Prior to Selichot services on Saturday night, September 1 at 9:00 pm, we are screening the gripping documentary “The Four Chaplains: Sacrifice at Sea”.
In 1943, four young Army chaplains joined 900 recruits who were headed for battle in Nazi-occupied Europe on the U.S.A.T. Dorchester. During the voyage, a torpedo from a German submarine ripped through the hull of the ship In the scramble for lifeboats, four chaplains on board-…a Catholic priest, a rabbi, and two Protestant ministers- directed soldiers to safety. They also selflessly removed their own life vests and gave them to the soldiers, knowing they could not possibly survive without the flotation devices. They spent their last moments singing hymns and praying, arm-in-arm, as the ship disappeared beneath the waves. This event was the catalyst for Americans to embrace interfaith understanding. Until the Dorchester, there was no mention in print of Catholics, Protestants and Jews working together in this manner, especially in prayer.