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The Soldier's Oath

Thursday, 30 December, 2010 - 11:59 am

When a person enlists in the United States Military, he takes the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In this oath, that I will obey the orders of the President ...and the orders of the officers.... the soldier affirms that he will follow their commands. He won't question the command even if he doesn't understand it.
In this week's Torah portion, G-d tells Moses to speak to Pharaoh in Hebrew. Moses hesitated to do this because Pharaoh didn't understand Hebrew and he, Moses had a speech impediment. Nonetheless the Commander stated that Moses should speak and Aaron, Moses' brother would act as theinterpreter. Moses fulfilled his command and began the process that would redeem the Jews from exile.
The Torah is not a history book, but a book of lessons. One of the lessons that can be learned from this storyis that G-d sent us on a mission (the Torah calls us the army of G-d). The goal of the mission is to make this world a home for G-d, a place where He will be welcomeand comfortable.G-d, our commander-in-chief, says that the way to accomplish thisis to add in our learning of Torah and our fulfilling of mitzvot. Our duty is to fulfill the commander-in-chief's goal to the best of our ability.
As the year comes to an end, let us make a new year's resolution that this year we will add in our Torah learning and mitzvot and, G-d willing, we will be able to say, Mission accomplished! before 2012 is even on the horizon.
Have a great Shabbos.
Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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