The brightest light in the darkest place

http://unitedwithisrael.org/the-holocaust-picture-that-offended-facebook/

To me, the point is not that Facebook flagged the photo, or why, or people’s reactions. To me, the biggest deal is not even the photo itself. Thank you Esther, for bringing this photo to my attention, and thank you Miriam, for adding light to a dark world. To me, the point is in Miriam’s own words, quoted by her father, who is quoted at the above link. For the remainder of the article, see their website.

As I searched for an applicable quote to close off this posting in honour of Yom HaShoah, I realized that a very appropriate quote would be the following excerpt from my daughter Miriam’s diary of her recent trip to the death camps of Poland:

“Today was kind of a gap day… The fill in day… And yet, it was one of the saddest days of my trip to Poland…

“Today, we visited a mass grave. Yes, on this program, we’ve been to many and I never cried at any of them. Not as much as I cried here. You see, this mass grave is different… This mass grave holds 700 children. Yes, you heard me… Children.

“Alone, frightened and clinging to whatever family they had with them, if they even had any left to cling to… Nazis shot them… The children… And for what? Because they couldn’t produce… They were useless to the Reich and so, they were shot… Murdered…

“These sweet children… Gone. No longer can we hear their sweet laughter or small feet dancing. No longer can we see the smiles on their faces or the innocent look in their beautiful eyes… Children that didn’t have the chance to live; to become and live their dreams. Stolen from us by the worst animal of all…

“I sat motionless at that mass grave. What else was I able to do? I was barely able to hold my head up… It hurt me more than anything. I don’t think there was one person on our program that didn’t shed a tear when we stood there listening to our rabbi talk about his family and how these children must have felt in their last moments…

“Then he did something I will remember forever.

“He said to us, “These children never got a chance to see the holy land or let alone be buried there. We should give them that chance…” He then proceeded to pick up a box full of dirt. “This,” he said, “is from my backyard. This is soil from Israel. If they can’t be buried in Israel, then we will bring Israel to them. Their light will forever live inside us. Whoever wants, can come take a hand full of soil and sprinkle it over the grave.”

“We all stood around him, frozen. We literally were frozen in place and suddenly I saw a hand reach out and take a handful of dirt and when the hand touched the soft soil, I realized that the hand was mine.

“I looked at the Rabbi and just for a moment, our eyes met. I guess it was a kind of comfort for me… I walked over to the grave and soon others did the same. I looked over that blue painted fence and in my mind, as I held that soil for just a moment longer, the shabbat blessing that a father and mother gives their child came to my mind. Over and over it ran through my head as I watched the wind scatter the soil across the grave.

“Tears just fell freely and all I was able to do was sit there as tears just kept falling. I was frozen at the fact that they were all gone… For no reason other than hatred… These beautiful children are the light in the darkness and their light will forever live on through me and through every breath I take. These children play at the foot of G-d’s Kiseh Hakavod [throne] now.

“Take care of them for me, please… They are with You now.”

– Miriam Ciss, March 27, 2015, Poland

Thank you for sharing these words with us. Though deeply personal, they have something to teach the entire world. Thank you for teaching us a lesson from history, so that we never repeat it. May this bring merit to the children’s memories, all 700 and 1 of them.

Huge Kiddush Hashem

http://forward.com/news/306056/can-an-orthodox-charity-help-save-lives-in-this-mans-church/

Not only are the actions presented in the article amazing and bring honour to Hashem, but so does the article. So rare at the moment is an article that is from a secular site, yet honest and unbiased.

Apologies that the article is too long to embed. It looks clean and good, but, as with always, think before you click.

So Inspired

Read the original here, or look below. A thank you to the owner of Mevakesh Lev for giving open permission to me to share such posts.

Mizmor Li-toda!

With gratitude to and with the help of Hashem Yisborach, I have reached the milestone of 2000 recorded shiurim on line. I say this not to boast [for arrogance makes one smelly and I don’t want to be that] but to thank Hashem and the countless people who have been listening and reading over the last 9 years since I entered the world wide web.I often have my doubts and hesitations as to whether it is the right thing to be part of the Internet world because as we know, רובא דרובא דרובא דרובא – the vast-vast majority of the Internet is at best dvarim betialim, frivolous matters, and all too often much-much worse, but I hope that Hashem has nachas ruach from my attempt to try to add Torah and Kedusha to the many who are there anyway.Money

Besides the benefit of spreading Torah that I already mentioned, there is another benefit – money. Lots of money.

Meaning – I get paid zero-zilcho-efes-kloom for all of the Torah that I spread and that is the way it should be. Torah is NOT a means to earn a living – it is too holy for that. Those who take money in order to learn and teach Torah only do so in order to save themselves and families from starvation. When not necessary, it should not be done. So it is very gratifying that after years of having to take a [albeit miniscule] salary for teaching Torah, the Internet afforded me an opportunity to teach for nothing. Or better – for nothing material but for everything spiritual.

So I want to pray to Hashem that He, in His infinite mercy, allows me to continue being involved in Torah day and night שלא על מנת לקבל פרס.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the many who appreciate my efforts and have been helping me in my efforts to spread Torah and light, especially for the last four years since I left yeshiva.

So thank you Hashem and thank you beloved friends. Many of you I know personally and many-many more I don’t, but I thank and love you all.

Bi-ahava,
Me 

An Old Friend

An anonymous reader recommended this post. Read it here: –>  or below

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hello, Old Friend

I met up with an old friend the other day. I’d spoken with him fairly recently, but it had been a while since I’d seriously opened up to him. I’m not really sure what made this time different, other than the fact that I’d been drinking. Still, for the first time in way too long, I felt heard, as if he was seriously listening. I spoke in that  non-self-reflective way, opening up in a manner that I can truly do, only when speaking with close friends.


It felt good, but as I spoke, I had this terrible gnawing feeling. I started thinking about the fact that soon our meeting would be over. I began to  become self-conscious of the fact that I better say everything I had to say, as I was unsure when the circumstances that had led to this conversation might happen again. I don’t know who  is responsible for our recent divide, although I can’t deny that I am far from blameless.


So there I was, with a combination of the joy that came from opening up to a friend, combined with the recognition that I better not waste a moment of our time together. Then, it was time to go. Reluctantly, I parted, sadly taking my leave. Without turning my back, I bowed and took three steps back.
Yihiyu l’ratzon imrei pi v’hegyon libi lifaniecha, HaShem Tzuri v’Goali.

 

Thank you to the person who sent me the article, the person who allowed me to use it, and to all you loyal readers!

Have a wonderful Shabbat!