In your dealings with other people, do not relate to them only with cold logic. Rather take their emotions and individual personalities into consideration.
These few words can take a lifetime to master. Speaking logically is generally straight and simple. But understanding the unique personalities and emotions of human beings is much more complex.
As a practical tool, focus on those who interact with you in an understanding, caring way. Learn from them
Love Yehuda Lave
Lilly Friedman doesn't remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago. But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancé Ludwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him.For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge. How was he ever going to find such a dress in the Bergen Belsen Displaced Person's camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?
Fate would intervene in the guise of a former German pilot who walked into the food distribution center where Ludwig worked, eager to make a trade for his worthless parachute. In exchange for two pounds of coffee beans and a couple of packs of cigarettes Lilly would have her wedding gown.
For two weeks Miriam the seamstress worked under the curious eyes of her fellow DPs, carefully fashioning the six parachute panels into a simple, long sleeved gown with a rolled collar and a fitted waist that tied in the back with a bow. When the dress was completed she sewed the leftover material into a matching shirt for the groom.
A white wedding gown may have seemed like a frivolous request in the surreal environment of the camps, but for Lilly the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness. Lilly and her siblings were raised in a Torah observant home in the small town of Zarica, Czechoslovakia where her father was a melamed, respected and well liked by the young yeshiva students he taught in nearby Irsheva.He and his two sons were marked for extermination immediately upon arriving at Auschwitz . For Lilly and her sisters it was only their first stop on their long journey of persecution, which included Plashof, Neustadt, Gross Rosen and finally Bergen Belsen .Lilly Friedman and her parachute dress on display in the Bergen Belsen Museum
Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town of Celle on January 27, 1946 to attend Lilly and Ludwig's wedding. The town synagogue, damaged and desecrated, had been lovingly renovated by the DPs with the meager materials available to them. When a Sefer Torah arrived from England they converted an old kitchen cabinet into a makeshift Aron Kodesh."My sisters and I lost everything - our parents, our two brothers, our homes. The most important thing was to build a new home." Six months later, Lilly's sister Ilona wore the dress when she married Max Traeger. After that came Cousin Rosie. How many brides wore Lilly's dress? "I stopped counting after 17." With the camps experiencing the highest marriage rate in the world, Lilly's gown was in great demand.
In 1948 when President Harry Truman finally permitted the 100,000 Jews who had been languishing in DP camps since the end of the war to emigrate, the gown accompanied Lilly across the ocean to America . Unable to part with her dress, it lay at the bottom of her bedroom closet for the next 50 years, "not even good enough for a garage sale. I was happy when it found such a good home."Home was the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington , D.C. When Lily's niece, a volunteer, told museum officials about her aunt's dress, they immediately recognized its historical significance and displayed the gown in a specially designed showcase, guaranteed to preserve it for 500 years.
But Lilly Friedman's dress had one more journey to make. Bergen Belsen , the museum, opened its doors on October 28, 2007. The German government invited Lilly and her sisters to be their guests for the grand opening. They initially declined, but finally traveled to Hanover the following year with their children, their grandchildren and extended families to view the extraordinary exhibit created for the wedding dress made from a parachute.Lilly's family, who were all familiar with the stories about the wedding in Celle , were eager to visit the synagogue. They found the building had been completely renovated and modernized. But when they pulled aside the handsome curtain they were astounded to find that the Aron Kodesh, made from a kitchen cabinet, had remained untouched as a testament to the profound faith of the survivors. As Lilly stood on the bimah once again she beckoned to her granddaughter, Jackie, to stand beside her where she was once a kallah. "It was an emotional trip. We cried a lot."Two weeks later, the woman who had once stood trembling before the selective eyes of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele returned home and witnessed the marriage of her granddaughter.
The three Lax sisters - Lilly, Ilona and Eva, who together survived Auschwitz, a forced labor camp, a death march and Bergen Belsen - have remained close and today live within walking distance of each other in Brooklyn. As mere teenagers, they managed to outwit and outlive a monstrous killing machine, then went on to marry, have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and were ultimately honored by the country that had earmarked them for extinction.As young brides, they had stood underneath the chuppah and recited the blessings that their ancestors had been saying for thousands of years. In doing so, they chose to honor the legacy of those who had perished by choosing life.
In MEMORIAM - 63 YEARS LATER
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!
Now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran, and others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it's imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.
GOOD MORNING! What does it mean to be the Chosen People? To many Jews it is a source of embarrassment and consternation. To many Christians it is a source of awe and admiration -- and to some Christians, jealousy. And to our Muslim cousins -- hatred?
When I grew up there was a comedy album called "You Don't Have to Be Jewish" (still available on CD!). One of the pieces was called, I believe, "Conversation with God." In it the Jew asks God, "Is it true that we are the Chosen People?" And God replies, "Yes, my son, the Jews are the Chosen People." To which the Jew asks, "Would it be possible to choose somebody else for a while?"Why is the concept of Chosen People an embarrassment and consternation to some Jews? The great concepts of equality and liberty flow from our Torah. That we should think of ourselves as "chosen" rubs against the grain that all people are created in the image of God. Also, if our Chosen-ness makes others jealous, who needs to give more justifications for crusades, pogroms and holocausts? Some Jews think that we have suffered because the Almighty calls us His Chosen People. And even if our suffering is not because of the appellation, then what good does it do for us to be called the Chosen People?Let's look at the sources: In this week's Torah portion, after commanding us to walk in His path, to observe His statutes, commandments and ordinances and to listen to His voice, the Torah writes, "And the Almighty has distinguished you this day to be for Him a treasured people, as He spoke to you, and to observe all of His commandments -- and elevate you above all of the nations that He made -- for praise, renown and splendor and to be a holy nation to the Lord your God, as He spoke" (Deuteronomy 26:18-19).In an earlier Torah portion, the Torah writes, "Children you are to the Lord your God ... for you are a holy nation to the Lord your God and God has chosen you to be to Him a treasured people from all of the nations that are on the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 14:1-3). And "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be to Him a treasured people from all of the peoples that are on the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6).And even earlier in the Book of Exodus, the Torah writes, "And now, if you will certainly listen to My voice and observe My covenant, you will be to Me treasured from all of the peoples, for the whole world is Mine. And you will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation ..." (Exodus 19:5-6).While the concept of Chosen People does not mean a superior people, it does imply a special closeness of the Jewish people to the Almighty. Why is there that special closeness, that special relationship?The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 14:10) tells us that the Almighty went to the nations of the world and offered them the Torah. Each one asked, "What's in it?" The Almighty replied with a commandment that would be the most difficult for that particular nation and then each nation rejected it. The Jewish people, however, said "Na'aseh V'nishma" --we will do (the commandments) and we will analyze afterwards how they impact our lives.The concept of Chosen People means both chosen and choosing. Chosen for the responsibility to be a light unto the nations, to be a moral signpost for the nations of the world. Choosing means that the Jewish people accepted on Mt. Sinai to fulfill this mandate and to do the will of God. We are not chosen for special benefits; we are chosen for extra responsibility.Because of our voluntary acceptance, the Almighty made an eternal covenant with us that we will be His people and He will be our God. Any individual can come close to the Almighty, but the ultimate relationship comes through entering the covenant of Abraham and fulfilling the Torah. This special relationship is open to any member of humanity who wishes to enter the covenant irrespective of race, religion or ethnic origin.Every nation, every people, every religion thinks that it is better than any other nation, people or religion. The Jewish people know that the issue is not whether we are better than anyone else, but whether we fulfill our part of the covenant with the Almighty to hold high the values of the Torah and to do the Almighty's will.
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