Soldiers & Scholars

Posted on September 18, 2007 In Blog

We have written before on the issues of morality and war, including a panel discussion on the matter with the OU’s top pro, Rabbi Tzvi H. Weinreb, a leading Israeli scholar/adviser to the IDF on this, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow and Senior Rabbi of our member congregation, Lincoln Square Synagogue, Rabbi Shaul Robinson. We also posted once to a great Laura Blumenfeld WaPo piece on the moral quandary of interrogators of terrorist suspects who may have “ticking time bomb” information. So as we caught up on some summer Friday reads we’ve missed, we were struck by the stories – she has an amazing eye (not to mention pen) for the cheery and teary stories that tug at the heart – in an August column by our friend Peggy Noonan.

We too are struck by just how good these guys are – not only at what they do, but at how they do it. And steeped as we are in Jewish history, we know that the soldiers of Rome were not known for their decency. But mostly, we are reminded of the story that Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis told in her benediction at 2004’s Republican National Convention. Approached by a young girl after she had spoken on Holocaust remembrance in Fort Hood, Texas, this young daughter of a US Army officer asked her “Rebbetzin, Ma’am, why didn’t you call the army or the police to help you?” It never occurred to her that a soldier, a uniform could be for anything other than helping the good guys win.

On the cusp of Rosh HaShannah, recognition of such blessings is in order.