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Chaplain & FT Hood
Rabbi Chaplain Moshe Lans, US Army
Rabbi Pinchas Singer, MA
Rabbi Moshe Lans, a Fort Hood chaplain, holds up a piece of unleavened bread called Matzo while reading from the Passover Haggadah during Passover preparations at the Spirit of Fort Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus Friday afternoon at Fort Hood.
"What we do is we re-enact and tell the story of the exodus of Egypt," said Rabbi Moshe Lans, a Fort Hood chaplain. "God commanded that every generation you should retell the story, and this is how we obey that commandment." Lans led a public Passover Seder Friday night at the Spirit of Fort Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus. The ceremony is always open to the entire community, and Lans said many people not involved with the faith attend. "Many non-Jews will come. They're curious and want to learn about it," he said. "It puffs you up and gives you a false sense of security," said Lans. "You should try to think of yourself as null and void." A roasted shank bone also is served to represent the lambs that were slaughtered to protect the Israelites from the 10th plague. Like all the other plagues visited upon the Egyptians, it attacked a deity the Egyptians worshiped. "They had to have the courage to tie it to the door, slaughter it in front of (the Egyptians) and show them that there is only one true God," said Lans. However, the green vegetable represents the converse side of the story "that there is life and vitality," said Lans. "It's about how we confront tragedy with life, and to remind us to stay strong with our faith and to remind us that the Messiah will come," he said. The holiday is one of three Jewish holidays commanded by God. It falls in the first month of the Jewish calendar, Nisan. Lans said families will conduct a second Passover Seder today, though that will be private. Though telling the story and allowing for many to reconnect to their faith is a large part of the celebration, Lans said the most important aspect is involving children. "It's not for the here and now," he said "It's for the generations to come so we try to involve the children whenever we came.
Event organizer Capt. Moshe Lans, chaplain for III Corps' Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, said he culled the event's theme from his counseling sessions.
People come to Lans with a litany of problems, he said, but often feel better after focusing on basic things they're grateful for, such as waking up in the morning. It's the small things that can "click," he said.
"Yom Kippur literally means the day of atonement," said Chaplain Moshe Lans, a captain with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, and Fort Hood's rabbi.
"It's all about repentance." Repentance takes on a slightly different meaning in Judaism than the concept of forgiveness for sins in Christianity. The Hebrew tradition of "teshuva," which means "to return" is the way of atoning for sin. Most notably, the day is marked by a fast, from sunset Friday to sundown today. Lans said fasting should only be observed by those who are physically able to endure the long process; children, the elderly and the sick are exempt. In addition to the 25-hour fast, several rules are observed, including no bathing or washing, no wearing perfumes or lotions, and no wearing of leather shoes. "Leather initially was seen as something accessible only to the rich," said Lans. The Kol Nidre, which means "all vows," is more of a statement than a prayer, said Lans. "When Abraham was tested by God, God chose a ram to get caught in the thicket," Lans said. "That's why we blow the shofar. It reminds us of our lineage." All services planned by Lans will be at the Spirit of Fort Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus on Tank Destroyer Boulevard at 31st Street. For more information, call Lans at (619) 328-7469 or email email@example.com.
Shown here at the naming of Sara Jaramilla, (L-R) Gabbai Matthew Schmerer, father Yaakov, Rabbi Moshe Lans of Fort Hood and Rabbi Eliezer Langer