May We Remember

Gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau ©
Gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau ©

In memory of a man who much of the world knew as one defined by and articulating the depths of the suffering which was the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel.
May his memory be a blessing.

Lives were formed and shaped, built and moving forward
In the hopes that the rejection and suspicion,
The paranoia and hatred of the past had finally gone away

Thriving Jewish life and vibrant Jewish communities
Became possible in Europe finally
After centuries of pogroms, pain and persecution
Liberation had come
Equality and freedom had won

Many believed that anti-Semitism
Was finally a thing of the past
Yet this virus of the soul had not died
But remained latent
Waiting for a time to lash out once again

In retrospect, with history behind us
We know when this happened with a vengeance
And most cannot quite comprehend humanity’s ability
To stand in silence, to hate, to allow murder like this

Most do not understand
The degradation and torture of another people
Like was done with Hitler at the helm

Most could not comprehend this happening again
Yet boycotts and hatred run rampant online and offline
They reek of a similar putrid odor
Of that of the thirties in a Germany
That most want to forget

Yet some cannot erase the memory
Of dignity ripped away, family stolen,
Lives lost and humanity crushed

May we remember every Holocaust survivor today
May we pray that G-d himself visit
And reveal Himself to them
As the one who never left them nor forsook them
Despite what their experience has been

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
and my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
and not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are continually before Me.”
Isaiah 49:14-16

“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
Out of Egypt I called My son…
I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them…
How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?
My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred.”
Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8

Shabbat Shalom to you and to all Israel!

I am joining with for Five Minute Friday. The goal is to write for five minutes without extreme editing or worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Link for Sharing: May We Remember

Ani Ma’amin אני מאמין at Auschwitz

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Ani Ma’amin Prayer אֲנִי מַאֲמִין at Auschwitz

A Prayer of the Jewish People

Ani ma’amin b’emunah sh’leimah b’viat hamashiach, v’af al pi sh’yitmameah, im kol zeh achakeh lo b’chol yom sheyavo.
אֲנִי מַאֲמִין בֶּאֱמוּנָה שְׁלֵמָה בְּבִיאַת הַמָּשִֽׁיחַ, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִּתְמַהְמֵֽהַּ, עִם כָּל זֶה אֲחַכֶּה לּוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם שֶׁיָּבוֹא.

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and, though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming.

Translation from The Standard Prayer book by Simeon Singer (1915) (public domain)

Based on the twelfth of Rambam’s thirteen principles of faith.

Ani Ma’amin plays at the beginning of the permanent exhibition Shoah in Block 27 at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, Poland which was designed by Yad Vashem Institute.

Video/Audio of Exhibit & more info at Artist Website:

Original Sound Recording: The Ankor Choir, Dafna Ben-Yohanan.
Artist Design: © Copyright 2013 Hagit Shimoni

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Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Shoah Exhibit & Website:

Today is the Day

I am joining with for Five Minute Friday. The goal is to write for five minutes about a word. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

The prompt is:



Today is the Day

Today is the day to decide
Not to stay silent in the face of injustice and hatred

Many learned a lesson they never wished they had
Some seventy years ago

Many stayed silent,
Thinking they would be safe

Many were slaughtered

Yet those who lived
To preserve themselves
Still lost their dignity

The shame that comes with regret
Is immeasurable
It’s reach insurmountable
May the blood-stained silence
Never prevail again

A people consumed with self-preservation and fear
Will not stand against that which kills your neighbor

Yet in not standing for your neighbor
You lose the essence of your humanity,
The ability to be free and whole
The ability to love

If we do not love our neighbor as ourself,
We do not love our Maker and Creator

May we learn from those who lived through such darkness
To love our Maker,
To love our neighbor
To not remain silent today

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Am Yisrael Chai (The People of Israel Live)

I am joining with for Five Minute Friday. The goal is to write for five minutes about a word. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

The prompt is:


Barracks and Watchtower at Former Concentration Camp Auschwitz ll-Birkenau
Barracks and Watchtower at Former Concentration Camp Auschwitz ll-Birkenau

Let me tell you a little story.

Today is Purim, or the feast of Esther. The Jewish people were preserved from destruction in Esther’s day. Who could have imagined there would be a company of people in modern times that were far worse than Haman of Esther’s day? Who could have imagined that so few would lift their voices against such a hellish plan of annihilation in “Christian” nations?

I’ve been on a couple of journeys in the last year related to these things.

First, I went to Auschwitz (and Birkenau) – the former Nazi concentration camp that symbolizes the desired annihilation of the Jewish people. This place represents the Shoah (Holocaust). This place witnessed more murder of and cruelty towards the Jewish people than they ever could have imagined. The betrayal by those who had been their neighbors for centuries nearly crushed their corporate soul. Auschwitz and Birkenau tell a story of death, darkness and brutality. But the story doesn’t end there.

The story begins again in Israel.

After going to Auschwitz, I went to Israel again. You have to go to Israel after Auschwitz. This is where the life is. The people of Israel were reborn in a way. G-d regathered his people to the place he promised. The people he called himself after – the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – were remembered. G-d preserved his people in Esther’s day and G-d preserved his people in our day. Because Israel lives, we know G-d lives.

Happy Purim! ✨

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Do Not Keep Silent

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There is a heartbeat, a cry of anguish still heard. The tears of the sovereign One weeping over his people mingled with the tears of Rachel mourning over her children who are no more.

The anguish and the suffering and the tears of the Shoah (Holocaust) bear no graspable equivalent.

Peering into the blackest black that is the Holocaust is unending in parallel and scope. The wretchedness of man in acquiescence to darkness knows no culpable bounds.

In a superiorly modern and industrial culture leaning on centuries of leadership in ethical thought and theology, men and women quickly consented to murkiness of thought and obeyed the gods of depravity, exploitation and injustice. The very value of human life came into question in a culture deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.

Standing eighty years in distance from the greatest catastrophe the world has known, the best of thinkers, theologians, ethical teachers and peacemakers would likely stand in line and quickly give themselves over to the same god with a different face. In the most troublesome of times, the majority choose to turn away from their neighbor’s suffering. This being said, will we allow the Shoah to teach us.

Will we comprehend that in giving up our own dignity, we lose the essence of being human? Will we breathe in the reality of the Source higher than ourselves lest we fall into decline?

We lose the sacredness of who we are as individuals and as a body of humanity when we submit ourselves to silence in the face of moral crisis. The holiness of God upon man is lost and we lose our unique place in creation if we do not allow our conscience to move us to act on behalf of those in need.

As a German teacher on the Holocaust said, “We know and we’ve seen the end of humanism: it is the Holocaust.” The goodness in humanity comes to a quick end in the face of tribulation. Many would vehemently disagree with the statement yet it would behoove us to consider the idea.

When we rely on our own moral fortitude, we make ourselves vulnerable to arrogance. Arrogance opens the door for dullness that slowly leads our hearts away from who we truly long to be.

The most evil events in history repeat themselves when those with sight choose to look away. Deep darkness invades when those who can hear muffle their ears and choose not to listen. Gloominess and the shadow of death begin to loom over a people when those with understanding do not lift their voices.

On our watch and in our day, what will we choose? What will you choose? The greatest leaders of our day are mere men and women like the men and women of past generations. No better and no worse.

Will we humble ourselves and look to the Source of life who gives strength to stand in the midst of adversity?

Will we hear the heartbeat, the cry of anguish of the sovereign One over his people? Will we weep with Him?

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