Israeli soldier’s ham sandwich nearly lands him in military prison

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JERUSALEM (RNS) In a rare apology, IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz wrote on Facebook: “We were wrong. The IDF will continue to keep kosher on the one hand, but will not probe a soldier's sandwich on the other."

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  • Jack

    This has the feel of a deliberate test case…..

    Looks like “grandma” wanted to challenge the Orthodox.

    This is partly why Israeli Jews make jokes about American Jews, viewing them as comically neurotic cousins.

  • Susan

    Religion should not be coerced. As religious, but not Orthodox Jew, I object to the Ultra-Orthodox’s hold on Judaism in Israel. Although, I have to admit that most Israelis Jews are either Orthodox or secular.

  • Garson Abuita

    My nana z”l was a classical German Reform Jew. Her favorite dish was ham, her family had their Passover seders at an Italian restaurant, and the extent of her knowledge of the liturgy was the Shema in English. And she never would have sent a ham sandwich to her grandsons had they just made aliyah and begun their army service. I agree that there is something fishy (or porky?) about this story.

  • Jack

    Fishy….porky (LOL)…..Agreed….We’re thinking the same way and for the same reason.

  • Jack

    Susan, you’re right.

    But perhaps a key reason most Israeli Jews are either Orthodox or secular is the power of the Ultra-Orthodox in banning recognition of middle-ground positions like Conservative or Reform.

  • Michael

    Does a Kosher diet apply to non-Jewish soldiers? With the IDF allowing Christians in its ranks, what rule(s) would a Christian soldier have violated with the pork sandwich?

  • Garson Abuita

    Michael, most Israeli Jews are secular and don’t keep kosher. The IDF’s rules for them are the same for members of religions without such dietary laws (Muslims and Druze have similar dietary restrictions). It’s like if you were a Christian going to a kosher restaurant, you can’t bring your own food just because you don’t keep kosher.
    The problem with this case is like the anecdote with my nana: those secular Israelis would be unlikely to bring a ham sandwich on base because they’d know how ridiculous it would look.

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