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… This period in the Jewish calendar is known as the “three weeks”.
A period of semi mourning leading up to the ninth day of the Jewish month of “Av”.
(The day on which the Romans destroyedJerusalemand theTemple.)
It’s a time that Jews have set aside to reflect on the tragedies in our history.
And to feel the pain that our fellow Jews felt.
But it’s also a time to reflect on the miracle of Jewish survival.
How despite what we went through, we are still here.
… And that became easier for me this year.
This week, a young man in my synagogue got engaged.
And he was called up to the Torah in honor of the occasion.
After the Torah reading, the congregation began singing.
… And it made me think of an experience I had in the same synagogue.
One morning, I noticed an elderly man saying Kaddish.
The prayer said in memory of a loved one.
This man survived four years inAuschwitz.
The only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.
He’s also the sweetest man you could imagine!
I decided to go over to him. And show him that I share his pain.
Although I had no idea what to say to him.
He motioned to me to sit down. And started talking.
“Today is the day they shot my brother in front of my eyes”.
He started crying.
And started reminiscing about his whole family.
But he told me how he never lost his faith in G-d. That his faith is what kept him alive.
And I told him that I am humbled and inspired to be talking to him.
Before I knew it?
He switched gears.
And started talking about his nine great grandchildren. Plus a tenth on the way!
How he never dreamed that he would live to see it.
He was still crying.
But very different tears.
… It was his grandson that got engaged this week!
What a miracle!
And what a testimony to the Jewish spirit!