Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have had to change this blog title to Navy Chaplain, as I am no longer with the Seabees. I wish NMCB 26 the best, and regret that I will not be on this deployment with them.

The Rabbi Goes to War...We Think

Shalom all. So here is the story. On 06 January 2010, my commanding officer informed the battalion that we were headed to Afghanistan. I made arrangements to extend my orders so that I would not leave the battalion mid-deployment, and then faced a more challenging task - telling Jennifer. After that was the most challenging task - not telling anyone else until after the Bar Mitzvah. Jennifer and I did not want the deployment to overshadow what we knew would be Jesse's magnificent reading of the Megillah.


Jennifer: Ok. This is what I have to do as the Chaplain's spouse (starts making mental lists).
Jesse: visibly upset.
Keren: visibly upset, but largely because she saw Jesse upset.
Gavi: the kid who pilfers my screwdrivers knows I work with builders. He wants to come along for the trip.

In the meantime, the unit prepared to go to California for our 17 days Active Training. This was to take place during both Pesach and Holy Week.

Note: Communion wafers are hametz and must be turned over to a non-Jew.
Note 2: I saved grape juice from the seder in case the Priest needed it for communion.

I made arrangements with Canadian Forces to send mail via their offices, so that Jennifer would not have to pay customs duties on anything she shipped.

Anyway, in May, the detailer called me. He asked if the Navy could relieve me of duty with the Seabees and send me to work with the Marine Corps in the Pacific. I would be gone the same amount of time, and the Rabbi who had been in Okinawa had retired (the nerve).

I like my unit. I like my Seabees. The deployment would be fun. On the other hand, I am going now specifically as a Rabbi. That will be fun in its own way, and speaks very clearly to my ordination.