Queen Elizabeth Honors 101-Year-Old Jewish World War II Veteran


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England’s Queen Elizabeth II has made a Jewish World War II veteran an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

The Queen presented Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen, 101, the honour for services to Second World War education at Buckingham Palace ceremony.

Lt. Col Cohen is the most senior Jewish officer who served in the war still alive, and plays an active and pivotal part in educating people.

Following the ceremony he said: “I am honoured and delighted that Her Majesty has been able to confer this personally on me.”

The former officer spends a large amount of his time touring schools, places of worship and other forums where he can speak of his experience.

Lt Col Cohen has been extensively involved with the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, being National Chairman and later Vice President.

In addition to this, he was Honorary Life President of the Sunderland Jewish community and was a Deputy Lieutenant in Tyne and Wear from 1986 to 1990.

He qualified as a solicitor aged 21, and set up his own practice shortly before war broke out.

Lt Col Cohen joined the Army after hearing stories of Nazi persecution from Jewish children who arrived in Sunderland from the Kindertransport.

He served in Burma, where he commanded Nigerian volunteers as part of an anti-aircraft unit defending RAF air strips and, during his service, survived being struck down with both malaria and hepatitis.

In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Sunderland University in recognition of the his military career and his long standing association with the city.

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  1. Hey, I thought that common folk may not shake the queen’s hand and thus she always wears gloves to public events!!

  2. There is a heter to shake hands, its not a popular one, but nonetheless it exists. Point is, its not something to go crazy over

  3. First it’s just “A heter to shake hands” of which absolutely none exists.
    Then it becomes “A kiddush hashem”
    and finally “anyone who is misracheik from arayos is mechalel shem shomayim” rachmona litzlan
    A fragrant violation of torah is something to ‘go crazy over’ nothing else is worth going crazy over, nothing else is worth going crazy over

  4. According to Workplace Halacha, chapter 12, “Rav Moshe Feinstein ruled in accordance with the Shach as well: physical contact which is not derech chibbah is permitted.. physical contact which is not passionate or affectionate is not considered “coming close to uncover nakedness,” because it will not lead to forbidden relations.”

    So a heter does exist for this man to shake hands with the Queen. You might choose not to follow Rav Moshe’s ruling but you can’t disparage those who do