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Book: Key Categories in the Study of Religion

Chapter: 15. The "Muscle Jew" and Maccabean Heroism of the Jewish Legion during World War I

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39440


This paper explores the ‘muscle Jew’ and the biblical and Second Temple imagery invoked by the Jewish Legion (the 38th to 40th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers), who fought on behalf of Britain during World War I. It examines the ways in which British Zionists and Jewish soldiers shaped the images of the muscle Jew through collective memories of Jewish antiquity, especially those of the Maccabees.

Chapter Contributors

  • Tim Langille ( - timlangille) 'Arizona State University'