Little frum girls in Spring Valley, New York learn about "service." How? By making Purim packages for Jewish US soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's cute. It's nice.
But what about…
… the thousands of non-Jewish US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The fact is, lots of people do these good deeds. Hang around any right wing talk radio show for a few days and you'll hear about projects to benefit soldiers and their families left behind.
Outside of Christmas packages, most of these projects are non-sectarian. (Even the Christmas projects really are. Most are just boxes of cookies, cakes, baby wipes, etc. – things soldiers in the field need or miss.)
And lots of non-frum barmitzvah kids ahve been donating all or most of their bar mitzva money to charity for many years.
There's nothing wrong with sending Purim packages to Jewish soldiers. It is a good thing to do.
But when I hear little haredi girls talk about the freedom the US gives them and the thanks they have for the soldiers who fight to protect that freedom, I want to know why the only soldiers who benefit from their thanks are Jews.
150 Purim packages sent to Jewish soldiers. They couldn't send another 10 or 20 care packages to non-Jewish soldiers?
I don't blame the little girls for this. I'm not even sure I blame their parents.
We're taught from infancy that if we don't take care of Jews, no one else will. That has been proven false many times over.
Should we take care of Jews first? In many cases, probably yes.
But there is nothing to stop us from being kind to non-Jews, especially non-Jews who risk their lives to defend all of us.
Doing that would be a real lesson in "service."
[Hat Tip: A neighbor.]