שירת שלום

Song of Peace

  • Home
  • Rabbi & Cantor's Messages
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 24 May 2024 11:22 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    I still remember Gabbie’s Bat Mitzvah project from 8 years ago. She called it “BE” because she wanted to inspire people to be their greatest selves. Since she was 14 at the time, she came up with 14 unique ways she could  “BE” her best self and make a difference then and in the future.

    Now in college, Gabbie has certainly been exemplifying “BEing” her greatest self. As with so many of our Jewish students, Gabbie has had to face what we have never wanted for our beautiful children.

    But  Gabbie also knows that BEing her best self can also mean having courage which was one of her original attributes in her mitzvah project. Gabbie used her artistic talents to display her statement.  

    Some of her various answers to those who harassed her? "This is not political. Everyone should feel safe on campus" "Everyone deserves equal opportunity for education."  “Our Community will always be stronger than your hate. Grow up, Do better."

    During these times, people often ask me how I can have so much hope. Gabbie and all of our other young people is my answer. For they are exemplifying for the entire world, how to BE.  

    Make sure to read Gabbie’s other BE’s here: https://shiratshalom.org/Rabbi-and-Cantors-Messages/13361374

    Shalom,

    Cantor Lee

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation



  • 06 May 2024 6:56 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)


    In the aftermath of October 7th, I kept thinking of how Holocaust Survivors and their children were being affected. Of course we were all shocked and continue to reel from the horror, but for Survivors especially, I knew the past trauma carried within was being triggered.  And so this was confirmed with the calls Rabbi David began receiving. 

    With the ensuing antisemitism that was already coming to the surface years before the attack and has been displayed at the recent campus protests, our collective Jewish resolve of  “Never Again!” has certainly turned to “Never Again is Now!”

    We all see the mistruths being spread with social media one factor in creating this narrative. As Rabbi David recently wrote,  "This narrative has been relentlessly playing on the emotions of the students. Once  emotions take over, hate settles in and the truth becomes irrelevant. At that point there is no desire to have an honest discussion and investigation. " 

    So what is my role as a lightworker and as a Jewish teacher? Ingrained within us as the Jewish people is that we are to be a Light unto the Nations. I take that seriously knowing  that every prayer, thought, word and action I have can work energetically, helping to bring us closer to a world of peace.  

    Especially with our work with children in our Infinite Light Vision program, I have witnessed firsthand  the power of this Light that is just waiting to be awakened within each one of us.

    Rabbi  David and I will certainly continue to "arm" our Shirat Shalom children with the strength of our beautiful Jewish heritage that also teaches that each one of us has the ability to be a ”Light Unto the Nations” through our own respective religious and cultural paths.

    Today as we observe, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, Yom Zikaron La Shoah veh la G'vura- may this Awakened Inner Light bring us together in Unity that Never Again is Now!

    Shalom,

    Cantor Lee

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation


  • 29 Apr 2024 7:37 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    With recent events of college campus protests,  questions have been asked of Rabbi David about this situation. Here is his answer: 

    The eruption of Antisemitic, anti-Israel protests in many universities around the country is far from new or spontaneous. Actions against Jews in general and Jewish students in particular has been  permeating through colleges for decades. It is spearheaded by well trained organizers who are being paid for their services by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other nations.

    The amounts of money flowing to promote “Palestinian causes” is in the billions. For decades  this campaign has been very well organized and coordinated nationwide. For its part, Qatar is spending many billions in dozens of the most known and recognized  colleges in the US. Its organizers, many of them students themselves, have been spreading blatant  historical lies by manufacturing facts about the Arab - Israeli conflict. The Palestinian “activists,” operate  under the clear goal of deliberate brainwashing of unsuspecting students on campuses. This is done by pounding the Palestinian  issue into the students’ minds with activities  and lectures full of many wrong details on a regular basis. 

    There is a direct correlation between the amount of money from Qatar given to a university and the amount of anti-Jewish anti-Israel activities on its campus. The money involved according to the Department of Justice  amounts to many billions.  The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, ISGAP,  reported that the billions from Qatar are handled in campuses across the nation by “Proxies”- a term used to describe politically correct pro-Palestinian activities organizers on behalf of Qatar. These  organizers coordinate their activities among colleges throughout the country.  

    For many years these well organized, well founded sophisticated activities have been relentless. They are hidden under a mask of legitimacy, factual and research based in order to appeal to unsuspecting, very impressionable young students.  For years the Qatari “Proxies” have been identifying pro-Palestinian professors helping them to create “Palestinian studies” courses, symposiums on Israel’s  “actions” against the Palestinians, student forums and campus rallies which call for the destruction  of Israel through all means possible. 

    This narrative has been relentlessly playing on the emotions of the students. Once  emotions take over, hate settles in and the truth becomes irrelevant. At that point there is no desire to have an honest discussion and investigation. Many pro-Israeli  students report  that no matter what facts they present, these highly emotionally brainwashed  students cannot see the real facts. For them, it is not about the truth, it is about what feels good to their young minds. 

    With our mission as the Jewish people to be a light unto the nations, still we will forge ahead, living at a higher consciousness and bringing these ideals forward.  

    Shalom,

    Rabbi David

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Upcoming Events

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation


  • 15 Apr 2024 9:51 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)


    We are all familiar with the great saga of Passover. An enslaved nation, led by a mysterious man, breaks free from its bondage in Egypt. That mysterious man, Moses,  managed to lead an entire nation out of the clutches of  the most dominant empire at that time. He managed to overcome the  empire‘s vast, well equipped trained army and lead the running slaves into the vast wilderness of Sinai. The slaves, the Hebrews, relied  solely on the miracles performed by Moses on behalf of their mysterious G-D to provide them with their daily needs of water, food  and protection in a lawless, very harsh environment. 

    This of course was not a small task considering an estimate of more than 2.5 million men, women and children leaving Egypt. History scholars  have  doubts about  the story’s authenticity. For one  thing, the Bible  was written hundreds of years after these events took place and is  based on generations of oral transmissions describing these events.  Yet for millenia the story of Passover has been and still is a most profound story  very dear to their hearts. Jews all over the world consider this annual  telling of the Passover story, a symbol of their Jewishness, even if they do not follow other traditions throughout the year.

    This story  has a universal appeal because  it deals with the most fundamental  yearning  of the human spirit, the yearning to be free. It is a story of the triumph of this yearning. It is a story of a people becoming a nation out of the depth of slavery solely because they become free. This  point was reiterated to the Israelites by Moses who reminded them,  “..at that day  you became a nation” (Deuteronomy 27: 9.)

    But freedom has many aspects and can be manifested in different ways. The individual physical freedom to live free and be as one wants to Be. This, of course, is guaranteed  to us by the constitution that national freedom is the freedom of a nation to live its independent life. The idea of freedom being fundamental to life has reverberated in our Jewish  psyche since  the day the Hebrew slaves became a nation. It has lasted through our long  history of suffering  as well as exaltation. It is about the idea that we all value it as much as the air we breathe and the food we eat.

    This year, with the hostages still not freed, Passover has even more significance. May our collective observance of Passover  bring them home. 

    Happy Passover and Happy Freedom, 

    Rabbi David

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation


  • 17 Mar 2024 10:05 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)


    Jewish people have been celebrating the holiday of Purim for about 2400 years. It is, as we all know, a fun holiday of parties, dressing in costumes eating hamantaschen and enjoying the day. It is a celebration in remembrance of the great salvation of the Jews of Persia who were under a great threat of annihilation only to be saved by the Jewish queen Ester and her Uncle Mordechai.

    But the story of Purim has much deeper roots. It involves a very old and bitter political rivalry between two royal families. which goes all the way back to King Saul and King David some 3,100 years ago, way before the events of the story of Purim in Persia.

    While all of the 12 tribes that inherited  the land of Israel were considered one nation, there was friction between the ten tribes who lived in the center and northern part of Israel, known as the northern region tribes, and the two southern region tribes, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

    King Saul, the first king of Israel, came from the tribe of Benjamin of the southern region. This created friction with the northern tribes who wanted the king of Israel to come the northern region. Nevertheless, King Saul in his wisdom was a unifying king who treated all the tribes fairly and therefore all of the tribes of Israel considered him their king.

    However, things did not work well for King Saul. G-D explicitly ordered him to totally annihilate the Amalekite nation, men, women and children and completely destroy all of their property. (Indeed, we do have some moral issues in the Bible.) King Saul granted "professional curtsey" to the Amalekite king, Agag, as well as his wife and did not kill them. He also allowed the people to take booty from the Amalekites’ possessions against G-D’s explicit instructions. In order to follow G-D's order, the Amalekite king, Agag, was eventually killed by the prophet Samuel. With King Agag’s death it was thought that this was the end to all living Amalekites. 

    But that was not the case. Our great sages explain that even prophet Samuel neglected to kill Agag's wife who happened to be pregnant . The Amalekite line therefore continued throughout the generations.

    G-D was furious with King Saul. He took away the kingdom from him and gave it to King David who was from the tribe of Judea. The ten tribes considered the anointment of David to be a king as another insult since he too like King Saul came from the southern tribe region.

    Unlike King Saul, King David and his son, King Solomon, had an ongoing animosity towards the northern region. They treated the northern tribe very unfairly. Among other things, they imposed heavy taxation, long military service as well as other national duties. That unfair treatment came about probably because the northern tribes refused to accept David as their king for seven years until they finely capitulated.

    Fast forward centuries later to Persia where a large Jewish population had formed over centuries of exile.   

    King Saul's descendents never forgot the humiliation of tearing the kingdom from them  and giving it to the house of David.  They were hoping to regain back the respect of G-D and maybe even any future kingdom of Israel.  At least part of the Jewish population in the Persian Diaspora who centuries earlier belonged to the ten northern tribes probably preferred the house of Saul as well since he was considered a national unifier as opposed to King David and his son King Solomon who held a grudge against them.

    The major characters of the story of Purim which took place in Shushan, the capital of Persia, have a direct connection to the story of King David and King Saul. In fact Mordechai who was most likely the leader of the Jewish community in Shushan  and Ester, the heroes of the story, were direct descendants of King Saul. It seems that the house of King Saul was still enjoying a leadership position among the Jews.

    We know that because the narrative refers to Mordechai as "the son of Kish", referring  to Kish, the father of King Saul who was also called "Saul, son of Kish." Obviously the narrative is making sure that we are aware of the connection between Mordechai and King Saul. The narrative refers to Haman as the Aggagite, making sure we understand  that Haman is a direct descendent of Aggag the king of the Amalakites. 

    So now we see the story of Purim clearly. This is the second round of the conflict  between the house of King Saul and the house of Agag the Amalekite. Mordechai knows that this time around that all the descendants of the Amalekites must be killed in order to comply with G-D's order as well regaining the honor of the house of Saul. This is about an unfinished business that must be completed.

    When Mordechai suggests to Queen Ester that G-D had made her the queen of Persia for a specific reason, this is the reason to which he is most likely referring. 

    But the story of Purim does have a twist at the end. While Haman and his ten sons were hanged, his wife and possibly daughters were not. So yet again the Amalekite line was not completely annihilated and may have continued through the wife who might have been pregnant at the time or through the daughters.

    However it is interesting to note that from this point on Judaism takes a more philosophical approach to the line of the Amalekite. We consider every enemy of Israel  who is trying to annihilate the Jewish people as a descendent of the Amalekite king, as Haman was. We certain can see the reference also to Hamas here - there is only one letter difference between Haman and Hamas. 

    Haman and the rest of the cruel enemies who throughout the generations have tried to destroy us, are considered the manifestation of evil in the world. That evil is what we  are trying to eradicate by spreading throughout the world the Light of G-D which dwells  within each and every one of us, in order to make our world a better, more peaceful one. 

    May this holiday of Purim be joyful to all of us. 

    Rabbi David

    Make Your Donation to the Israel Emergency Defense Campaign HERE

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation



  • 28 Jan 2024 9:48 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)


    A UN sponsored survey in 2023  found that Israelis are among the happiest people in the world. This of course is a bit strange considering  the daily pressure of national survival.

    While the events of October  7th, the terrible ongoing loss of life and the world’s immense political pressure has put  a damper on the survey findings, in general, however, the innate happiness still remains.

    Why so?

    This “Jewish Joy” is based on the Jewish outlook on life. Beyond  the “normal” worldly things that make us happy such as personal achievements or happy family events, there is the appreciation for simply being alive on such a unique planet in the universe.       

    Joy in the Jewish tradition is considered to be an antidote to life’s challenges, sadness and even the traumas we, the Jewish people, have experienced throughout the centuries. It has kept us from falling into despair during very tough times. 

    A large movement based on finding Joy from the depth of despair was created after hundreds of Jewish communities were obliterated in the 17 century by the Polish cossacks. This was the Hasidic movement which spread all over Europe like a wildfire. 

    Finding Joy in our hearts despite adverse events is rooted in a profound spiritual attitude. Life is precious, an amazing gift granted to us by G-D and the expression of Joy no matter the circumstance strengthens that attitude as well as our inner drive  for survival.

    There is a story in the Mishna (a body of biblical commentaries precursor to the Talmud) about the angels singing praises to G-D after pharaoh's chariots drowned in the sea. G-D  responded: My creations drowned in the sea and you are singing praises to me?" 

    Jewish perpetual joy is all about the sanctity and the appreciation of life on earth and not an expression of revenge. It helps the psyche overcome sadness, even tragedy and horrors to which Jews have been exposed to for centuries. It prevents us from becoming a victim within to those who wish to hurt us or destroy us.  

    Our historical related holidays always stress Jewish survival and deliverance from evil  as well as praise of G-D. It is not an expression of Joy for the death of an evil enemy.  

    In Holidays  such as Hanukkah, Purim and Passover  we offer  G-D a special prayer  of praise called”Hallel” (“Praise”). We recite it during Passover and Hanukkah as a  thank you to G-D for saving the Jewish people from a threat of annihilation.

    However, despite the Joy of survival, Jewish tradition forbids us from reciting Hallel during the seventh day of Passover because that was the day Pharaoh's army drowned. We do not recite “Hallel'' on Purim because that was the day in which the Jews killed their enemies who wanted them dead in Persia.  

    The value of Jewish Joy goes even deeper with the mystical teachings of the Kabbalists. We even have a special Hebrew month, Adar, which radiates the energies of Joy to us. And this year there are  actually two months of Adar! During our upcoming workshop/webinar Feb. 10th  we will be delving in these teachings and how to use the tools of the Kabbalists to bring the deeper level of Joy which also brings healing into our lives. We certainly can all use more Joy right now! I hope you will join us!

    Shalom,

    Rabbi David

    Register Here


  • 22 Oct 2023 9:32 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    Due to the war I have been receiving many questions. Here is one that has been asked several times concerning the water and electricity situation in Gaza. 

    When Gaza fell into Israeli hands during the War of 1967 after the Egyptians left the area, what was left was a collapsed infrastructure, a completely broken water pipe system, one old and often dysfunctional  electrical power plant, an antiquated, barely functioning electrical grid and a dilapidated sewer system. 

    Due to ongoing bitter rivalry between political groups in Gaza, the ability to elect an effective central authority as a governing body, was impossible. In fact, no effective public utility to speak of existed in Gaza since the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, other than humanitarian help, no serious international initiative to improve  the infrastructure has been offered to remedy the situation. 

    This was the situation 65 years ago. Nothing much has changed since except that the population is now more than four times as much, from 400,000 Arabs living in Gaza in the late 60’s to 1.8 million presently cramming into the same small area.

    After the 1967 war, the State of Israel realized it needed to supply Gaza with water and electricity while trying to rebuild the infrastructure using its own limited resources of water and electricity. To make things  even worse, the Israelis realized  that at least half of the water supplied to Gaza could not be handled by the antiquated water pipe system. A few desalination plants were desperately needed as well as a few new power plants to replace the one small dysfunctional electrical power plant  along with its dilapidated electrical grid.

    Over the years, plans to improve the situation in Gaza were drawn by Israeli engineers with international support. These plans  were impossible to implement since terror organizations were active in Gaza against Israel. Any Israeli initiative to ease Gaza’s situation was flatly rejected.

    Plans to help the situation  were also drawn specifically by the Israeli water and electrical authorities. These plans  were scratched as well due to constant terror activities from Gaza.

    The UN organization, UNICEF however, did manage to build a small water desalination plant in Gaza  in order to ease the water shortage. However  the plant is too small. It is based on old technology and cannot solve the dire water situation in Gaza.

    One of the well known plans to help the situation was put forward  by former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett and former foreign minister Yair Lapid. It evidently had great European support. It was never implemented due  to the refusal of Hamas to even consider it.

    There were also Israeli proposals to build a few modern desalination plants as well as patching  the water pipe system using Israeli vast know- how and experience in the field. Plans  to build a few electrical power plants with foreign donations were also considered.

    In 2008  Hamas authorities agreed to allow the building of a desalination plant and electrical power plants to alleviate the severe water  and electrical shortage. Building materials earmarked for these projects were sent along with engineering plans for the projects to be built with the help of Israeli engineers and foreign money.

    However, Hamas had plans of its own. All the building material was used to build one of the most elaborate and sophisticated underground large tunnels. This became what is now known as Gaza’s underground city. The goal was to provide shelter to the dozens of thousands Hamas terrorists as well as a way to  kidnap Israelis. 

    Both goals  were achieved. Many terror attacks  in the area  including  kidnapping Israeli citizens (and getting back hundreds of terrorist prisoners in Israeli jail in a prisoner exchange) were conducted using these tunnels.

    When Israel realized that all building materials were used  to build  the underground  structure instead of helping the population, it was decided to immediately stop the transfer of all construction material to Gaza.

    However, according to IDF reports, it has been discovered that Hamas  has managed to smuggle huge amounts of construction material through the Egyptian border and  through its extensive tunnel system. Hamas even expanded the underground elaborate tunnels system  to more than 200 miles. For years Hamas  has been successfully smuggling anything they needed for their terror activities through land and sea.

    It also became apparent that a lot of materials have been smuggled through Israel by hiding them in double strength food bags like rice bags. Israel, having no other choice, started monitoring everything that is shipped to Gaza on a daily basis aboard dozens of large trucks including food and  other goods. 

    Unlike what Arab propaganda wants everyone to believe, there are absolutely no restrictions on food, medicine, and all other basic needs. Everything  is simply being checked for any material that could be used, directly or indirectly, for terror, including  weapons and ammunition.

    This is the hard lesson learned by Israel that when it comes to Gaza that less than total vigilance leads to terror disasters.  Israel is still obligated  to supply water  and electricity as much as it can to Gaza. This is not  a “control” issue but rather the kind of moral and legal obligation issued by the international community and  the UN  despite  the hatred  and the will to obliterate the state of Israel.

    It is sad that on one hand  the world accuses Israel of “controlling”  Gaza by controlling  the water and electrical flow and by restricting  material going to Gaza and on the other hand demands that Israel provides Gaza with water and  electric power, food and other materials. It is sad that the world has ignored all the attempts by Israel to help rebuild Gaza infrastructure and instead has faced extreme hostility. 

    It is a strange anomaly that Gazans want  to destroy Israel by completely killing all men (women  and girls should be taken for obvious purposes) despite the fact that Israel provides for the Gazans, as much as it can, water  and electricity and despite Israel's attempts over the years to help with plans which cannot be implemented. 

    No other country  in the world ever came out  with a serious attempt to help the water and electrical infrastructure situation, not even the UN, with all its vast resources.

    Any accusation from any international body over the years of Israel’s discriminatory restrictions in regards to helping  Gaza is a propaganda fallacy.  

    Rabbi David 

    Make Your Donation to the Israel Emergency Defense Campaign HERE

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation



  • 16 Oct 2023 11:27 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    I always love to set a beautiful table for Shabbat and the holidays. For me it is a way to send Light and my prayers. The first Friday after  the Hamas attack, Oct. 13th, I wanted the tablescape to radiate out the Light of  Peace and knew a dove I keep on display would be perfect to use. It is pretty difficult to reach so I asked Rabbi David to get it for me but as he was doing so, it slipped from his hand and broke. 

    I just looked at it in sadness and said, “A sign of what is happening.” Rabbi David managed to glue the dove back together but one piece is missing. It is a piece by the dove’s heart. 



    As I placed the dove on my table, I could feel the Light radiating from my tablescape’s Prayer for Peace. It was so beautiful, so sacred, so strong!  “Thank you for your message,” I told the dove.  “We may be broken with pieces of our heart missing, but we will still continue to bring our Light to the world!”

    I reset my table after Shabbat  in the exact same way. I told the dove, “This is going to to be your new place for awhile.”

    Love, Cantor Lee



    Light for Israel: Each Friday eve join the global campaign to light an additional candle for Israel and all suffering. Even if you don't normally light Shabbat candles... even if you aren't Jewish....

    Another Message?

    Noah sent out the dove three times from the ark. The first time she couldn't find a place to rest and came back. The second time, she brought back an olive leaf which has become a universal sign of peace. The third time, she didn't return to the ark for the flood was over and life could begin again.  She had found her place in the world. 

    The dove in the mystical teachings is a symbol of the Divine Presence. 

    Make Your Donation to the Israel Emergency Defense Campaign HERE

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation





  • 15 Aug 2023 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    There are certain numbers that Judaism considers sacred as they occur over and over again in the Torah. Well known of these numbers include 4, 7, 10 and 40. The number 40 is especially intriguing. We read about 40 days of rain during Noah's flood, 40 days Moses spent on the mountain receiving the  Torah, 40 years  spent wandering in the desert, 40 days Elijah fasted and others. Forty seems to signify a time of purification that leads to transformation where we  build to a higher consciousness.

    As we begin to prepare for the High Holy Days, our tradition also asks us to offer 40 days of inner work or purification throughout the 30 days of the Hebrew month of Elul and ending with the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  This  work is so important that each day during Elul which begins on August 18th this year, the shofar is sounded, reminding us to wake up and judge our deeds. The intent of this self judgment  is not to promote guilt but to help us discern what would like to keep in our lives and what we would like to discard.  The daily process of inner reflection is meant to also help us become more aware of our emotions and perceptions allowing us to eventually have control over them rather than having the emotions and perceptions control us.

     In Jewish meditation circles, there is a popular  teaching story that illustrates this.  A retired Air Force Colonel was standing in the express line at the grocery store and found himself getting quite agitated. At the head of the line, the cashier was not only speaking to a customer with a baby but was cooing with the baby and tickling her. While everyone in the line waited, the colonel found himself getting more enraged by the minute. Fortunately he had taken an anger management class and was able to use the tool of focusing on his breath  to help his anger subside. 

    Once he got to the head of the line, he was even able to remark at how cute the baby was. The cashier responded, "Oh, you think so? The baby is actually my baby.  My husband was an Air Force pilot who recently died in an airplane crash. I needed to go to work to support myself and my mother takes care of the baby for me. She comes into the store to buy something several times a day so I can see my baby."

    Especially as we continue to deal with issues arising in our world, may we learn to shift our perspective and truly be examples for our children. 

    May we all be blessed with awareness, discernment, peace and joy as we begin the High Holy Day season! May we radiate out this Light to all inhabitants of our world!  


     

    Upcoming Events

    Virtual High Holy Days 

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation

  • 13 Apr 2023 9:14 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)


    When  I was in  elementary school decades ago in Israel,  the class discussion one day in the  beginning  of the month of  April  was about the up coming  memorial  day for the Holocaust. When the class was asked  to explain the significance of the day I raised my hand and started talking about "Yom Ha Shoa. I did not get far in my explanation. The teacher, Mrs. Morinski suddenly became very upset. "No!" she said in anger.  "There is no such a thing as 'Yom Ha-Shoa!' " 

    By  the beginning of 1943 the Warsaw Ghetto population was very depleted. Most of the Jews had been sent to Auschwitz but under the ghost like empty buildings in underground bunkers a group of young Jews  were preparing to do something never heard of before...In the most amazing ways (an incredible story on its own ) they manage  to sneak into the  Ghetto some pistols, grenades and material to make Molotov cocktails.(essentially, bottles with gasoline and wicks so that when ignite  they make a loud breaking noise and produce a little fire.)

    On April 19, 1943  a line of German Tanks entered the Ghetto with the intent to raze everything inside to rubble. But the Germans faced the surprise of their lives when an onslaught of exploding Molotovs welcomed them into the  camp . Thinking that they were facing a barrage of heavy artillery they turned their tanks around and retreated. The bravery of these young men and women continued for weeks as a house to house combat  ensued. The Warsaw revolt became known among the anti German underground group throughout Europe as one of the most amazing acts of defiance. However, after the war it became known that in fact, throughout the war many Jewish Ghettos all over Europe revolted  and fought the Germans with the little means they had.  In spite of the wide range of Jews rebelling in Ghettos and fighting as partisans in forests all over Europe, Jewish heroism is not well celebrated and understood in the US.

    Mrs. Morinski  dismayed upon hearing  the term "Yom Ha Shoa" ( literally "a day of the Holocaust) is well ingrained on my heart. That day  she went on to explain to the class  that while  we remember the evil, it is even more important to honor the incredible bravery of those who relentlessly fought the evil, having close to nothing with which to fight. As she put it :"one holocaust  is enough. We do not need another "day of the holocaust" every year.

    Therefore, although this term is extensively used in the United States one does not hear the term "Yom Ha Shoa" in Israel. In the early fifties when the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) declared a special day to remember the Shoa, the official name became known as the "Memorial Day for the Shoa and (Jewish) heroism (Yom Zikaron La Shoah veh la G'vura). While in the early days  some people called it Yom Ha Shoa including myself as a child, this term quickly disappeared.  

    The original suggestion for the date of the  memorial day was the 14th of the month of Nissan, Passover eve, to honor the Warsaw revolt which started on that day. However  the Knesset felt  that such a solemn day should not coincide with the happy holiday of Passover. The decision was therefore  to place the memorial day as close as possible to the last day of Passover. The 27th of Nissan was agreed upon and became the official memorial day for the Holocaust and Bravery.  

    May we always remember Who We Are.....

    Rabbi David 

          

    Upcoming Events

    Rabbi & Cantor's Messages

    Connection to Healing

    Infinite Child Institute

    Give a Donation


    Share
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

 Phone: 561.488.8079    P.O. Box 971142, Boca Raton, FL, 33497-1142

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software