel's benefit.

David Stern, Martial Arts Instructor and former U. S. Marine
(Photo: Itamar Development Foundation)

Nonetheless, other than the occasional, misdirected game of basketball or gym workouts, we Jews are still need to break out of our behind the scenes, paper pushing, whiny and neurotic, nebachy cocoons.

Still think that not having kosher rations available in the U. S. military,  side by side with their halal counterparts is not fair?

Well, you are right; it isn't fair. But, remember, one of the reasons behind kashruth is that it is suppose to separate out from from all others. So, perhaps, there are not supposed to be kosher rations in the U. S. military, because there aren't supposed to be any Jews in the U. S. Military.

And perhaps, just perhaps, this recent occurrence within the U. S. military was supposed to remind us of that.

And, maybe, just maybe, now that Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel), a Jew's only true Homeland, has been re-opened up as a place where Jews may reside, then Eretz Yisra'el is where we Jews are supposed to be, and supposed to eat our separate, kosher meals.

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