Rabbi Sues U.S. Army Over Beard


menachem-m-stern-beardThe Washington Post reports: An Orthodox Jewish rabbi from Brooklyn sued the U.S. Army Wednesday for denying him a commission to serve as an Army chaplain because his faith prohibits him from shaving his beard.Menachem M. Stern of Chabad-Lubavitch alleges in federal court in the District that the Army at first approved his application to serve as chaplain in June 2009 and appointed him a reserve commissioned officer (first lieutenant), before rescinding the appointment that September citing the Army’s “no-beard” regulation.

Stern’s attorneys, Nathan and Alyza D. Lewin of the District, say that since then, the Army has granted a waiver to two Sikh captains and an enlisted man, who were permitted to wear a turban and beard in uniform, and an unnamed, bearded Muslim officer who has served as a surgical intern at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Stern says the Army rules, which only apply on entering service and can be waived for those who cannot shave for medical reasons, are discriminatory and violate the Constitution, especially because waivers have been granted to Sikh and Muslim soldiers. The federal courts in 1976 barred the Air Force from enforcing its beard ban against an Orthodox Jewish chaplain, his suit added.

A spokesman for the Army did not immediately return a telephone call for comment this afternoon.

Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) wrote Army Secretary John McHugh about Stern’s case, the suit said, and were told that current Army grooming standards do not allow beards.

{Washington Post-Crime Scene/Matzav.com}


  1. .?????? ??????

    We are living in golus, what is he doing? This is an outgrowth of pushing menoras all over.

    This is wrong, we are in golus. There is no draft now boruch Hashem. The place of a frummeh Yid is not in the army. Chazal teach us that one should be a ???? ?? ?????. Better remain a civilian.

  2. These people don’t know what Galus is. The Rubashkin saga is a reminder. Be happy that you can enjoy religious freedom in this country. These people are in Geula land. Somethin’s wrong

  3. is that why we should let the pakistanys have their rights and not us???? maybe we shouldnt fight for GOVERMENT YESHIVA subsidies since we are in golus??

  4. This is not the way to start his career in the Army on the right foot by suing them! Do you really think that they will take him after he sues them!? Does he think that they will have a favorable impression of him even after he gets in? Trust me even if he gets in they will do everything to find a reason to get rid of him. The military doesn’t like trouble makers!

  5. for your info… 1. the rabbi has tried in every possible way to work with the army and has been denied on every level, this was the last resort. 2.why do people feel the need to always shy away from these things.. the Muslims and other religions sue all the time for their religious freedoms why should a Jew not do the same.. the court system is there for that reason… 3. there are over 5000 Jewish members in the military with very little chaplain support. the army was the one requesting for more Jewish chaplains.. how many of you stepped up to the call of duty?? he did, so let him be….

  6. All the self hating Jews want us to hide under our beds.

    This guy will break the barrier for all others and in years come he will be labeled a hero for fighting the notion that Jews need to sit “in the back of the bus” (unless of course you think that that is where we belong)

    Was this article written by Mr. Friedman?