Jews and the American Military
Until the nineteenth century, most nations in the world denied Jewish residents the right to bear arms in defense of the homeland. In sharp contrast to this trend, American Jews first sprang to arms in the early colonial period when they participated in the common effort to protect the community from hostile attack. Since that time, American Jews have taken part in every military struggle from the American Revolution to Operation Enduring Freedom. The emergence of a Jewish chaplaincy within the U.S. Armed Forces is a particularly interesting story; American rabbis have tended to the spiritual needs of men and women in uniform - regardless of their religious affiliation.