RSO Jewish education explores ‘Secrets of Bible’ | Article













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The Religious Support Office (RSO) offers a course, “Secrets of the Bible,” exploring teachings from the Torah taught by Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, co-director of the Chabad of Cochise County in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and contract rabbi for RSO, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
(Photo credit: (US Army photo by Karen Sampson))

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RSO Jewish Education Explores “Mysteries of the Bible”








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2nd Lt. Gabriel Blum, an officer attending the Military Intelligence Leadership Course with the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, participates in the Mysteries of the Bible class presented by Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, contract rabbi of the Religious Support Office will be based in Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
(Photo credit: (US Army photo by Karen Sampson))

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FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The Religious Support Office (RSO) is educating a global audience with its eight-week Secrets of the Bible course, which explores Jewish teachings from the Torah through Microsoft Teams and in person at the Prosser Village Chapel Annex.

The Torah section of the Hebrew Bible consists of five books: Numbers, Exodus, Leviticus, Genesis, and Deuteronomy. It is said to be the revelation of God given to Moses and written by him.

“Through these instructional opportunities, we provide the tools and environment to meditate and connect with God,” said Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, co-director of Cochise County’s Chabad in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and assigned rabbi for the RSO here.

Shemtov leads the course, which is attended either virtually via Microsoft Teams or in person.

Students follow along with readings and study lessons in an accompanying textbook.

“I’m grateful to have some sort of Torah study while I’m in basic officer leadership,” said 2nd Lt. Gabriel Blum, an officer taking the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leadership Course of the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion.

“The lessons [in Genesis] gave me a deeper understanding of the stories of Jacob and the lives of his twelve sons,” he said.

The stories, laws and poems of the Torah are at the center of Jewish culture and tell of God’s creation of the world.

It is the document that contains all the rules by which the Jewish people structure their spiritual life, Shemtov said.

“They have [class] Structure that is accessible to all denominations and to those of the Jewish faith, we offer education that is Torah-based and relevant to contemporary issues,” he said.

The RSO advises soldiers on the importance of faith and self-confidence, building the mental resilience to endure life’s challenges and crises, both at home and on the battlefield.

“To be mentally and physically healthy, spirituality requires attention,” explains Shemtov.

The Mysteries of the Bible course is offered by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute and the remaining course dates are March 20th and 26th.

Soldiers, family members, DOD civilians, and retirees of all faiths or no faith are welcome to attend Jewish worship either in person or by registering in an MS Teams classroom.

“If you emphasize the positive or chase the good things, as we say in the army, one of the good things that has come out of the COVID pandemic in 2020 is that everyone knows how to get on an online platform” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Shay Worthy, Garrison Chaplain.

He noted that most army worship services and educational programs were promptly switched to live online events.

Roxanne Martinez, Religious Education Director, and Morgana Biddix, Religious Support Operations Manager, both began directing the online educational programs for Jews.

“Last fall [2021], we were the only post in the entire army conducting online Jewish education!” exclaimed Würdig. “Soon, Fort Huachuca RSO was providing online Jewish religious instruction to all units worldwide.”

Worthy said he was very happy with the success of the program.

Fort Huachuca RSO works with the US Army Chaplain Corps and the Jewish Chaplains Council to facilitate courses through the Joint Religious Education Program (JREP).

“JREP provides spiritual knowledge to soldiers from a low-density religious base with members scattered around the world,” Biddix said. “This particular course exploration is available for study by all military personnel and all religious backgrounds.”

For more information on adult religious education services offered by Fort Huachuca RSO, call 520.533.4748.

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Fort Huachuca is home to the US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, US Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multi-service population. Our unique environment includes 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.

Located in Cochise County in southeastern Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is a military facility with a rich frontier history. Founded in 1877, the fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.

We are the home of the army. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.

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