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U.S. Troops Get New Jewish Prayer Book

Military issues official siddur for the first time since World War II

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A Soldier holds a Jewish prayer book before a Task Force Marne Jewish Passover celebration and dinner, March 29, at the Freedom Rest, Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq.(U.S. Army)

Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis collaborated to create the first Jewish prayer book issued by the army since World War II, JTA reports. The siddur includes a foreword from President Obama.

In past years, Jewish chaplains have used a variety of different prayer books to lead services, but there has been no uniform text, which meant servicemen and women had to constantly adapt to new worship services as they moved between bases. The creation of the new siddur will hopefully eliminate this problem.

The chaplains council, a program of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America, received permission to reprint Hebrew and English texts from other prayer books in the new siddur.

“We had the ability to move freely through their prayer books, allowing us to create a book that each rabbi can use differently,” said retired Rear Adm. Rabbi Harold Robinson, director of the council. “Yet for each soldier, sailor or Marine, it will be the same, no matter where he or she is stationed.”

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U.S. Troops Get New Jewish Prayer Book

Military issues official siddur for the first time since World War II

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