Friday, February 21, 2020

A Survivor’s Diary Emerges From Auschwitz and What Is the Jewish Belief About Moshiach (Messiah)? By Nissan Dovid Dubov and Mishpatim is the basis for the Western Legal System and An Evening of Tehillim & Song for women at Yakar

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Mishpatim is the basis for the Civil Legal System

When G-d Sends You Help … Don't Ask Questions.

A lady hurried to the pharmacy to get medication for her sick daughter. When she got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside.

The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said, "I don't know how to use this." She bowed her head and asked G-d to send her some HELP.

Within 5 minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag. He got off of his cycle and asked if he could help.

She said: "Yes, my daughter is sick. I've locked my keys in my car. I must get home. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?

He said, "Sure." He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was open.

The lady hugged the man and through tears said, "Thank You, G-d, for sending me such a very nice man"
The man heard her little prayer and replied, "Lady, I am NOT a nice man. I just got out of prison yesterday; I was in prison for car theft."

The woman hugged the man again, sobbing,
"Oh, thank you, G-d! You even sent me a Professional!"

Our parashah, as per its name "Mishpatim," meaning "laws," is full of statutes, many of which have served not only as of the basis of the Jewish civil law and procedure but for the civil law systems of the entire Western Civilization.

Indeed, many laws can trace their origin to our parashah: What happens in a case of murder or in a case of robbery, labor laws, what happens when one person's property damages someone else, what if the damaged party is a human being, and so on. Not only do we find the laws themselves, but also how to adjudicate them: the role of the court, the role of oaths, the prohibition on accepting bribes, and the demand for truthfulness on all sides.

When I was in Law School, they tried to teach me that the basis for American (and English and Western Society) law was the English System common law. This was at the same time 40 years ago when I was first studying Talmud. Yet every new area of the law we learned I saw in my Talmud class in the morning. The English common law was formed starting at around 1200. The Jewish Torah law was 2500 years older. You figure it out.

The Talmud teaches the principle of Majority rules.

The scriptural anchor for this principle is: "You shall neither side with the majority to do wrong - you shall not give perverse testimony in a dispute, incline after the many (rabbim)" (Exodus 23:2).

This verse and the principle of following the majority has a most dramatic expression in the Talmudic story known as "Akhnai's Oven" (Bava Metziah 59b). The heart of that story is a description of a bitter dispute among all of the scholars in the Beit Midrash (study house) and R. Eliezer alone. At the climax of their disagreement, a heavenly voice is heard: "A heavenly echo emerged and said: "What do you have against R. Eliezer? The law is according to him in every case!" The heavenly echo decides that the law is rightly in accordance with R. Eliezer's opinion. This should be the end of the discussion, the end of the story. However, the reaction of the protagonists is not to accept the heavenly decree, rather oppose it: "R. Yehoshua stood up on his feet and said: It is not in heaven!" and thereby asserts his opposition to the heaven's decision.

The Talmudic narrator isn't satisfied with R. Yehoshua's reaction and seeks an explanation of his words. What does it mean to say that, "It is not in heaven?" R. Yirmiyah's words are brought in response: "R. Yirmiyah said: For the Torah was already given on Mt. Sinai and we don't heed heavenly echoes, as it is already written in the Torah, 'incline after the many.'"

R. Yirmiyah's response contains a number of stages. First, he distinguishes between two distinct periods of time: before and after the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. We can see our parashah and its laws serving as a watershed moment between these two separate time periods. What distinguishes between these two time periods? The next stage explains, "We don't heed heavenly echoes," emphasizing the word, "we." R. Yirmiyah is explaining that "we," the ones who inhabit the Beit Midrash, "we" who control the judicial process, "we" who live after the giving of the Torah, "we" don't listen to heavenly echoes. Maybe others, living in a different period of time, under different conditions would, but definitely not we who are here in this Beit Midrash at this historical moment. Definitely not us.

This brings us to the next stage, which essentially answers the question of what to do and how to decide if we aren't heeding heavenly echoes. How can we finalize decisions? This third component of R. Yirmiyah's statement is an expansion on a quotation from the verse from our parashah that we quoted above: "as it is already written in the Torah, 'incline after many.'" Meaning, now decisions are made through majority rule - we follow the majority. Decisions aren't finalized by fiat of a Divine voice, rather by numbers, by counting the individual human voices and seeing where their greater numbers are.

The transition from following a heavenly echo or Divine declaration to following the majority of the opinions represented in the court is a significant shift of the location of decision making from heaven to earth. But this is not the only significant shift that R. Yirmiyah's statement describes. It is also a shift from momentary or incidental ruling - each question has a unique Divine answer - to a jurisprudential process. Another fundamental difference between the "before" and "after" is, who is making the decision, as this is seemingly a shift from the Divine to humanity.

However, when R. Yirmiyah substantiates the shift from human beings by quoting a verse, he essentially anchors his position that one need not listen to heavenly voices by quoting a heavenly voice! According to R. Yirmiyah, the principle of following the human majority rule is Divine, it is Sinaiatic; the independence from God in the future was granted by God at Sinai. Thus, in place of the heavenly voice or echo comes the human process, the process of those who are but an image of God. Yes, it is not in heaven, but only in the narrowest sense.

How much more difficult is it to maintain your opinion, maintain your integrity, when it is in opposition to not just one opinion, but many, and in particular when one is a lone voice against evil. A close reading of the verse forces us to recognize how difficult it is, in fact, to not join up with the majority to do what is wrong.

The positive Talmudic reading of "incline after the majority" and "do not follow the majority to do evil" create a composite statement. Through it, the emphasis at the center of the story on this principle shifts from being a simple positive statement of following the majority, to one that carries with it echoes of the warning that sometimes one cannot and may not do or say what the majority determines. Even though it can be especially hard to stand up for your own opinion, stand up in the breach for what is right.

So enjoy this Parsha and see how the rules from G-d have formed the basis for Western Civilization.





An Evening of Tehillim & Song for Women

An Evening of Tehillim & Song

ערב שירי תהילים

(For Women)



WHERE? Beit HaKnesset YAKAR 10 HaLamed Hei היכן? בבית הכנסת "יקר" הלמד הי - 10

WHEN? Motzai Shabbat מתי? מוצאי שבת

February 22 22 בפברואר

8:00 PM – 10:30 PM 22:30-20:00

Session I – 8:15-9:00 חלק א' – 21:00-20:15

HaRabbanit Carmit Feintuch הרבנית כרמית פיינטוך

HaRabbanit Deena Garber רבנית דינה גרבר

Shoshannah Somerville שושנה סומרוויל


Singing with Nadia


9:05-9:40 שירה בציבור עם נדיה – 21:40-21:05


Session II – 9:45-10:25 חלק ב' – 22:25-21:45

HaRabbqanit Gilla Rosen הרבמית גילה רוזן

Rebbitzen Yehudis Leah Feld הרבצן יהודית לאה פלד

Rebbitzen Esther Sutton הרבצן אסתר סאטון


Light Refreshments Served כיבוד קל יוגש

Suggested Donation: 25 NIS תרומות בסך 25 ₪ ומעלה תתקבלנה בברכה



You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore--poet

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. Nora Roberts-- author of more than 225 romance novels. 

Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit. Laozi--philosopher

Growing Number of Non-Jews Attend Synagogue in Germany, Poland By Hana Levi Julian

At a conference attended by pulpit rabbis from Germany and Poland this week in Warsaw, one of the most critical issues affecting their communities was found to be the growing numbers of non-Jews who come to synagogue and wish to participate in programs and services.

The Ohr Torah Stone's (OTS) Straus-Amiel Rabbinical Emissary Program convened pulpit rabbis from Poland and Germany here this week to address the issue. The rabbis lead Jewish communities in Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw, Krakow, Munich, Stuttgart, and Dortmund.

Together, the rabbis studied traditional and modern Jewish sources to see how scholars over the millennia have addressed similar concerns.

Among the topics they discussed were the permissibility of counting children as part of a prayer quorum; converting a child to Judaism when one parent is not interested in conversion themselves but consents and supports the child's conversion; intermarriage; how to address congregants who, whether by desire, practice or capability, choose to perform only parts of given religious customs or obligations; and engagement with non-Jewish congregants.

"Given the long history of anti-Semitism in Germany and Poland, perhaps one of the most interesting trends our emissaries are observing is how many non-Jews regularly wish to attend synagogue services and the challenges and opportunities this can present in a community," said Ohr Torah Stone President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, who is also the son and son in law of Holocaust survivors.

"Why is this happening? Our rabbis, who serve as Jewish ambassadors and halachic emissaries, believe that many of their non-Jewish congregants seek greater meaning in life than they have found elsewhere in this age of technology," he said. "Some are the children of Jewish fathers or have recently been informed about Jewish roots by a grandparent in their final days wishing to share information that they hid from their family in the post-Holocaust era. Others are drawn to the Jewish community with a sense of responsibility, not guilt, to repair for the crimes of a previous generation, particularly appealing in countries with dark recent histories due to Communism and the Holocaust."

The conference was curated by the Straus-Amiel leadership, which continues to support and guide its emissaries through regional conferences all over the world.

Topics were chosen based on requests from the invited rabbis.

What Is the Jewish Belief About Moshiach (Messiah)? By Nissan Dovid Dubov

What is the "End of Days"?

The term "End of Days" is taken from Numbers 24:14. This has always been taken as a reference to the messianic era. Here we shall explore—albeit briefly—the Jewish belief in the coming of Moshiach (Messiah).

What does the word Moshiach mean?

Moshiach is the Hebrew word for "messiah." The word messiah in English means a savior or a "hoped-for deliverer." The word Moshiach in Hebrew actually means "anointed." In Biblical Hebrew, the title Moshiach was bestowed on somebody who had attained a position of nobility and greatness. For example, the high priest is referred to as the kohen ha-Moshiach.

In Talmudic literature, the title Moshiach, or Melech HaMoshiach (the King Messiah), is reserved for the Jewish leader who will redeem Israel at the End of Days.

What is the belief in Moshiach?

One of the principles of Jewish faith enumerated by Maimonides is that one day there will arise a dynamic Jewish leader, a direct descendant of the Davidic dynasty, who will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, and gather Jews from all over the world and bring them back to the Land of Israel.

All the nations of the world will recognize Moshiach to be a world leader and will accept his dominion. In the messianic era, there will be world peace, no more wars nor famine, and, in general, a high standard of living.

All mankind will worship one G‑d, and live a more spiritual and moral way of life. The Jewish nation will be preoccupied with learning Torah and fathoming its secrets.

The coming of Moshiach will complete G‑d's purpose in creation: for man to make an abode for G‑d in the lower worlds—that is, to reveal the inherent spirituality in the material world.

Is this not a utopian dream?

No! Judaism fervently believes that, with the correct leadership, humankind can and will change. The leadership quality of Moshiach means that through his dynamic personality and example, coupled with manifest humility, he will inspire all people to strive for good. He will transform a seemingly utopian dream into a reality. He will be recognized as a man of G‑d, with greater leadership qualities than even Moses.

In today's society, many people are repulsed by the breakdown of ethical and moral standards. Life is cheap, crime is rampant, drug and alcohol abuse is on the increase, children have lost respect for their elders. At the same time, technology has advanced in quantum leaps. There is no doubt that today man has all the resources—if channeled correctly—to create a good standard of living for all mankind. He lacks only the social and political will. Moshiach will inspire all men to fulfill that aim.

Why the belief in a human messiah?

Some people believe that the world will "evolve" by itself into a messianic era without a human figurehead. Judaism rejects this belief. Human history has been dominated by empire builders greedy for power.

Others believe in Armageddon—that the world will self-destruct, either by nuclear war or by terrorism. Again, Judaism rejects this view.

Our prophets speak of the advent of a human leader, of a magnitude that the world has not yet experienced. His unique example and leadership will inspire mankind to change direction.

Where is Moshiach mentioned in the Scriptures?

The Scriptures are replete with messianic quotes. In Deuteronomy 30:1 Moses prophesies that, after the Jews have been scattered to the four corners of the earth, there will come a time when they will repent and return to Israel, where they will fulfill all the commandments of the Torah. The gentile prophet Balaam prophesies that this return will be led by Moshiach (see Numbers 24:17–20). Jacob refers to Moshiach by the name Shiloh (Genesis 49:10).

The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Joel and Hosea all refer to the messianic era. (For full references, the reader is referred to the book Moshiach by Rabbi Dr. J.I. Schochet.) It is interesting to note that the wall of the United Nations Building in New York is inscribed with the quote from Isaiah (11:6), "And the wolf shall lie with the lamb." Furthermore, it is clear from the prophets, when studied in their original Hebrew, that Moshiach is a Jewish concept, and his coming will entail a return to Torah law, firmly ruling out any "other" messianic belief.

What sort of leader will Moshiach be?

Moshiach will be a man who possesses extraordinary qualities. He will be proficient in both the written and oral Torah traditions. He will incessantly campaign for Torah observance among Jews, and observance of the seven universal Noahide laws by non-Jews. He will be scrupulously observant, and encourage the highest standards from others. He will defend religious principles and repair breaches in their observance. Above all, Moshiach will be heralded as a true Jewish king, a person who leads the way in the service of G‑d, totally humble yet enormously inspiring.

When will Moshiach come?

Jews anticipate the arrival of Moshiach every day. Our prayers are full of requests to G‑d to usher in the messianic era. Even at the gates of the gas chambers, many Jews sang "Ani Maamin"—I believe in the coming of Moshiach!

However, the Talmud states that there is a predestined time when Moshiach will come. If we are meritorious, he may come even before that predestined time. This "end of time" remains a mystery, yet the Talmud states that it will be before the Hebrew year 6000. (The Hebrew year at the date of this publication is 5772.)

This does not rule out the possibility of Moshiach coming today and now, if we merit it. It should be noted that many Torah authorities are of the opinion that we are in the "epoch of the Moshiach," and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, stated on numerous occasions that the messianic redemption is imminent.

Could Moshiach come at any time, in any generation?

Yes. In every generation, there is a person who potentially could be the Moshiach. When G‑d decides that the time has arrived, He will bestow upon that individual the necessary powers for him to precipitate that redemption.

Any potential Moshiach must be a direct descendant of King David, as well as erudite in Torah learning. It should be noted that many people living today can trace their lineage back to King David. The chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, Rabbi Yehuda Loew (the Maharal), had a family tree that traced him back to the Davidic dynasty. Consequently, any direct descendant of the Maharal is of Davidic descent.

Maimonides, a great Jewish philosopher and codifier of the 12th century, rules that if we recognize a human being who possesses the superlative qualities ascribed to Moshiach, we may presume that he is the potential Moshiach. If this individual actually succeeds in rebuilding the Temple and gathering in the exiles, then he is the Moshiach.

What exactly will happen when Moshiach comes?

Maimonides states in his Mishneh Torah—a compendium of the entire halachic tradition—that Moshiach will first rebuild the Temple and then gather in the exiles. Jerusalem and the Temple will be the focus of divine worship, and "from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of the L‑rd from Jerusalem."

The Sanhedrin—the supreme Jewish law court of 71 sages—will be re-established, and will decide on all matters of law. At this time, all Jews will return to full Torah observance and practice. It should be noted that in this present age of great assimilation and emancipation, an unprecedented return of Jews to true Torah values has taken place. This "baal teshuvah" phenomenon is on the increase, and paves the way for a full return in the messianic era.

Will miracles happen?

The Talmud discusses this question and again arrives at the conclusion that, if we are meritorious, the messianic redemption will be accompanied by miracles. However, the realization of the messianic dream, even if it takes place naturally, will be the greatest miracle.

According to some traditions, G‑d Himself will rebuild the third Temple. According to others, it will be rebuilt by Moshiach; still others suggest a combination of the two opinions. Some suggest that there will be two distinct periods in the messianic era: first a non-miraculous period, leading into a second, miraculous period.

Maimonides writes, "Neither the order of the occurrence of these events nor their precise detail is among the fundamental principles of the faith . . . one should wait and believe in the general conception of the matter."

What will become of the world as we know it?

Initially, there will be no change in the world order, other than its readiness to accept messianic rule. All the nations of the world will strive to create a new world order, in which there will be no more wars or conflicts. Jealousy, hatred, greed and political strife (of the negative kind) will disappear, and all human beings will strive only for goodness, kindness and peace.

In the messianic era there will be great advances in technology, allowing a high standard of living. Food will be plentiful and cheap.

However, the focus of human aspiration will be the pursuit of the "knowledge of G‑d." People will become less materialistic and more spiritual.

What are the "birthpangs" of Moshiach's arrival?

The Talmud describes the period immediately prior to the advent of Moshiach as one of great travail and turmoil. There will be a world recession, and governments will be controlled by despots. It is in this troubled setting that Moshiach will arrive.

There is a tradition that a great war will take place, called the war of Gog and Magog, and there is much speculation as to the precise timing of this war in relation to Moshiach's arrival.

There is a tradition that Elijah the Prophet will come to the world and announce the imminent arrival of Moshiach. However, according to other opinions, Moshiach may arrive unannounced. Elijah would then arrive to assist in the peace process. Some suggest that if the Moshiach arrives in his predestined time, then Elijah will announce his arrival; but if Moshiach comes suddenly, then Elijah will appear after Moshiach has come.

As mentioned before, it is unclear as to exactly how these events will unfold. However, this uncertainty does not affect the general matter of Moshiach's arrival.

When will the resurrection of the dead take place?

One of the principles of Jewish faith is belief in the resurrection of the dead. According to the Zohar—an early Kabbalistic text—the resurrection will take place forty years after the arrival of Moshiach. However, certain righteous individuals will arise with the coming of Moshiach. All the dead will be resurrected in the Land of Israel.

There is a small bone in the body called the luz bone (some identify this bone as the coccyx), from which the body will be rebuilt at the time of resurrection. Our daily prayers are replete with requests for the resurrection, and there are many customs connected with it. (See the book To Live and Live Again by the present author, published by S.I.E. Publications.)

What can be done to bring Moshiach?

In general, mankind must strive to perform more acts of goodness and kindness. The Jew is mandated to learn and be aware of the messianic redemption, and strengthen his or her faith in Moshiach's ultimate and imminent arrival.

Charity is a catalyst for redemption. And every day in our prayers, we sincerely plead many times for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the ingathering of the exiles and the return to Torah observance under the leadership of Moshiach. The Lubavitcher Rebbe mounted a worldwide Moshiach campaign to heighten the awareness of Moshiach's imminent arrival. The Rebbe constantly urged every Jew to prepare on a personal, family and community level for the arrival of Moshiach. This can best be achieved by "living with Moshiach"—that is, by learning about Moshiach and yearning for his coming.


In conclusion, the Jew always was and remains the eternal optimist. Even in his darkest hour, he hopes and prays for a brighter future—a world of peace and spirituality.

« Previous Bereavement Next » Doing or Understanding? By Nissan Dovid Dubov Rabbi Nissan D. Dubov is director of Chabad Lubavitch in Wimbledon, UK.

A Survivor's Diary Emerges From Auschwitz

At 14, Sheindi Miller kept a journal while in the Nazi camp. Now 90, she has finally decided to share it with the world.

By Bojan Pancevski

Shortly after arriving at Auschwitz on June 14, 1944, 14-year-old Sheindi Ehrenwald stood with other inmates, naked, her head shaved and dripping with disinfectant.

An SS officer was present. After inspecting the group, he ordered the wardens to take Sheindi's 12-year-old sister, Dori, to his quarters. The man, she later realized, was Josef Mengele, a physician notorious for conducting grotesque experiments on Jewish prisoners, many of them children. Dori never made it out of the camp.

The episode is part of the diary that Sheindi Miller, as she is now called, secretly kept while she was a prisoner in Auschwitz, the most notorious Nazi extermination camp. At the risk of her life, Ms. Miller wrote down the details of her ordeal, including her work as a slave laborer for an arms manufacturer. Written in Hungarian, it is a rare and possibly unique document, recording the plight of European Jews toward the end of World War II, as Nazi Germany redoubled its efforts to exterminate them.

This week, Ms. Miller's diary was exhibited to the public for the first time at the German History Museum in Berlin. The exhibition, which includes a film about her life, is part of Germany's official commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army, on Jan. 27, 1945.

A page from Ms. Miller's Auschwitz diary, which she began keeping in 1944. Photo: © Private collection Sheindi Miller-Ehrenwald, Jerusalem

Ms. Miller's diary starts where the diary of Anne Frank stopped, said Thomas Jander, who co-curated the exhibition. Frank's famous diary broke off when she and her family were arrested in Amsterdam and deported to Auschwitz, while Ms. Miller's tells the story of what happened after she arrived there.

Ms. Miller, 90, survived World War II and emigrated to Israel, where she kept her journals in the kitchen cupboard of her Jerusalem home for 70 years. For decades, she said, she was unable even to speak to her children about the Holocaust, let alone seek publication of her writings.

They might have stayed there, forgotten, if it hadn't been for a friend of the family who mentioned the diary to reporters at Bild, Germany's highest-circulation newspaper, last year. The journalists visited Ms. Miller in Jerusalem and persuaded her to publish it in Bild.

She agreed, she said, partly because of her anxiety about the current resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. "When I was writing the diary, my greatest fear was that a German would read it," Ms. Miller said this week. "Today, 76 years later, my greatest joy is that Germans are reading it."

Wolfgang Schäuble, president of the German parliament, who inaugurated the exhibition on Wednesday, said that the diary was an invaluable bulwark in the fight against anti-Semitism. "Today every word of your densely written manuscript on the yellowed index cards of the arms factory is a unique document for posterity—54 pages of priceless historic value, emotional vehemence and a legacy against oblivion," Mr. Schäuble said.

Ms. Miller kept the 54 pages of her diary in a kitchen cupboard until last year. Photo: Andreas Thelen/Bild

The publication of the diary comes as Germany is experiencing a rise in anti-Semitic crimes, from verbal abuse of Jews to threats and physical attacks. Last year on Yom Kippur, the most sacred Jewish holiday, a gunman attempted to attack a synagogue in Halle, leaving two dead.

Ms. Miller began to keep her diary in March 1944, on the day that German troops invaded Hungary. Over the next three months, more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews were transported to Auschwitz, with eager assistance from local authorities. Most of them were killed on arrival.

"In the night there was a loud banging on the door," Ms. Miller wrote in April 1944. "My father opened and there were three Hungarian gendarmes in front of him and they ordered him to leave the house. He turned round with tears and said: 'Don't cry, be strong. We'll return soon.' But we never returned."

The diary offers a graphic account of the train transport to Auschwitz. Ms. Miller and her family were thrown into cattle cars with dozens of other people. When an infant died of exhaustion, she recounts, Nazi soldiers snatched the corpse away from her mother and threw it off the train. "The poor mother…won't even know where she'll be buried," she wrote. "Life is hard and humans can take more than animals."

When the transport arrived in Auschwitz, Ms. Miller's grandparents, parents and two of her siblings were deemed unfit for work and taken to the gas chambers. The next morning, she awoke to the suffocating smell of burned human bodies. "We're burning your parents now," a soldier told the prisoners.

On index cards that she hid in the dank walls of her prison barrack, Ms. Miller described her ordeals.

On index cards that she hid in the dank walls of her prison barrack, Ms. Miller described further ordeals. The female inmates were made to undress in front of soldiers: "We undressed. The men ran around the room laughing, we stood around naked and deeply ashamed."

Ms. Miller survived in part because she was assigned to work in a factory, making grenades and bombshells for Karl Diehl, a German arms manufacturer that still exists today. In 1998, Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG, as the company was later renamed, paid her the equivalent of around $5,000—without admission of legal responsibility, according to letters by company representatives now included in the exhibition.

"There is no question that the Diehl reparation fund was created late, but it still was the first of its kind in Germany," a company spokesman said in a statement. "The company took a step that most of the German industry was at the time not prepared to take." He added that Diehl welcomed the new exhibition and documentary.

Before World War II, the Jewish population of Galanta, Ms. Miller's hometown, was around 1,500. She was one of only 150 survivors to return; four of her seven siblings perished. In 1949, she moved to the newly founded state of Israel, where, she said, life was hard in the early years. Her oldest son, a paratrooper, died in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, at age 20.

Last week, Ms. Miller traveled to Berlin in the company of 24 members of her extended family, including two of her 40 great-grandchildren. She summoned them on stage at the exhibition's opening on Wednesday. "Until my daughter married, I had not had more than a few weeks of happy times. But now, looking at my big family, I think my life was worth it—and I am still young, only 90!" she exclaimed.

She added that the publication of her diaries in Germany is the crowning achievement of her long struggle. "We have won," she said.

Write to Bojan Pancevski at

Dr. Martin Luther King Quotes

Did you know that one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s advisers had recommended that he leave out the "I have a dream" phrase for his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963? 
Luckily, King ignored that recommendation. That speech and quotes from many others have inspired us and given us the courage to act upon our own dreams. In honor of a great man, let us all hold our dreams up for the world to see and our hearts to embrace. Here are a few of King's pearls of wisdom to help remind you of the power of a vision. 

  1. "Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase." 
  2. "There comes a time when silence is betrayal." 
  3. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." 
  4. "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." 
  5. "Only in the darkness can you see the stars."
  6. "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that."  "Let no man pull you so low as to hate him." 

  1. "That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing."
  2. "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right." 
  3. "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." 
  4. "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
  5. "Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education." 
  6. "We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience." 
  7. "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
  8. "I have decided to stick to love ... Hate is too great a burden to bear." 
  9. "Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." 
  10. "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live." 
  11. "No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for." 
  12. "Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude." 
  13. "Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others." 
  14. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." 
  15. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
  16. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." 
  17. "We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope." 
  18. "I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls." 
  19. "We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools." 
  20. "Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals." 
  21. "People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other." 
  22. "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."
  23. "No person has the right to rain on your dreams."

My family connection to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who became a Dr, because of help from my great Uncle.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., (MLK), was studying for his doctoral degree, in the early 1950's, he faced a major stumbling block. In order to earn his Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology, the degree-granting institution, Boston University, (BU), required that King have a reading knowledge of a language other than American English. BU academic records show that King chose to study the German syntax.  

Why did MLK, an African-American, born and raised in Atlanta, select German as his language of choice for his studies at Boston University? Perhaps because King had traveled to Germany as a youth with his father, in 1934, and, 30 years later, returned to Berlin in 1964. His knowledge of German was useful to Dr. King during his entire career, according to Stanford University's MLK Research and Education Institute, founded in 2005.

  Little was known about the German tutor, however, until Dr. Milo Thornberry published his memoir, Fireproof Moth: A Missionary in Taiwan's White Terror, in early 2011 (Available at Amazon).

Thornberry, then 73, (deceased March 8, 2017) claimed that he had worked with the same tutor, as MLK had, when he, Thornberry, was studying for his doctoral degree, ten years later, in 1965, also at Boston University. While Thornberry could not recall the tutor's name, he was sure that the tutor was a Holocaust survivor who lived in the Back Bay section of Boston

 Dan Bloom took up the question, in March 2011, when he, Bloom, published a review of Thornberry's tome, in the San Diego Jewish World website. Bloom, who has contributed more than 125 articles to this publication, titled this article with a quixotic headline: Was a Jewish Holocaust survivor Martin Luther King's tutor at Boston University?   And that burning question remained unanswered until the latest celebration of MLK Day, 2020.  

 Dr. Herman Klugman's is my great uncle.My sister was researching our family background and came across Dan Bloom's article.

  Herman Klugman, Ph.D., was a retired MIT physics professor who lived in Brookline, a Boston suburb, at the time that MLK was pursuing his doctoral thesis at Boston University. Born in Germany, Klugman had escaped Nazi persecution and had relocated his family to Boston. Being a native speaker, Dr. Klugman devoted both his time and his interest to help King meet the requirements of his academic program.   Martin Luther King, Jr., became Dr. King in 1955, thanks to the help from a Holocaust Survivor.
Dr. Klugman passed away in 1974.

See you Sunday Shabbat Shalom

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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