Following are some excerpts from the essay “Growing Pains“, which I strongly recommend you read, it’s a must. This essay is written by Rabbi Nosson Weisz, of AISH.com, who writes in his section Mayanot, Wellsprings.
We Jews subscribe to the belief that the world is run by Divine Providence. God obligated Himself under the terms of the Covenant that He signed with us, the Jewish people, at Mt. Sinai, to treat us as the most beloved treasure of all peoples (Exodus 19:5). The very undertaking to provide Jews with special treatment assumes a world subject to Divine direction. Since it is quite unthinkable to suspect God of deliberately violating His agreements, we are forced to conclude that the events of Jewish history constitute an exact demonstration of God’s interpretation of this obligation to treat us as His most beloved treasure. Needless to say, in light of the horrors that the Jewish people have endured over the centuries, especially the most recent horror of the Holocaust, the perception of our ‘treasured’ status is problematic to say the least.
With an eye to discharging this Jewish civic obligation, this essay focuses on the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. We are totally demoralized by daily acts of senseless terror perpetrated by people who enthusiastically sacrifice their lives to create havoc and murder against innocent civilians. No matter what solution we attempt, we seem quite helpless to stop the carnage. To add to our national frustration, a large part of the ‘civilized’ world regards us Jews as the perpetrators of the very violence of which we are the victims. Why is this happening to us? Why can’t we reach a peaceful accommodation with our Palestinian neighbors no matter what concessions we offer?
This article Thou Shalt Not Forget, reprinted with the kind permission of The Lekarev Report.
Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel begins at 7:30 this evening with a ceremony at Yad Vashem to be attended by government leaders, Holocaust survivors and hundreds of Israelis. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will deliver speeches during the ceremony, and Holocaust survivors will light up six torches, in memory of the six millions murdered in the Shoah.
A ceremony attended by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will be held at 8:00 pm at the Massuah Amphitheater in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak. Veteran Israelis who arrived to Israel on the ship Exodus will light up the Torch of Revival.
At 10:00 am Thursday a siren will be heard throughout the entire country and Israelis will stand in absolute silence and attention for two minutes. Immediately following the siren, wreaths will be laid at the foot of the memorial for the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
The annual ceremony ‘Unto every person a name,’ during which the names of Holocaust victims are read aloud, will begin at 10:30 at Yad Vashem and at the Knesset.
Zanne Farbstein was 16 years old when she was deported with her two younger sisters to Auschwitz. While working as a slave laborer, Zanne found her father’s prayer shawl while sorting through the clothing of the prisoners who had been murdered in the camp. Zanne survived Auschwitz , and moved to Israel with her few surviving family members, where she began a new life. Click below to hear Zanne tell you in her own words about her experience:
In Jewish homes around the world tonight, a 24 hour memorial candle will be lit in memory of the six million who perished at the hands of the Nazis. You are most welcome to join us.
May they never be forgotten and may their memory be forever blessed.
This article Thou Shalt Not Forget, reprinted with the kind permission of The Lekarev Report.
Following are some excerpts of Holocaust? No, it can’t happen here…, from Rabbi Lazer Brody’s, Lazer Beams blog – Reflections of Emuna with Rabbi Lazer Brody , which deals on the gathering clouds of American antisemitism.
Famous last words of German Jews prior to Kristallnacht: “No, it can’t happen here…”
American Jews, ever so comfy, say the same thing today. With oil up to $120/barrel and the value of the dollar down by over 30%, with a waning economy and increasing unemployment, it’s only a matter of time until the ground really starts burning under the feet of American Jews.
Here you have it beloved brethren, the only weapon that will defeat Eretz Ysrael’s enemies, is PRAYER, not weapons, or any person or army but simple sincere PRAYER from way deep within our heart.
We have to get hold of our sword (Emunah) and start praying (Tefillah) to Hashem, in order to clean the path so that Mosiach can come and deliver Klal Ysrael from our enemies.
Rabbi Lazer Brody from Lazer Beams has a wonderful spiritual explanation about the threat against Israel and how to deal with it.
Kindly click here to listen.
Jerusalem Post October 9, 1999
IN MUSAF OF ROSH HASHANAH, we find a description of G-d’s “remembrance”: “When the remembrance of every created being comes before you — every person’s deeds and mission…” The term “deeds” refers to a person’s observance of the commandments. But what is meant by a person’s “mission?”
There is no Jew without his or her own individual task. That task can be performed by no one else, for no one else was born with precisely the same configuration of strengths and weaknesses, no one else is born into the same family at precisely the same moment or into the same historical situation, and no one else confronts the same challenges and tests in life.
Because each Jew is a world unto himself and absolutely singular so is his task in life unique. That task is the “mission” referred to in the Zichronos section of Musaf.
We might think that so long as we have kept our sins to a minimum that we are destined for a favorable judgment on Rosh Hashanah. But the Midrash makes clear that our fulfillment of our appointed task is no less determinative. The Midrash recounts the story of Navat the Carmelite, who was put to death by Queen Jezebel. Navat was a completely righteous man, who refused to sell his vineyard to Jezebel. How can I sell that which G-d gave to my forefathers? he told her. As a consequence, Jezebel hired false witnesses to testify against Navat, and he was put to death.
The Midrash asks: How could such a righteous man have come to such a terrible end? And the Midrash answers that Navat had a uniquely beautiful voice. Each festival those going up to Jerusalem looked forward to hearing his beautiful prayers. One year, however, Navat did not come thereby disappointing all those who eagerly anticipated listening to his prayers. That year he was put to death by Jezebel. When a person does not use the gifts that G-d has given him in the manner intended, the Midrash teaches us, he or she has no further reason to live.
The Jewish people together constitute a potential symphony orchestra of praise to G-d. No Jew is born without an instrument or the ability to play it.
Say a prayer for the soldiers of the IDF, and for all residents of the Holy Land (suggestion: Psalm 20 is traditionally said in times of distress).
Charity and acts of kindness: Put a coin in a charity box, give a gift of money to a fellow in need or to a charitable cause, or extend a helping hand to someone who needs it.
Tefillin: If you already put on tefillin every day, encourage a friend to do so. If you don’t yet, now is a good time to start!.
Mezuzah: If you don’t yet have a mezuzah get one now! If you already do have one, it may be time to have it checked to ensure that the words on the parchment have not faded.
Tzitzit: start wearing tzitzit even during the night, and even while sleeping.
Purim is almost here. And with it comes the incredible Mitzvah of Tzedakah that helps to define us as a nation. On Purim we give money directly to those who are destitute so that they too can enjoy the day and its festivities.
We need your help! We need it to distribute Matanot L’evyonim –
charity to the poor on Purim ; to lift the spirits of the poor, and to allow them a breath of fresh air as prescribed by the Megillah.
Please donate generously. We need it to keep on doing what we do best – caring and feeding those who are the most vulnerable.
In the merit of this Mitzvah, may you be blessed with good health, with happiness and with the continued ability to care.
The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira was the first to speak:
“We are all in need of mercy, the entire country,” Shapira cried.
“Pray for all of us and give good counsel to the families, to the anguished friends.”
Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar was weeping as well. “We have paid with our best boys, who were sitting by their talmuds … torah was their entire world, they are the roses that have been picked … and God will have mercy on us for their merit.
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski also addressed the crowd:
“Lord, nations have invaded your land, desecrated your holy hall, eight of our sweet loved ones, may God avenge their blood, who only yesterday were living amongst us, are no longer with us. Their lives were severed by lowly murderers … but the murderer did not wish to target them alone, but rather each and every one of us, each and every resident of the holy city of Jerusalem.
For many years our enemies have been trying to ruin our lives, to harm us as much as they can. Jerusalem has paid heavily in blood, and the long long list was joined last night by our eight sons.”