We join all Americans in mourning the deaths of those who perished in the crash in Afghanistan of a military Chinook helicopter on Sunday. The deaths of these young men are a vivid reminder that even in these times of great self-interest and self- indulgence, there are those who selflessly and unhesitatingly put their lives on the line to defend the nation.
Our faith teaches us that every life is precious and every individual is a separate world unto him or herself. As one of our great rabbinic authorities has noted, we mourn a death because there never was and never will be anyone exactly like the departed. And of course we can only shudder at the grief each of the families suffered when informed of their loss.
The episode is also the latest testament to the fact that the greatest power in history has not yet figured out how to make optimum use of its overwhelming might in clashes with fundamentalist terrorists using relatively primitive weapons. It seems inconceivable that, as it now appears, a military helicopter in regular use in Afghanistan was brought down by a run of the mill rocket-propelled grenade.