Although the phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” has not been credited to a rabbi but rather to an American philosopher of the early 1900s, it could have been. The idea of taking something bitter, an adversity or difficult circumstance and bringing good out of it is a very Jewish way to lookContinue Reading »
When work began on the Fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz–Birkenau death camp, organizers planned for 10 world leaders to be in attendance, 15 if the heavens smiled down on the event. Yet on January 23, 2020, delegations from 49 countries converged on Jerusalem for theContinue Reading »
Over the past few months, Iranian provocation in the Middle East topped headlines worldwide. Tensions have been high since the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord a year ago—and then instituted harsher sanctions in a bid to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and toe the line. As the economic vice grip tightened,Continue Reading »
Historian Paul Johnson has said, “What strikes the historian surveying anti-Semitism worldwide over more than two millennia is its fundamental irrationality. It seems to make no sense, any more than malaria or meningitis make sense.” It goes by many names: bigotry, discrimination, prejudice, intolerance. Most often, it falls in that broad category of “racism,” whichContinue Reading »
As Jewish people around the world celebrate the festival of Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year), the streets of Israel resound with joyous shouts of “Shanah tovah u’metuka (have a happy and sweet new year),” with family, friends and perfect strangers wishing one another a sweet and prosperous new year. Sunset on Sunday, September 29, ushersContinue Reading »
In 1945, the Western world was horrified to discover the full extent of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were slaughtered. Adding to the shock was the fact that the atrocity originated and often played out in the heart of Europe, largely perpetrated by educated Europeans. At the same time, Americans and Canadians weren’tContinue Reading »
The covert mission had all the makings of a spy thriller: international intrigue, daring and danger. Yet it wasn’t the fictional plot of a novel or movie. It really happened. The actors? The Israeli intelligence service (the Mossad). The stage? A fabricated resort on the Sudanese shores of the Red Sea. The plan? To rescueContinue Reading »
In 2014 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas of “talking from both sides of his mouth.” The verbal dressing down came on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day. Netanyahu pointed out Abbas’s hypocrisy in decrying the Holocaust as a “most heinous” crime on the one hand, while cozying up toContinue Reading »
It’s an icy day deep in the winter of 1944 as a crowd of Jewish Hungarians are shoved—shivering and frightened—to the edge of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary. There are women and children. Some are tied together in groups of three. All have been forced to strip naked and step out of their shoesContinue Reading »
Seldom does a building of concrete and glass so poignantly mirror what goes on inside its walls. Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, is more than a museum. It is an architectural gem where structure and setting serve as an evocative backdrop to the Holocaust story. Carved into the Landscape The museum, designed byContinue Reading »
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