“Our own fate is of less importance”


Cross posted at Jewlicious.com 

In another footnote to the horror of the Holocaust, Otto Frank, father of Ann Frank, tried in vain to emigrate to the USA on the even of WWII, and even after the outbreak of war. In 1941, still before the final solution, before the Nazis laid waste to the bulk of European Jewry, Frank tried in vain to get his family out.

If the United States had not had in place anti-Semitic and racist laws preventing them —and hundreds of thousands of others that sought refuge— Ann Frank might be a writer living in the USA today. There were nearly 300,000 names on a waiting list for an immigration visa.

NEW YORK: Anne Frank’s father sent desperate letters to friends and family in the United States pleading for financial assistance to help the family escape from the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, according to papers made publi

c Wednesday.

“I would not ask if conditions here would not force me to do all I can in time to be able to avoid worse,” Otto Frank wrote to a college friend, Nathan Straus, in April 1941. “It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for. Our own fate is of less importance.”

from the IHT

Even with his connections in America, of course we all know that he failed. Margot Adler’s piece on NPR is actually one of the most intense things I have heard on radio in a long time.


Actual Temple Location found?

From Ynetnews.com

Researcher says found location of the Holy Temple

Archaeology Professor Joseph Patrich uncovered a large water cistern that points, in his opinion, to the exact location of the altar and sanctuary on the Temple Mount. According to his findings, the rock on which the Dome of the Rock is built is outside the confines of the Temple.


A Synagogue Restored, A Legacy Continued

This weekend, the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva in Lublin was rededicated as a Jewish place of study and prayer in a watershed moment for Polish Jewry, and Polish Jewish relations (click here for photos). The Yeshiva was the crown-Jewel of pre-war Jewish religious scholarship, and entrance into Chochmei Lublin required an exhaustive test in Talmud that by today’s standards would make the person a Talmudic genius. And if they passed, that meant that they got to start in the beginner class.

While Lublin itself has only a few Jews, it is a destination for every Jewish group in Poland. The newly renovated building not only has the prayer hall (shul) but also 6 stories of classrooms and dormitories. Hopefully the rest of the building will be used for seminars and conferences, for learning camps and other goals.

I personally have a deep connections with Lublin and the Yeshiva. When I first visited Poland in 1991, I was invited to Lublin by a group of actors and musicians to teach Jewish melodies. I ended up spending several weeks around Lublin and developed close friends there. Unbeknown to me at that time, Chochmei Lublin had been reformed after the Shoah in Detroit. The building that housed the yeshiva was purchased by my great-grandfather Shloime Leib Bookstein, a great business man and holy Jew born in Glowno, Poland in 1870.

While I was unable to attend the ceremonies this weekend, the Cheif Rabbi of Poland, a friend and long time mentor Rabbi Michael Schudrich read the following letter read there, in order to honor my great-grandparents for what they did to help restore some dignity to the Yeshiva after its demise at the hands of the Germans. Thank you to Rabbi Schudrich and the entire community for this inspiring event.

February 8, 2007

Distinguished guests, Chief Rabbi Schudrich, and friends. I send to you my greetings on this auspicious day, ceremonii otwarcia synagogi w Jeszywas Chachmej Lublin, the rededication of the beis-midrash in Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva

Rabbi Moshe Rottenberg, Z”L, came to my great-grandparents Shloime Leib (born in 1870 in Glowno) and Leah Bookstein, Z”L, for help in building Chochmei Lublin in Detroit. Rabbi Rottenberg knew that Shloime had returned to the religious ways of his upbringing, and davened and studied Torah morning and night. Not only did Shloime Bookstein donate a large sum of money to help purchase the Yeshiva building, but he personally helped oversee the renovations to ensure the quality of the workmanship. He hoped Chochmei Lublin would live up to its namesake, improve the life of religious youth, and provide leaders and teachers for American Jewry.

Among the thousands of students that went through Chochmei Lublin in Detroit was my first Talmud Teacher, Rabbi Meshulam Isaac.

My great-grandfather died suddenly in the winter of 1947, and unfortunately never lived to see the Yeshiva open its doors. His funeral was attended by the entire religious community of Detroit.

My great grandfather understood that Torah study is the backbone of a Jewish community. May the reopening of Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva bring more Torah study to Polish Jewry, and World Jewry, to help strengthen it and revitalize it.

Shabbat Shalom – Gut Shabbos.

Michael Lerner needs a Tikkun

Tikkun means in “repair” and is often used among rabbinical literature to describe a repair or fix that someone needs to do in order to fix something they messed up. Whether on spiritual terms, or any other sense, a tikkun (in Yiddish it is pronounced “tikk’n”) helps to repair the wrong.

Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, has deeply needs a tikkun now after placing himself amongst lunatic conspirators and extremists, especially Muslim ones that repeat this mantra over and over again—Lerner has said that in fact the US may be involved in the 9-11 attacks.

“I would not be surprised to learn that some branch of our government conspired either actively to promote or passively to allow the attack on 9/11,” Lerner wrote in an essay published in the new book, “9/11 and American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out.” Lerner added that he would also not be surprised if it turned out that the attacks were not the result of a government conspiracy. (from the Forward.com and a MUST READ)

What the bleep?!@?

This is such a serious shanda, that the tikkun should be no less than a departure from politics and leadership  . How can a Jewish leader lend his support to the most fringe elements in America (ones that often blame everything on Jews)? Its one thing when Michael Moore runs around with his shtick, but Lerner is supposed to be a Jewish leader, albeit for far left Jews, and this disastrous position undermines his credibility on other issues.