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Submariner At Sea Calls On Chabad For High Holy Day Prayer Texts

By , Norfolk, VA

( What’s a submariner at sea to do on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur without a prayer book? Shortly before the Jewish New Year set in, Chabad representative to Norfolk, VA, Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky, received the following email from U.S. submariner Brian Lantz, stationed on the USS Norfolk (SSN 714) submarine, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. The Chabad rabbi directed the letter to Kehot Publication Society, the Chabad-Lubavitch publishing house.

Dear Rabbi,


“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to unpack my machzors [High Holy Day prayer books]  in ********. (I had NO idea what moving box they were in), so now I am at sea with no machzors.

Do you have any suggestions for me for Rosh Hoshana or Yom Kippur?  I have a Kehot Nusach Ari complete siddur [prayer book], but it looks as though it doesn’t have the amidah or musafs for either High Holy Day.

I also have a tehillim [Book of Pslams] along with me.  For some reason I thought that my siddur had the minimum liturgical requirements for those days so I didn’t stress-out about not having the machzors.  Now I see that it doesn’t, and so I’m wondering what I should do.

Could you possibly please cut-and-paste me something into the body of an e-mail perhaps (just the English text)?  I’m just about out of ideas here and unfortunately I can’t receive attachments in an e-mail.

I wouldn’t ask you for an entire machzor in the text of an e-mail, as I am sure you don’t have the time to devote to that and I’m not sure if I could receive an e-mail that large onboard a submarine because of band width restrictions (I think each e-mail is limited to a certain number of megabytes), but maybe you could help me with just the minimum liturgical requirements.

Thank you,

Brian Lantz

Editor’s note:  Staff at Kehot’s liturgy department edited their annotated English Machzor and created a customized prayer book with just the essential prayers. Alas, it was still too large  to send as a text email.

So Rabbi Mendel Laine from Kehot contacted Chaplain Andrew D. Nelko LCDR, CHC, USN of the Naval Submarine Support Center (NSSC), who informed him that chaplains are allowed to receive email attachments.

The Chaplain received the email and delivered it to the sailor.


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