Nazi Sing-A-Long

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Further proof of the banality of evil during the Holocaust is present in this exhibit of photos taken by a leading German Nazi at Auschwitz. Karl Hoecker took photos of the good times he and his buddies had while hundreds of thousands of Jews were being gassed. NPR’s Talk of the Nation had a very good interview with a researcher from the US Holocaust Memorial about this latest artifact from the genocide of European Jewry.

The collection of images, discovered in a Frankfurt, Germany, basement, depicts the seemingly normal day-to-day lives of senior officers at Auschwitz-Birkenau — the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

The 116 photographs, taken between May and December 1944, show SS guards a

nd Nazi officials socializing and relaxing, just months before Auschwitz was evacuated in January 1945.

The photo album belonged to SS officer Karl Hocker, who was stationed at Auschwitz from May 1944 until the camp’s liberation.

Karl Hoecker served only seven years in jail from 1963-1970 and died in 1990 for his role as one of the leaders of Auschwitz’s factory of death.

Hashem we do not understand the suffering of the righteous, nor the complacency of the wicked. We never will. But please hear our prayers. Please hear our call. Please redeem your people from this exile, and may the world be judged favorably on the Day of Judgment.

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Forgiveness

hugs.jpgThe weather was perfect, and Rosh Hashanah in Galus went as planned. Here in Long Beach we celebrated the New Year with services and meals and lots of honey. Many new students and veterans joined the festivities held over the last three days. It all culminated with a blowout huge Shabbos dinner at our home on Friday night. The love was there – it was ahavas yisroel time – and the vibe was just great.I turned on my computer after nearly four days of inaction, and it felt awkward. It felt so unnatural. Making a phone call. Driving to the pharmacy. It was all surreal after so many days off the grid.

We had great discussions over the chag. We spoke about community, about mitzvos, about the holidays, and about forgiveness. There is so much to fix in our lives, but I encouraged us all to start with forgiveness.

Forgive myself. Forgive myself for not doing the things I said I was going to do, but I didn’t. For the ways I wanted to grow, but didn’t. For the times I let others down.

and then forgive others. Even if those who hurt me don’t ask for forgiveness, I don’t want to drag this baggage into the New Year. Don’t let that stuff accompany me into 5768. Hurt that keeps me from living in joy at times.

Forgive people for all kinds of things. Forgive people for things they did unconsciously. Forgive my friends, my ex-friends, my students, my spouse, my kids, my neighbor, my teachers, and my parents for any little thing—I hope they forgive me too. Forgive them for the sake that we are human, and we need to build love not walls. Forgive them in my heart, and begin the process of repair.

It’s not easy the forgiveness game. Truly forgiving another for the pain they have caused. But how can I hope that Hashem will forgive me? How can I hope my friends will forgive me if I cannot forgive others…

And how can I forgive people who spoke gossip or slander against me? They have said things that I consider hurtful and spread them in the wind like dandelion seeds…How can I forgive this?

It does no good to hold on to the grudge. It festers. And loshon hora always comes back to haunt. Its like a boomarang. It might take time, but eventually, measure for measure, that which we say can be used against us.

Forgiveness. That is the work for the first few days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

If I have offended or hurt you, in my prose or comments… I am sorry.

Unless you defame, attack, or injure the Jewish people, seek Israel’s destruction, and other nasty stuff like that…

and then I am not sorry.

Campus Crusade Fishing for Jewish Students on Facebook

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The allure of so many Jewish college students in one place has prompted missionaries to launch a Facebook ad campaign promoting a website called WhatChutzpa.com. The website is vague, attractive, and not apparently a Christian missionary portal. But reading a few lines of any article, you quickly realize that this is not your typical Temple Bulletin.

Many people are confused about the identity of Yeshua (Jesus). Many people have a hard time understanding who he really was. Although it is not always easy, it is possible to investigate him enough to be able to make some conclusions…. You’ve most likely come to this page because you want to know what to do now that you’ve asked Jesus to be your Messiah. First off, let us say, “Welcome to God’s family!”

There are few clues about who authored the site. There is no “about us” section. No link to any other page. While initially seeming like something that Jews for J would dream up, it doesn’t have their fingerprints.

The site does have the fingerprints of Campus Crusade for Christ. As you can see in the pictures below, WhatChuzpa is merely EveryStudent.com repackaged for a Jewish audience. EveryStudent.com is one of Campus Crusades biggest successes of the last 20 years.

The EveryStudent site and an article about six reasons to believe in God:

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The WhatChutzpah site’s article is identical, except without the byline:

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In fact the more you browse both sites it becomes clear that they are parallel sites, one designed to lure Jews and one for non-Jews on campus.

Mark Gauthier, in his online appeal for donations on the Campus Crusade website, sites EveryStudent as a smashing success at bringing students into the group. He writes:

The reason that most of the above students found everystudent.com is because they saw an ad for it on Google or Facebook (a hugely popular college networking site)….

This [Facebook] strategy is incredibly cost-effective, costing an average of just 25 cents per person who responds and has the opportunity to find out about Jesus. That’s just 25 cents to finally show a young person the answers they’ve been looking for!

Marilyn Adamson, the co-creator of Everystudent.com, must be proud. According to Campus Crusade’s Press Release on February 14, 2007, “In 2006, more than 7 million students visited EveryStudent.com to find ‘a safe place to life, and what it might be like to know God.’”

Many of the “articles” on WhatChutzpah are variations or direct copies of Marilyn Adamson’s writings on other missionary websites. For example, her article about other religions entitled “Connecting with the Divine” on WhatChutzpah, is nearly verbatim the same article she authored on LeaderhipU, a missionary site.

Jewlicious.com reached Marilyn in Florida and asked her about the websites. She is a well meaning Christian who answered a few of our questions honestly. The site Whatchutzpa is not intended to get Jewish students involved with Campus Crusade per say, but “It is the hope that Jewish students may see Jesus as messiah.” When they accept Jesus, all their sins are forgiven, and they get everlasting salvation. WhatChutpa was created for Jewish students, “For their own personal ability to be in a relationship with god.”

WhatChutzpa is for the New York area, and was created by the same people that created Everystudent.com, she confirmed. The creators hope to track visitors to the site and made it semi-invisible, to help weed out random hits and visitors. This targeted approach will help them to communicate directly with students in the same area. In addition, the website organizers are willing to meet with people who visit the site to answer their questions about Jesus directly.

Beyond the Facebook campaign, there are reports of posters at Brooklyn College on flyer boards showing a picture of a guy doing a backflip and the words WHAT CHUTZPA.

Campus Crusade needs to answer a few big questions in the wake of this latest Crusade for Jewish souls, besides the usual, “When are you going to give us a frigging break?”

If your message about Jesus is the truth, why do you need to disguise the site to attract Jews? If Jesus is the truth, why is it permitted to trick Jewish students into visiting a site that tries to convert them to Christianity? Do your local campus chapters of Campus Crusade stand to loose their campus privileges if their national headquarters is engaged in active, covert proselytizing?

Stay tuned — we are sure we have not heard that last of Campus Crusade, their website or their Chutzpah!

—Tip of the yarmulke to Dani Klein who showed us the whatchutzpa website

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Rosh Hashanah Girl

From the creative minds of Michelle Citrin and the Jewish Robot & Shabot 6000’s creator, William Levin comes this video Rosh Hashanah Girl – a spoof on the Obama video, Obama Girl.