After a Visit to Auschwitz: Questions About the Holocaust

We Jews love questions.  The classic one is of the rabbi who when asked why it is that Jews always answer a question with a question answered, “Why not?”   Our Torah reading this morning picks up on the incident we read a few weeks ago in the Torah about the mysterious death of Aaron’s …

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Aharei Mot: After the Holocaust

May 7, 2016   In the Jewish tradition names are given by parents to perpetuate the memory of a loved one, or to convey some kind of meaning and connection to loved ones. But the name for each week’s Torah portion is somewhat happenstance.  It is derived from the first significant words of the parasha.  …

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Is there a Connection between Yom HaShoah & Yom HaAtzmaut?

May 3, 2014   The Jewish calendar, which is the subject of the latter part of this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Emor has many quirks. It is a lunar calendar.  Yet unlike other calendars based on the cycle of the moon, such as the Moslem calendar, it has corrections so that it remains in sync …

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Looking Back at Auschwitz and Forward to Israel

April 13, 2013   Walking through Auschwitz a few weeks ago with members of our synagogue I came face to face for the first time in my life with the place that has become a synonym for the Holocaust. The German form of the word for the nearby Polish town, Oswiecim has become a metaphor …

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Sparks of Life: Impressions of Hungary on Shabbat Zachor

March 3, 2012   Although I have just returned from Israel, my thoughts are much more focused on Europe, where I davened last Friday night at a synagogue with a group of 30 rabbis in Budapest, Hungary, and on Saturday morning at a very different shul.  Both represent and reflect what I saw and experienced …

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The Holocaust, Israel and other Matters

Erev Yom Kippur September 27, 2009   It is widely believed that in his speech to the Moslem world delivered in Cairo this past June President Obama declared that the State of Israel was created in response to the Holocaust.  The only thing is he didn’t say that.  I went back and read and re-read …

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