Last Tuesday was Tisha B’av, the one day set aside in Jewish tradition for mourning.
I led a service in which we tried to connect to the suffering of Jews throughout history.
We tried to feel their pain as well as to be inspired by their strength.
How despite what they went through, they held on to their Judaism. To their values.
And to their humanity.
All the mourning is crunched into one day.
Because Jews are not to supposed to become mourners!
We’re supposed to become better!
… I wanted to share one story that should inspire us to improve.
The story was told by a witness at the Eichman trial.
… One day, I was lying on my cot in the children’s hut in Auschwitz.
I saw the assistant commander walking with a rubber hose, on his way to beat someone.
He went over to one of the cots. It looked like the boy was expecting it.
“Get down”, he yelled. The boy bent over, and the beating began.
The boy didn’t cry or yell. He didn’t even sigh. We were amazed…
A boy of fourteen. And he didn’t cry!
That made the Nazi very angry. He finished fifty blows and left him.
… We picked him up and asked why they beat him.
I will never forget his answer.
… “It was worth it.
I brought my friends a few prayer books.”!
He added nothing more. Just got up and sat on his cot”.
… What greatness. What testimony to the Jewish spirit!
To the spark of G-d within every human being.
And what an example for us.
From a fourteen year old boy!
The Nazis may have taken away his childhood.
But he refused to let them take away his faith in G-d. And despite their attempts do destroy his Judaism. And to destroy his humanity?
He remained a human being. Remained a Jew.
Never lost sight of the Divine Image within him. And within others.
And despite his unbelievable suffering?
Still thought about helping others!
… I don’t know if this young boy survived the war.
But we owe it to him to be inspired by his story.
To try to learn more about the heritage we share with him.
And to try to become better human beings and better Jews.
… You can do both by attending the CTN Lunch & Learn on Tuesday, August 14th.
What could be a better response than trying to make this a better world?
By learning what our tradition teaches about the evil of gossip!
Please click here http://www.torahnetwork.org/food4thought_gossip.htm for info and to register.
Hope to see you.
All the best,