May 16, 2007, - 3:00 pm

Picture of the Day: Jewish U.S. Soldiers Pray in Iraq

By Debbie Schlussel

**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****

I am constantly besieged with e-mails from anti-Semites who claim that Jews don’t serve in America’s military and that none are serving in Iraq. Both statements are extremely false. And even Mark Twain wrote extensively about the service of America’s Jewish soldiers. My cousin–a career Air Force man, whose name I’m not publishing for security reasons–served for a year in Iraq and was also serving in Kuwait. (My father was a Captain in the Army during Vietnam, and my great-uncle Maurice, a high-ranking career Army officer, served in World War II and became head of Veteran’s Services for the South Pacific under the Veteran’s Administration.)

And there are plenty of other Jewish American soldiers serving in Iraq. Since the war started in 2003, I’ve been sent plenty of photos of Jewish U.S. troops lighting the menorah (candelabra) in one of Saddam’s palaces on Chanukah or celebrating Passover, conducting the traditional Seder dinner in their tents. I’ve been meaning to post them, but unfortunately, didn’t get to it. So, I’m proudly posting this one from a recent issue of Newsweek, of Jewish soldiers praying in Iraq. . . .

jewishussoldiersprayiniraq.jpg

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**** UPDATE: There are many brave soldiers, but I’d be remiss if I did not mention my friend, SPC Joe Kashnow, an Orthodox Jew and 3rd generation Army man who nearly lost his leg to an IED in Iraq. Joe’s site is Jewish Soldier. His leg was shattered.
And there is another friend, Retired Major General Sidney Shachnow, a Holocaust survivor, who only recently retired from being the very first Chief of Staff of Special Ops for the U.S. Army (he was THE top Green Beret).

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15 Responses

I took my sons to Arlington over the four of July
weekend a couple years back.
At the time I wondered if it was proper to put a stone on the top of a headstone belonging to a Jewish solder if you didn’t know them or their family. I saw lots of Jewish heros buried there.
Every American should be required to go there before they are allowed to vote. Cool Picture.
IT IS PROPER TO PUT THE STONE ON. AND A GOOD DEED.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Walt from michigan on May 16, 2007 at 3:43 pm

The photo in this post reminds me of one of my most cherished old books: a Royal Canadian Air Force Jewish Chaplain’s tsiddur (prayer book), printed and used in WWII.
Apparently the practice of placing stones may be now mainstreamed herein America. Here’s a pic of Johnny Spann at Arlington where his son Mike is buried. (Mike Spann: the CIA agent who interrogated J.W. Lindh in Afghanistan and was killed there in late 2001.):
http://tinyurl.com/27yuso

Jeremiah on May 16, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Not only is the Jewish faith strongly represented..the Army Rabbi in the picture is serving in the 82nd Airborne (not an easy unit to get, be or stay in). Hooorahhh.

DTW Sheepdog on May 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

“I am constantly besieged with e-mails from anti-Semites who claim that Jews don’t serve in America’s military and that none are serving in Iraq.”
I can not speak to now, but back during Vietnam time in the Army Field Artillery almost half of my best “buddies” were Jews.
I certainly don’t think that half those in the Army or even the Army Field Artillery then were Jewish, but there sure seemed to be a number higher than the Jewish percentage in the general population.

feralcat9 on May 16, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Here are some of the more notable Jewish-Americans who have served in our military:
Commodore Uriah Levi, Commander of the US Mediterranean Squadron and Western Riverine force during early Civil War period.
Rear Admiral Morris Hirsch, cited for bravery on USS Lexington at Coral Sea, final posting as Comptroller, Naval Air Systems Command
Major Gerneral Maurice Rose, USA, Commander 3rd Armored Division KIA leading his division in 1945. Highest ranking officer killed in the European Theater in WWII
Captain Jeffery Feinstein, USAF, Vietnam Ace.
General Mark Clark, Commander 5th Army WWII, (Jewish Mother)
Captain Sy Bartlett USAAF, Served in the 8th Air Force and finally as wing intelligence officer 319th Bomb Group. Wrote the play and screen play for ?Twelve O?clock High.
Major General Julius Ochs Adler, Commander 77th Infantry Division, WWII
Admiral Jeremy Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations
Rear Admiral Edward Ellsberg, USN.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rosenthal, USAAF, Commander 100th Bomb Group 8th AF
AND DON’T FORGET MY FRIEND, MAJOR GENERAL SIDNEY SHACHNOW, A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, WHO ONLY RECENTLY RETIRED FROM BEING THE VERY FIRST CHIEF OF STAFF OF SPECIAL OPS FOR THE U.S. ARMY (HE WAS THE VERY TOP GREEN BERET). HIS BIO IS HERE:
http://www.jewsingreen.com/home/featured/comments/sidney_shachnow/
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

jerry on May 16, 2007 at 8:54 pm

My father is a 100% disabled American Veteran, a former paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, and later a navigator in Strategic Air Command (SAC). He flew many night bombing missions during the Korean War, was shot down but was able to crash land and was rescued. He won the United States Air Medal. He later served in early stages of Vietnam. He is a proud Jew, the son of immigrents from Moldova who escaped the pogroms of the early 20th century.

Neocon Express on May 17, 2007 at 12:51 am

Good grief, Jews not in the military?
We do it to our selves. We paint with a big brush assuming way too much, assign motive w/o asking questions, and often mis-characterizing reality.
Every ethnic group has participated in every war we have ever had. Why would anyone question that? Even people of African descent participated in the War Between the States, on both sides! Americans of Japanese, Italian, and German descent fought against Japan, Italy and Germany during WWII.
I have read somewhere that a Jew signed the Constitution. It shouldn’t be a surprise and Jews serving in the military shouldn’t be either.
Note: And it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are Iraqis of the Jewish faith. You might be able to count the number of Synagogues on one hand that are in Iraq, but they are there. Tell me, how houses of worship for Jews are in Saudi Arabia?

zyzzyg on May 17, 2007 at 9:33 am

Re-typed last line –
Tell me, how many houses of worship for Jews are there in Saudi Arabia?

zyzzyg on May 17, 2007 at 9:35 am

Debbie, you left out Hyman Rickover on you Military list. He IS considered the father of the modern Nuclear Navy.

Rich B on May 17, 2007 at 10:53 am

The Jews should be serving in Iraq. After all America is at war in Iraq to protect the terrorist state called Israel. Most Americans know Israel stold land from Arabs and kill the Arabs like Hitler did the Jews. I say America should pull out of Iraq and let Israel fight its own war. We Americans are sick of you Jews and your terror you cause in the midlle east. Israel spys on America and sinks her ships. Israel should be America’s enemy.

awolcowardbush on April 23, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Jews are the enemies for humanity who are also the enemies of America I want to ask a question of which flooded the USS Liberty who drags us into wars with the Muslims and cause problems for us, where the Jewish soldiers who died in the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, of course, no laughing at us and the Jews as they claim to the killing of Muslims are also invited to the killing of Christians why Israel did not participate in the war on Iraq

roman on September 16, 2009 at 4:19 am

Israel did not participate in the Iraq war because the US DID NOT WANT them to be involved. Jews have served in their respected countries way above their proportional percentage of the population. Jews have nothing to be ashamed of as they have produced proud warriors who were heroes in many armies and certainly the Israeli Defense Forces have proved to be a formidable fighting force in the defence of Israel, and a good ally to have as a friend.

Norman on October 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I’m a medic serving in the 1st infantry division of the U.S. ARMY. I’m also the youngest in my rank, with the most certifications. I am a Jew, and openly show it. I train every day, harder than most so that I may be able to save the lives of the guys that count on me. I not only train to save soldiers, but will also risk my safety to treat an enemy casualty as well (as it is one of my main directives). I don’t discriminate who I save based on nationality, religion, or race. I will be serving a tour in Afghanistan within the year and am not the only one. So to proclaim Jews as un-involved and or a pox on humanity is clearly wrong. I’m the 1% of the 1%, and damn proud.
SPC M

ArA on February 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Some making comments are trying to throw people off by widening the Jews serving in ALL wars. But what the public needs to know is whether or not there have been MANY American Jewish soldiers that served in Iraq, and the same question with regards to Afghanistan? Because these Middle East wars are, indirectly, about the safety and protection of Irael, even though the Jews and American government are pretending that this is not the case. So how many Jewish Americans have served ON THE FRONT LINE, and died in these Middle East wars, and not about those that are officers, and not up in the heat of the battles. And I am certain that there have not been, and are not right now, many American Jews in the heat of these battles. — Rev. George Brooks

Rev. George Brooks on June 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

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