Hachnosas Sefer Torah aboard a US Aircraft Carrier


ac cover.jpgA Sefer Torah rescued from Lithuania was permanently placed on the US aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman. The carrier is one of the few Navy vessels to have its own Sefer Torah. Few ships are large enough to need one, said Sam Werbel, an organizer of a dedication ceremony Sunday attended by 500 community members and dignitaries. The audience included Holocaust survivors.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, attended Sunday’s dedication. He said Truman’s namesake carrier was a fitting home for a Torah that would help service members “grow in their appreciation of our Jewish faith.”



  1. Personally I wouldn’t want a Sefer Torah to be associated with Harry Truman. Other than that it’s very nice to see such a story.

  2. i don’t have a clue as to who this could possibly benefit on a US Naval vessel. In any event, it sounds like a big kiddush hashem to me
    as long as they preserve and protect this sefer torah in a most befitting and dignified manner (e.g. not storing it in the engine room below in the hull of the ship).

  3. We’d be very surprised to know how many people who observe varying degrees of frumkeit and are in the Armed Forces. It is a beautiful thing that someone is looking out for them, since I am not.

  4. nonkollelman:

    “i don’t have a clue as to who this could possibly benefit on a US Naval vessel” –

    Jewish sailors, perhaps?

    There are active duty personnel of all levels of Torah observance; all, I think, deserve access to a Jewish chapel suitably equiped. To address questions of, “How could a Torah observant Jew serve in a volunteer army,” (i.e., why place yourself in a difficult situation), I offer the following possibilities:

    (1) A chaplain may be assigned a rotation on a Naval vessel. In my opinion, a Torah observant chaplain is a good thing, because in addition to providing general spiritual counsel, he can also address various shailos properly. The military being what is, officers and enlisted men report where they are ordered to go. We would have a fairly ineffectual army if folks could disobey orders. I have a friend whose shver is a chaplain; to see the man in shul, you would not suspect except for an exceedingly short haircut beneath his yarlmulke.

    (2) Possible that someone joined the military or otherwise committed to it (i.e., the military will provide an education in medical or dental school, provided you serve on a military base for several years following graduation). Now, a person might graduate and be eligilbe to serve on a base close to a Jewish population. But, in the current climate of deployment, and I have met folks in these situations, people are either directed or asked to serve in hospitals overseas (or, as here, on the seas!).

    (3) Possible that someone was in the reserves as a younger person, became more observant, and was called to active duty in the past few years; I know a fellow who has served overseas in Iraq for the past several years.

    Our elders will remember from the Korean and Viet-Nam Wars (not to mention WWII) when men were drafted. The Jewish Welfare Board provided kosher canned chicken. The chicken was essentially a whole chicken that was “cubed” – so any given cube might be meat, or bone, or both. My grandfather answered shailos for men who were drafted concerning Shabbos and kashrus.

    It is my impression and understanding that a sefer Torah on board a Naval vessel will be treated respectfully and appropriately. Whether there is a minyan of shomrei Shabbos, who knows. But no doubt someone will gain chizuk from seeing a sefer Torah, or knowing that one is aboard.

    Kol tuv,

    The Crazy Grok

  5. YOUDONTKNOW ME: praytell…why is it that you wouldnt have a sefer torah associated with Truman? kindly show your ignorance of history in another site!!

  6. What’s wrong with Harry Truman?

    As to frum people in the military, I beleive there is a weekly column in Hamodia from a medic who is serving in Iraq. I assume you could have a similar situation for the navy.

  7. Oh vays mir – I assume it’s another anti-Israel dig. Harry S Truman was the president of the USA when Israel declared independence in 1948. The USA voted in favor of the UN resolution recognizing the State of Israel as a sovereign nation. As you may know from reading the posts on this website, there are many people who consider the establishment of the State of Israel one of the great tragedies in the history of Am Yisrael.

  8. re: associating a sefer Torah w/Harry Truman (first comment posted):

    Truman’s Secretary of State Marshall advised Truman against recognizing Israel in 1948; reasons included fear that doing so could endanger US access to Arab oil (ein chodosh tachas ha’shemesh, right?). Truman respected Marshall quite seriously, but, he disregarded Marshall’s recommendation on this point.

    Some historians say that Truman was simply courting a Jewish vote. Others, however, say that Truman based his decision on personal humanitarian and moral values that were grounded in his religous childhood and knowledge of the Bible.

    This is similar to Reagan’s support for Israel, which was often grounded in Reagan’s simple, yet strong, moral compass and his religious beliefs (in fact, it was afer Reagan’s death that the depth of his reliance on religion and faith was revealed).

  9. Harry Truman was a member of the KKK as a young man but was the one who integrated the Army. My understanding of the vote for the establishment of the state was that he didn’t want to see Weitzman, knowing he would convince him to vote yes, but a Jewish friend whom he (Truman) had been in the Army with and run a haberdashery with called in a friendship debt to get Weitzman in. I’m sure you’ve all seen the picture of Truman and Weitzman with a Sefer Torah, more questionable is the naming of a US Navy ship after Truman when everybody in the know, knows that Truman didn’t get along with the Navy. What all this gibberish means is that life and people are infinitely more complicated than many people want to see. Good people make bad decisions, bad people make good decisions and Hashem runs the world without any help from any of us, B”H.

  10. I happen to know someone who was on the Truman as recently as a year or so ago.

    All you people need to realize there are more yidden out there than you and SOME of them are in the US military.

    Edited By Site Moderation Panel.

  11. Harry Truman was President when he State of Israel was established and was considered anOhev Yisroel.

    what is your prob exactly???

  12. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier all I was trying to say is that you can find a better person than Truman for example Ronald Reagan. I’m not saying that Truman was a bad person but there is no denying that he was an anti-semite and in my opinion he was not as good for the jews as so many people think. But that’s just my opinion the bigger issue here is the chillul Hashem that the comments on this site cause. All I did is express my opinion there is no reason to assume that I’m anti-Israel or to be so rude, you could have just asked politely what I meant. To be completely honest if I were Truman and I saw some of the despicable comments posted from one jew to another on this website I probably would have though the same anti-semetic thoughts that he expressed. All I’m saying is think before you write and realize that anybody in the world can read what you post here. Thank You.