German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller is best known for his celebrated confession. These oft-quoted words at Holocaust commemorative observances might lead you to believe that Niemöller was sympathetic to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Not true.
Judy Glickman Lauder’s photographs in Beyond the Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception are so masterfully crafted they make us feel as if we ourselves are on the train tracks approaching Treblinka, behind the barbed wire fence at Majdanek, at the entrance of Dachau under the sign Arbeit Macht Frei, outside a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Faced with these images, we can’t help but imagine what it must have been like for the millions of innocents who entered these passageways, in most cases never to return.
Many American Jews shuddered as Donald Trump proclaimed, “The American Dream is dead!” and “America first!” to rally crowds during his 2016 presidential campaign. We remembered how, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, these slogans were an open call for virulent anti-Semitism, pro-Nazi sentiment, white supremacy, xenophobia, and nativism.
Parashat T’tzaveh goes into detail about the ritual garments and dress of the ancient high priests. In almost every religious community, the leaders wear distinctive garments that make their roles clear in their respective communities.
This week, Rabbi Jacobs discusses Parashat Va-eira. Parashat Va-eira is read during Shabbat Tzedek, right before we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, and it's fitting that this parashah tells the story of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt.
In Parashat B'shalach, the Israelites arrive at the Sea of Reeds, the sea parts, and they walk across dry land toward freedom. Before they cross, though, there's a moment where Moses stands in front of the sea, and he has no idea what to do.
Near the end of Parashat Mishpatim, God tells Moses to go to the mountain, and to “be there.” Why would God tell Moses to “be there” after already telling him exactly where to be?