Invocation by Rabbi Perl. One of the students receiving his Eagle Scout rank was Michael Goldberg, a graduate of the Jack Soshnick Chabad Hebrew School of North Merrick. After the formal invocation a deeper lesson from an Eagle was presented.

Almighty G‑d,

We ask your blessings upon our Scouts and their families, our leaders, advisors and friends.

Our best wishes & applause for continued to success goes to Michael Goldberg, Matt Flaster and Zack Montenero, now official Eagle Scouts, reaching the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program. You now join the ranks of more than 2 million young men to have received this distinction since 1911.

The Scouting movement, founded on the principles of Americanism, is dedicated to training the youth of our country, without distinction of race or creed, to appreciate the wonders of nature and the wholesomeness of recreation; to develop body and mind; and to teach love of country and service to man.

This moment allows the opportunity to reflect on the American flag and the meaningful ideals it represents. May its red, white and blue colors always remind us of liberty and justice for all.

We pray that this flag be a constant reminder that when a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind, he lives by the highest ideals of our land; that in being cheerful and brave, he inspires others to emulate this example; that by practicing cleanliness and reverence, he earns the love of G‑d and respect of his fellow men.

May this ceremony inspire us toward even greater devotion to our country and its democratic institutions.


Torah Lessons from An Eagle

Rabbi Judah Ben Tema, one of the contributors to the Mishna (completed in 200 CE) said, “Be light as an eagle … to do the will of our Father in Heaven.” This quote was chosen as the opening words of the Jewish Code of Law. Here are some ways we can emulate an eagle’s flight:

Swerve: Just like an eagle can swerve sharply to circumvent obstacles, so should a person avoid negative thoughts or actions that may come his way.

Spiral: Eagles catch rising masses of warm air, or thermals, to carry them in a spiral manner high into the sky. Eventually they can reach an altitude of 10,000 feet or more. By reviewing our studies over and over and “circling” over the material, we can reach great heights.

Soar: The eagle is a large bird, up to 3 feet tall, but its large wings enable it to soar into the heavens. By nature, our physical body resists any attempt to refine it, but with the right wings we can soar to the highest spiritual levels. These wings are love and awe of G‑d.