Thursday, February 7, 2019

When you try to help a Jew by Rabbi Gutman Locks and A Walk Through Auschwitz I Concentration Death Camp

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement

When a person speaks words that are gentle and sweet, he is beloved both by G-d and man; his words are accepted and he increases peacefulness with his loved ones

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2.3 Million Choose to Never Forget

More than 2.15 million people visited the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland last year, setting a new historical record.

More than 400,000 of the visitors registered in 2018 were Polish, followed by 281,000 British, 136,000 Americans, 116,000 Italians, 95,000 Spaniards, 76,000 Germans, 69,000 French and some 65,000 Israelis.

Around 80% of these people visited Auschwitz-Birkenau accompanied by one of the 320 guides working in the museum.

The museum's website was accessed more than 27 million times, and 275,000 people follow the museum's official account on Twitter and 265,000 on Facebook.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in southern Poland was opened as a memorial museum in 1947 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1974.

It is estimated that during the Third Reich, between 1940 and 1945, the Nazis murdered more than a 1.3 million people were murdered in Aushwitz,

According to the figures on the museum's website, one million Jews, between 70,000 and 75,000 Poles, 21,000 Gypsies, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war and between 10,000 and 15,000 people included in the category of "others" were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Totaling approximately 1.1 million people.


A Walk Through Auschwitz I Concentration Death Camp

When you try to help a Jew by Rabbi Gutman Locks

What if you get the guy you are trying to help really angry at you?

"But Moshe said to G-d, 'Who am I?'"

Exodus 3:11)

Tevet 20, 5779 /December 28, 2018

There's a new kid in town, and his name is Moshe. The opening parasha of the Book of Exodus, (Shemot) tells us of his life, from birth to adulthood.

He is different from any of the Hebrew patriarchs who preceded him. Most remarkably, his life story seems to be the precise opposite of the children of Israel's most recent leader, Yosef.

Yosef, the apple of his father's eye, was placed in the spotlight from early youth. Moshe was hidden away for three months from the moment he was born. Yosef, as a young man had dreams, visions of grandeur. Moshe, raised in the palace of Pharaoh, lived in the midst of grandeur. Yosef, with his dreams and his tattle-telling, raised the ire of his brothers. Moshe did not know his brothers. Yosef, upon leaving home for the first time, was sold by his brothers into Egyptian slavery. Moshe, upon leaving home for the first time, witnessed the slavery of his brothers, and killed the Egyptian oppressor. Yosef was sold into the house of Potiphar, whose wife accused Yosef of rape, landing Yosef in an Egyptian prison. Moshe, after fleeing Egypt, came to the aid of a shepherd girl, was invited by her grateful father Yitro in his house, and married Tzippora with Yitro's blessing.

Yosef would save the nation of Egypt from the approaching seven year famine, become the favorite of Pharaoh, second in command to the most powerful nation on earth, and ultimately welcome his brothers and father into Egypt. Moshe would return to Egypt, defy Pharaoh, and wreak havoc and destruction upon Egypt. Yosef would lead an Egyptian military escort into the land of Canaan, in order to bury his father Israel. Moshe would leave the entire Egyptian army buried at the bottom of the Sea of Reeds, as he led the children of Israel to the promised land of Canaan. Yosef said to Pharaoh, "Let my people settle in Goshen." Moshe said to Pharaoh, "Let my people go." Yosef, who always identified himself as a Hebrew, would ultimately have his bones buried in the land of Israel, having been exhumed from the bottom of the Nile by none other than Moshe. Moshe, who was identified by the daughters of Yitro as an Egyptian, would die and be buried in the mountains of Moav, never reaching the promised land of Israel.

The greatest distinction between Moshe and Yosef, however, can be seen in their relationship to G-d. Yosef, who, in the entire recorded story of his life, never actually exchanged a word with G-d, was nevertheless, endowed with supreme trust and confidence in the benevolence of G-d's will. Throughout the unending turmoil of his tumultuous life, he never questioned the hidden purpose of his troubles, or that he was constantly being propelled toward an essential leading role in G-d's plan for Israel. Even the evil deeds which endlessly pursued him he understood to be for the ultimate good.

Moshe questioned everything. He saw no ultimate good in the Egyptian taskmaster's beating of his Hebrew brethren. He saw no greater plan when, on the following day, two Hebrew slaves threatened to reveal his killing of the Egyptian to Pharaoh. Yosef saw the ultimate good in all the injustices that he endured. Moshe saw only unacceptable evil in the injustices that he witnessed others endure. When he arrived as a fugitive in Midian, he possessed neither visions of grandeur, nor did he see a Divine narrative to his unfolding life.

Moshe stopped at the burning bush because something was amiss. While G-d opened up to Moshe in an intimate fashion, Moshe remained skeptical: Who was G-d, that He would rescue Israel? Who was Moshe, that G-d would entrust him with this task? Why would the elders of Israel believe Moshe? How could Moshe prove to them that he had actually been instructed by G-d? What was G-d's name? And, ultimately, what was G-d's plan and how would this plan, short on details, yet laden with "trust Me," succeed? While Yosef seemed to posses all the answers, from adolescence to the day that he died, Moshe possessed only questions.

Yet Moshe the questioner, the skeptic, uncertain of himself and wary of G-d's proposals, was the man chosen by G-d for the job of redeemer of Israel. And not only was Moshe doubtful of G-d's plans, but his hesitations proved correct. Pharaoh summarily rejected Moshe's demands, and the enslaved Israelites grew angry with Moshe as his unasked for intervention only caused them greater hardship.

Moshe was correct in all his questioning: Pharaoh was not going to budge. The children of Israel were not going to be an easy people to lead, and the plan that G-d shared with Moshe was going to need constant improvisation in order to get Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land. And this is precisely why G-d chose Moshe. G-d saw in Moshe, not a dreamer, but a man who saw harsh reality as it was, and would never surrender to or accept injustice or indifference. He would question G-d directly to G-d, but stand steadfastly with G-d before Israel's most powerful and implacable enemies. He would lead his people pushing them to achieve what they never imagined they could achieve, yet challenge G-d when they inevitably erred, demanding G-d's forgiveness of the people G-d had entrusted to his leadership. Moshe was no yes man. Moshe, not in spite of, but because of his constant questioning and unending pursuit of justice, was described by G-d, with Whom Moshe shared his doubts and hardships and even bitter complaints, as "My servant Moshe; most faithful throughout My house." (Numbers 12:7) Moshe: G-d's man for the job.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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