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Media Reports on Army’s Ban on Beards

Two local TV stations interviewed Rabbi Menachem Stern over the army not accepting him as a chaplain over his beard.

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#1 Comment By Patriot says On August 22, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

I wish you said over and over…. this country has done so much for the jewish people, for my family…. I want to serve my country…. that would have been a hit! NEWS LOVE THOSE WORDS … cause it makes the army look bad. Shame that wasn’t part of your story. (Yes, I assume u didn’t say that)

#2 Comment By Chana On August 22, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

bs’d I understand his argument, however, we are living in times where everyone is making a stink over their “basic civil rights” and as Yidden, who stand apart, we also need to stop causing a stink over every little detail that doesn’t go our way. The army cannot accomodate facial hair for every safety reason, and if they allow it for us, they must allow it for every other denomination, and before you know it, the wrong people are taking over. It’s happening all over the world, especially America. I know Chassidim in the Army who cut their beard in a special way to serve as Chaplain. I’m not saying to trim your beard, that’s entirely your choice, but the mesiras nefesh we sometimes have to endure to bring others to teshuva outweighs our personal needs. Just something to think about. And please don’t take an offense to what I started out saying… we are now under the microscope, especially since Rubashkin’s disproportionate exposure and Chassidim getting arrested by FBI for money laundering, we just need to stay low key for a while, it’s stiring a lot of anti semitism out there.

#3 Comment By cma On August 22, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

I think the interviewee was a little harsh. Perhaps he would have been more effective if he slowed down and thought before he spoke… He kept tripping on his words, and, what the heck is he talking about 13 parts of a beard? Don’t say something you can’t explain.

I’d love to see Chabad rabbis be chaplains! Keep trying! But when you speak to the media, don’t “accuse” the army; you are treading on VERY thin ice…

Kol Hakavod to you!

#4 Comment By Huge kiddush lubavitch On August 22, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

Go mendy! Big kiddush lubavitch

#5 Comment By anonymous On August 22, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

to chana: bringing others to teshuva does not mean compromising on our torah standards. it takes mesirus nefesh to KEEP a beard, not to shave it, chas v’shalom.

to rabbi stern: rejection is G-d’s protection! maybe for whatever reason G-d doesn’t want you in the u.s. army. but don’t worry, you’re still in tzivos Hashem!! you are doing the right thing. and that can only bring more and more brocho to you. hatzlocho!!!

#6 Comment By guy from g-d On August 22, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

The crux of the reason g-d commanded the children of israel to refrain from touching the four corners of your face with a blade isn;’t part of the curriculm at most yeshiva’s
yet it is to protect g-d’s chosen
as I believe the four wisdom teeth of the thirty two teeth an adult is blessed with
and tzizit have thirty two strings to facilitate the shefa/flow of word from g-d

#7 Comment By guy from g-d On August 22, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

who wants advice that a humble person will acknowledge the greatness of the USA and reconsider the costs and rewards with…………..
yes the choice is yours and you owe it to yourself to go from a classifcation of stubborn, obstinate and stiff- necked as the nation of Israel is sometimes called to someone that is willing to play ball when it is a win-win situation until strong enough to call the shots
Laws are what so much of countries and religions are, a person shouldn’t cost themself a future as a Rabbi to be a King or Prophet
A good Rabbi will make a good decision
A beard shouldn’t cost a family livlihood
Forgive me if it isn’t my business yet I know the difference

#8 Comment By 770! On August 23, 2010 @ 8:39 am

This was at 11.00 and it was 77 degrees. 770 backwards

#9 Comment By Rivka On August 23, 2010 @ 11:08 am

I have seen other religions accomadated while I was a military wife for 29 years. Don’t give up. The Armed Services are CRITICALLY short of Rabbi’s…especially Orthodox Rabbi’s…if you can’t get in, pick a base and set up a Chabbad House near it. Contact Chabbad in HI if you want to know how much of an impact you’ll have. They were our ONLY source of Jewish education for our children while we were stationed there. I would have been so lost without them. I wish all the bases, especially the ones overseas, had a Chabad house right outside the gates!

#10 Comment By Hatzlacha raba On August 23, 2010 @ 1:34 am

Don’t be so quick to criticize people who are interviewed by the media. They can say 10 brilliant things and one thing that is not clear and the media will publish/air the one unclear thing; or they will air half of n intellient thought that makes it sound less intelligent.

This guy deserves nothing but praise for standing up for what we believe, and is smart for bringing media attention to it.

May he and his family be matzliach, wherever they may find their shlichus!

#11 Comment By Milhouse On August 23, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

#3, Chana, there is no compromising on a beard. If the price of a beard is that you can’t serve, then you can’t serve.

#12 Comment By Milhouse On August 23, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

I don’t understand why he applied in the first place, since he surely knew the rule. It’s not as if this is some sort of secret, or a new rule that nobody’s heard of. If he’s upset that he went through his physical clearance and security clearance and then couldn’t go any further, he has only himself to blame. Who asked him to do those things, when he knew very well that he had no intention of ever complying with the rule on beards. He can’t claim that he really thought they’d make an exception for him; he knows that they don’t, and they’ve turned down many others before him.

If he wants the rule changed, then he should campaign for that to happen, but not pretend that he’s some kind of victim.

#13 Comment By Going to the media, BIG mistake! On August 24, 2010 @ 1:28 am

Going to the media, BIG mistake!
The gay lobby is very powerful. The general public is far more sympathetic to their “cause” than it is to orthodox beards. They had support from the president and many powerful politicians, however, the military policy toward them hasn’t changed.
The beard issue is being worked on by shluchim and others who have a grasp of military politics and policy. I don’t see the wisdom in going to the media. It hurts the cause!
Before runing to the media for sympathy or to report anti-Semitism, ask someone wiser than you! That’s the Jewish way of approaching a problem.