Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Washington - Shortage of Torah Scrolls in U.S. Battlefields

Published on: September 21, 2010 10:25 PM
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share

Washington - The United States is reporting a shortage of Torah scrolls in the U.S. military.

The shortage is especially being felt overseas, where Jewish soldiers’ hunger for words of Torah especially on the High Holy Days.

Five American military rabbis have been sent to bases and ships serving in war zones, but not even all of them are equipped with Torah scrolls, according to Rear Admiral Harold L. Robinson. A recently retired Navy chaplain, Robinson serves as director of the Jewish Welfare Board, the chaplaincy department of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America.

“Next year we want them all to have Torah scrolls,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an interview published Tuesday.

Special Torah scrolls are required for service in war zones, Robinson explained, because they need to be small enough to be easily portable. Each one costs $36,000. Of the 60 existing Torah scrolls in the U.S. military, 20 are installed at Veterans’ Administration (VA) hospitals, leaving only 40 for service worldwide. Nearly all are too big to be carried into battle.

Advertisement:

Those currently being used are also huge: the protective cases for each are more than four feet high. According to the admiral, they were designed for past wars, when Jews traveled in from the field to bases in Saigon or Paris for High Holy Day services.

“The chaplains have been telling us that they need more portable Torahs,” Robinson said. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the chaplains go out to the troops in order to minimize the risk to the soldiers from roadside bombs.

The Jewish Welfare Board has arranged for new, smaller Torah scrolls that will be able to fit into an airliner overhead compartment and which are to be written in Israel, according to the report. Torah scribe Zerach Greenfield, who has written a number of such scrolls for the Israeli army, has been commissioned to write such a scroll now for the U.S. Army.


More of today's headlines

Rosemont, IL - While most businesses recoil at the mere thought of bedbugs, one suburban Chicago hotel is welcoming the bloodsucking pests — at least this... Brooklyn, NY - His name is Brian Doherty, he's an ex-cop, and he's running as a Republican against Democratic incumbent Dov Hikind for the 48th Assembly District...

 

You can now automatically hide comments - New!

Don't worry, you can always display comments when you need to.

Total4

Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 21, 2010 at 10:32 PM Berel13 Says:

With all the boys in yeshiva - here is a great project

2

 Sep 21, 2010 at 10:50 PM AlbertEinstein Says:

"Five American military rabbis have been sent to bases and ships serving in war zones"

I think there are more than five. Hashem should watch over all of them, and those they minister to.

3

 Sep 21, 2010 at 11:04 PM Anonymous Says:

There are probably hundreds of small sifrei torah sitting around shuls in the U.S. that are rarely used for keriah and only taken out on simchas torah for the yinglach to dance with. They would be put to much better use by jewish chaplains in combat zones.

4

 Sep 22, 2010 at 09:53 AM JackC Says:

"Special Torah scrolls are required for service in war zones, Robinson explained, because they need to be small enough to be easily portable. Each one costs $36,000. Of the 60 existing Torah scrolls in the U.S. military, 20 are installed at Veterans’ Administration (VA) hospitals, leaving only 40 for service worldwide. Nearly all are too big to be carried into battle."

Certainly the one's in VA hospitals do not have to be small and can be sent to combat zones (and replaced by full sized scrolls).

5

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!