Thursday, August 04, 2005

Iraqi Shabbat

Via our Yiddishe friends at Defense Tech:
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend Friday night services with a group of Jewish G.I.s serving in Baghdad. Here are the first few lines from my report for the Forward on what I found...

They are a minyan, just barely. Half of them come to pray with guns.

The rabbi, Mitchell Schranz, would rather his congregants leave their Berettas and their M-4 rifles at home than bring them to this nondescript alcove, not far from a former palace of Saddam Hussein. But this is Camp Victory, the American military's main headquarters in Iraq — and Jewish soldiers don't always have the option of welcoming Shabbat unarmed.

"We're in a wartime, combat situation," U.S. Navy Commander Schranz said in a recent interview. "You've got to be flexible."


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