One of the compromises Shmuel Felzenberg had to make in order to be, as he put it, “afforded the privilege to serve” as a chaplain in the Army was to shave his beard. Now, the New York Times reports, Rabbi Menachem Stern challenged the Army’s regulations and won a waiver. Since the case was settled with a waiver, the regulations remain in place and, as far as we know, do not change the constraints placed on Chaplain Felzenberg to shave.
Chaplain Felzenberg speaks about wrestling with this issue when he signed up in ‘Chaplains Under Fire’ and in a Christian Science Monitor article. He had hoped to get a special dispensation, but at the time it was denied. Wonder what, if any, effect this latest decision will have.
A big thank-you to Cindy Choung for pointing out this latest development.