The Siddur at Bin Laden’s Assassination
What an incredible story I just read in this month’s issue of Zman Magazine.
When Chaim Sorotzkin of Lakewood married his wife, she gave him a leather-bound siddur with his name stamped in gold on the cover. Sorotzkin had used his beloved siddur every day of his 11 years of marriage….
Until 2 years ago, when Sorotzkin took a flight with his family to spend Passover with his in-laws in Chicago. When he arrived at his in-laws home, he was devastated when he realized that he had left his precious siddur in the magazine pouch on the plane.
Sorotzkin rushed to make several calls trying to track down the siddur, but nobody could help him.
Fast forward almost 2 years…Several months ago, out of the blue, Sorotzkin received a phone call from a US Army Civil Air Patrol Captain who wanted to return his siddur.
The man explained to to Sorotzkin that his siddur had been on quite a journey since he had last seen it.
It turned out that after Sorotzkin’s Chicago flight, the next person to sit in his plane seat had been a Navy SEAL. And not just any Navy SEAL, but a member of the elite Team Six which carries out the US Armed Forces’ most sensitive and dangerous missions.
Soldiers sent on dangerous missions often carry religious objects to bring them luck. And this Navy SEAL adopted Sorotzkin’s siddur as his good-luck charm.
This siddur, which the SEALs nicknamed “Chaim’s prayerbook,” even accompanied him and brought him good fortune on the most dangerous mission of his life: the night that he and his fellow SEALs assassinated mass-murderer and 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden.
The night of the assassination, the 23 SEALs and their translator survived a near-fatal helicopter crash, and even walked away from it without injury. Some of the SEALs credited “Chaim’s Prayerbook” with their miraculous survival and the flawless success of their difficult mission.
Make sure to check out the entire incredible story of the Bin Laden assassination and the siddur’s role in it in the March/Adar issue of Zman Magazine.