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Jewish Holidays

Yom HaShoah: Interviews with Three Jewish Martyrs

April 25, 2022, by

On a wintry October day in 1941, the Jews of the Kovno ghetto were assembled at an Umshlagplatz (gathering place), about to be deported to their eventual death. As word spread about their inevitable fate, the following question was posed: what beracha should be recited when performing the mitzvah of “kiddush Hashem?” Surrendering your life […]

The Establishment of Yom HaShoah

April 22, 2020, by

Note: Unfortunately the last few minutes of audio were not recorded. We ended by looking at a passage from Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, who himself had survived the horrors of the Holocaust, defending the establishment of Yom Hashoah. In a preface to one of his responsa, he provides a compelling argument for the observance of […]

Yom HaShoah 5768

September 10, 2017, by

We don’t necessarily have to come to terms with and understand everything that occurs; we have to realize that Hashem guides historic events. Rabbi Shalom Hammer’s Sleepless Sermon for Yom HaShoah

Fragments of Memory

“We will never forget you, we will never cease to mourn you, we will not let you down.” At the end of the book of Genesis, Joseph makes one deeply poignant request. Though I die in exile, God will bring you back to the land, and when he does so, vehaalitem et atzmotai mizeh, “Carry […]

Iasi: A Stain on History, an Ache in My Heart

April 24, 2017, by

My late father (z”l) was a special man – scholarly, pious, wise. A man whose eyes spoke of understandings unfathomable to me when I was young and whose strength and full impressiveness only come into clearest focus as I myself have gotten older. Parents are always something of a mystery to their children. Those parents […]