War and Peas

Question

I am Jewish and in the U.S. military. I’m set to be deployed to a possible war zone. My problem is that keeping kosher will be impossible, and I can’t bring a year’s supply of food with me. Am I permitted to break kosher during time of war?

6 months

Answers

  1. There are provisions (pun intended) made for Jewish soldiers to enable them to eat kosher food while in the military. I recommend that you speak with the Rabbi (actually, the “Jewish Military Chaplain”) in charge of the needs of the Jewish soldiers to find out what is available.

    If, for some reason, there is no way to supply kosher food to the place where you will be deployed, I recommend that you do your best to avoid foods that are very obviously non-kosher, such as ham, shellfish, cheeseburgers, etc. I will also send you the name and contact information of a military Rabbi I know, and feel free to contact him.

    But of course, preserving life is more important than keeping kosher, and therefore if the need ever arises to eat non-kosher food for safety reasons, it would be permitted. It would even be a mitzvah. However, I suggest you speak with the army Rabbi to discuss your options in various scenarios that you and he think are likely to occur.

    May God guard you and watch over you and may you return home safe and sound!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team