The members of Congregation Brothers of Israel are extremely proud of our Rabbi Aaron Gaber, who spent the past six weeks as a Chaplain for the U.S. Army. He celebrated Thanksgiving with other soldiers in Fort Bliss, Texas, then was deployed to Kuwait, sharing the holidays, and supporting the soldiers.
In Kuwait, Rabbi Gaber was the educator on all things Jewish. He served Jewish soldiers and spent his time educating others about Judaism; how we observe holidays and how we live our lives that may be different from others. According to Rabbi Gaber, “It is quite a learning experience for me and reinforces how important it is for us to share Jewish life, history, and ritual with the rest of the world, if for no other reason we remind people the diversity of the world.”
In conjunction with his deployment, the Howard Hersch Religious School, headed by Joan Hersch, worked on Operation Gratitude. Students met in our sanctuary to hear Rabbi Gaber address students from Fort Bliss via zoom.
He spoke about the dedication of the military in defending our freedoms, just as the Maccabees did long ago. The students created non-denominational holiday cards for Rabbi Gaber to take with him, wishing soldiers a Happy Holiday and to say thank you.
In Rabbi Gaber’s words: “This has truly been an incredible experience for me and an amazing Hanukkah. It was so much more than lighting the candles for eight nights. It was experiencing how people celebrate their Jewishness; it is about people who are so much more willing to experiment and ask questions about another’s faith; it was soldiers caring for one another’s emotional needs; and it was about taking care of one another because we are all far from home handling a challenging mission.”
PHOTO CAP: Rabbi Gaber deploys in Kuwait