Israel Resource Review 13th January, 2009


Israeli Officer Fights For His Life: Soldier Went to Battle 24 Hours After Wedding
David Bedein

As these words are being written, Israeli 2nd Lt. Aaron Karov, severely wounded in Gaza, is fighting for his life.

According to Jewish tradition, prayers are said for the speedy recovery of someone who is sick when the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, is read in synagogue on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Second Lt. Karov was married less than two weeks ago, yet reported the next morning to lead his unit into battle in Gaza, the morning after his wedding to His childhood sweetheart, Tzvia Mordecai

This past Sabbath Lt. Karov was wounded, his father, Rabbi Zev Karov, distributed the lead article in a newsletter that was distributed in synagogues on the Sabbath throughout Israel.

Rabbi Karov wrote his article in the form of an open letter to all of the new couple's friends and relatives who were angry about the fact that his son had left for battle, the morning after the wedding.

Second Lt. Karov's thoughts on the day of his wedding, the greatest day in his life, were of concern for the people of Israel, and for the welfare of the soldiers who serve under him.

There were those who pleaded with Rabbi Karov to remind his son the Book of Deuteronomy exempts a newly married man from army service.

Yet in his widely distributed missive, Rabbi Karov noted that the biblical command which exempts a groom from army service does not apply to a mandatory war of defense of the land and people of Israel.

As 2nd Lt. Karov joined his troops on the Jewish Sabbath, more than one million citizens of Israel were warned by the Israel Home Front Command not even to venture out to synagogues because their communities would be under the threat of attack from Gaza terrorists.

"According to Jewish law, in a war of self-defense even a newly married groom must fight," Rabbi Karov wrote. "More than that, Aaron is a commander who knows his soldiers, has prepared them, and knows what must be done. He couldn't just leave them on their own. The bride was at first shocked, but then she understood that sometimes personal interests must be second to the common good."

Rabbi Karov said his son's actions ran against the tide of today's generation because so many young people only think of themselves.

Mr. Karov's family has asked that the people around the world pray for his recovery. His Hebrew name is Aaron Yehoshua Ben Chaya Shoshanna.

In the Jewish tradition, the mother's name is invoked. Rabbi Alan Schwartz of the Ohev Tzedek synagogue in New York explained to The Bulletin that the mother's name is invoked in the prayer for the sick because the woman represents the paradigm of prayer in Judaism.

Rabbi Schwartz told The Bulletin that women, throughout the Bible, cry to God for the sake of their children.

Indeed, the motif of how to pray derives from the example of Hannah who, in the first chapter of Samuel, passionately prays for God to allow her the merit to bear children.

Hannah's role model for Jewish prayer is described in the fifth chapter of the Talmudic tractate of Brachot, which means "blessings," which established the Jewish tradition to move one's lips in silent devotion during prayer.


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