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    Wearing crosses – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. On official occasions I have seen members of the Jewish community wearing decorations in the shape of a cross. Is this permitted according to Jewish law?

    Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler

    A. It is instructive to recall that the British Chief Rabbi from 1891-1911, Dr Hermann Adler, was given the honour of CVO by Queen Victoria.

    In order to avoid any problem he had a small slit made in his rabbinic robe to hide one part of the insignia so that it no longer looked like a cross.

    However, from the strict halachic point of view this may not have been necessary as such decorations are not religious emblems and do not compromise a person’s Jewish identity.

    Insignia of this kind include the Victoria Cross (Leonard Keysor, VC, won his award because his cricketing ability enabled him to catch and throw back enemy grenades!).

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