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Behalotecha 5781 ~ May 28, 2021

The closing prophetic words of  Zechariah of our Haftorah reading for this Shabbat are quite familiar. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit – said the Lord of Hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6). As we reflect upon these words this Shabbat leading up to Memorial Day, let us be mindful of the men and women who have served in our country’s armed forces protecting our freedom so that perhaps one day the words of the prophet might become more than simply ideals to strive for.

On Shabbat morning we will pause during our religious services to pay honor to those who served and sacrificed for that freedom. It reminds us of how important it is to express our appreciation not only this weekend, but every day to our armed forces personnel.

One such individual is a retired colleague by the name of Rabbi Murray Stadtmauer, who graduated the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1955 and served as Chaplain (LTC), AUS (Ret). He often shares his personal stories with members of the Rabbinical Assembly. This past week, he shared some comical moments during his military service. While we often reflect upon the moments when on the battle fields, Rabbi Stadtmauer’s stories allow us to share some more humorous times, that too should be remembered. With his permission, I have copied two of those stories that you will find at the end of this message.

I hope that Murray’s stories will give honor to the brave men and women, albeit in a different fashion. I am certain that those of you who served can relate to these memories with your own, and will remind you of not only the days that you served to protect the ideals of Zechariah here in America, but the memories of your comrades and the stories that continue to shape your lives.

Sat, June 25 2022 26 Sivan 5782