WASHINGTON (Sep. 15)
The first Jewish chaplain assigned to the United States Armed Forces in South Vietnam has arrived in Saigon in time to officiate at Yom Kippur services there, it was reported here today. He is Lt. Col. Meir Engel, who was born in Israel. Jewish chaplains had previously been sent to Vietnam from the Philippines and Okinawa for special services.
The decision to assign a regular chaplain to South Vietnam was made after American Jews in Saigon complained that no chaplain was available to recite the kaddish, the traditional prayer for the dead, when a Jewish enlisted man was killed. A Jewish chaplain was flown to Saigon before the body was sent to the United States.
Secretary of the Air Force Zuckert, acting on an appeal from the Lubavitcher Rebbe in New York, ordered that special arrangements be made to provide a seat on the last Air Force plane leaving for the U. S. Air Force Base in Thule, Greenland before Yom Kippur, to accommodate Rabbi Shmuel Lew, a graduate of the Lubavitcher Yeshiva, sent from New York to conduct Yom Kippur services there for Jewish airmen. The request for the rabbi to serve the Jewish personnel at Thule had been made less than a week ago, too late to arrange his transportation through the usual procedure.