By Rochel Hayman
You hear the expression in the military, “the needs of the military come first.” In other words, you may want/ask to do something, or go somewhere, but where the military needs you and your skillset, that comes first. You know, and in essence trust, they are sending you where your mission is. Where you are needed. So you pick up and go, to wherever that is (really, wherever) without question, sometimes out of your own country, away from your hometown, sometimes away from your family.
This week’s Torah portion of Lech Lecha amazingly parallels that process. G-d commands Avram to, “go from your land, and your birthplace, and your father’s house, to the Land that I will show you.” G-d directs Avram (later to become Avraham) to go to where his mission is. And he goes. It’s not a question. He has complete trust the Almighty knows exactly what the skillset Avram has and where he is needed for The Mission.
Monday, November 11th is Veterans Day and this weekend will be full of activities across the country: some honoring our Veterans for their service and sacrifices (including their families who have their own service and sacrifices in support of their military member), and many Veterans themselves will be out in force raising monies to support other Veterans who’s needs sometimes fall through the cracks.
Jews have participated and sacrificed in every armed conflict of the United States. Even today, over 80 Jewish service members have given their life in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chance are high you have a Veteran in your community or shul.
Jewish War Veterans of the USA is the oldest continuous Veterans service organization in the nation, beginning in 1896 in response to public kvetching that Jews don’t support the country and it’s military. 63 Jewish Civil War Veterans answered the call and began JWV.
You can see our activities today as well as more of the history of Jews in our military, by visiting www.JWV.org.
Rabbi Dan and Rochel Hayman are on shlichus in Phoenix, Arizona, and include Veterans in their activities. Rochel is a USAF Veteran and is active in Jewish War Veterans. She is a previous Post Commander and was elected to the National Executive Committee representing Department (Region) of the Southwest, and is the national Chair of the Gulf War Committee. You can reach her for Veteran questions at [email protected]