By COLlive reporter
Photos: Shneor Shif/COLlive
The slew of people praying and passing through Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, stopped for a moment on Sunday to witness a unique scene.
An American flag was held up outside the Rebbe’s room as U.S. Air Force chaplain Levy Pekar was sworn in from 1st Lieutenant to the rank of Captain.
Pekar is one of the few people serving in the U.S. armed forces that wear a full beard, as prescribed in Jewish law. Born in Monsey, NY, he was raised in Israel, studied in the Chabad Yeshiva in Brunoy, France and was ordained in Jerusalem.
Officiating the ceremony was US Air Force chaplain, Captain Elie Estrin, joined by Army Chaplain David Ruderman and Army Chaplain Mendy Stern.
Present were Rabbi Aharon Lipskar and Rabbi Mendy Katz of the Aleph Institute which serves military personnel and is the endorsing agency of the four chaplains present.
“I have been waiting for this moment for years,” commented retired Colonel Jacob Goldstein, who was a trailblazer during his 38 years of service as a United States Army Reserve chaplain.
After taking the oath and saluting the flag, the fellow chaplains and rabbis were quick to wish Pekar a hearty Mazal Tov and success in his service for the country and fellow Jews.