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Jews and the MilitaryA History$
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Derek J. Penslar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138879

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138879.001.0001

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(p.254) Epilogue
Jews and the Military

Derek J. Penslar

Princeton University Press

This epilogue argues that over the century and a half, from the French revolutionary wars to World War II, Jews in military service were carriers of multiple, overlapping, and at times clashing identities. They often felt a sincere, profound attachment to their homeland and fought with no sense of qualitative difference from their countrymen. Believing that their homeland epitomized toleration and respect for human dignity, Jews in western Europe and North America defined their countries' wars as Jewish wars. Moreover, Jews celebrated their men in uniform not only for their virility and bravery, not only for fulfilling their patriotic duty, but also for boldly asserting their religious particularism. The Jewish soldier at a Sabbath service in the field or a synagogue at home brought glory to his community not simply because he donned his uniform and decorations but because he did so while occupying a manifestly Jewish space.

Keywords:   French revolutionary wars, World War II, Jews, military service, Jewish wars, religious particularism, Jewish soldier, Jewish space

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