MAJOR STUART ADAM WOLFER INSTITUTE

APRIL 23, 1971 - APRIL 6, 2008
KIA - BAGHDAD, IRAQ

Celebrating the Holidays

Despite being in a warzone, these soldiers find a way to celebrate the Jewish Holidays.  Often times supported by friends and family Stateside or on their own initiative!!!  For those of us in the U.S. we'll never complain again when our favorite brand of challah is out of stock!  See below to view and read the beauty and commitment these soldiers have for insuring that they can celebrate a holiday or Shabbat.  We can all be inspired by them.

Major Stuart Adam Wolfer Institute-

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and sweet 5770. 

Thank you kindly for the apples & honey; it certainly made Rosh Hashanah here a sweet one.

My best and many thanks for your consideration.

 v/r,

Joshua
Baghdad, Iraq

˜˜˜  

Dear MSAWI:

We've loved the lighted menorah.  Sheldon, a Jewish soldier from Brigade and myself have been lighting candles (bulbs) daily at 710pm.  We've had two other Jewish individuals and a few non-Jews come to our service.  My commander jokes that I've turned her hospital into the Base Temple. 

 

I also hosted a Shabbat dinner.  We had the Shabbat in the Operating Room.  I managed to piece together meals/food from past Army Passover boxes, Purim boxes and foods that we have received.  I went out to the Afghan bakery and talked the baker into making me Afghan challah.  It didn't quite taste the same but we wrapped the bread in the classical kneaded fashion.

 

I also obtained some kosher wine from the Catholic Chaplain.  I'm not too good at this stuff but it was truly a wonderful Sabbath and Chanukah meal.  I have the prayer book for Jewish Soldiers.  I went through the candle lighting ceremony (we all broke chem lights) for the Shabbat.  We sang some songs and did the prayers for the various meals.  It was really something special.

 

Before we began we dedicated our 1st Shabbat to your brother Stuart.  And then we dedicated it to you.  You see without your support and love it would not have been possible.  Your work in the Jewish community in your brother's memory made it all happen.  You see...I'm not very religious (in fact one of the guys had not done anything Jewish in 20 years) but because of the items sent I was inspired to make Chanukah and the Sabbath a community happening.  I really did not know what I was doing but managed to get a religious service going and dinner.  With the people and junk that we put together, we managed to make a little Jewish community from nothing.  Despite it all Chanukah happened; and it happened in a good way.  Next I'm working on a Havdallah service.  If I can't get any formal supplies, I think I'm going to get some spices from the dining facility and the coffee shop.  I may even braid some candles together.

 

You will really like the pictures from the Sabbath.  It's nothing formal but as you mentioned in your last letter, it gives testament to our people and our ability and determination to survive as a people and a religion.

 

Major Brian F.

US Army

S. Hospital, Afghanistan