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Christopher Price
Christopher Price

The Anguish Of A Jewish Leader



Another situation developed which gave me great anguish. Rabbi Halberstam,the Klostenberger Rabbi, had come from a long line of Hassidic Rabbis. During the War, he had lost his wife and ten children. Camp Foehrenwald was the arena in which he had to recover his strength and rebuild his flock. He was in touch with supporters in the United States, and quickly they began to raise money to provide him and his people with clothing, kosher food, religious books and materials.




The Anguish of a Jewish Leader


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Listen to others instead of automatically shutting them down. Stay open to possibilities, ones that you may not have considered. Admit when you are wrong. A failure of leadership accountability can lead to more mistake making in the future.


"Reform Jews are committed to social justice. Even as Reform Jews embrace ritual, prayer, and ceremony more than ever, we continue to see social justice as the jewel in the Reform Jewish crown. Like the prophets, we never forget that God is concerned about the everyday and that the blights of society take precedence over the mysteries of heaven. A Reform synagogue that does not alleviate the anguish of the suffering is a contradiction in terms." - Rabbi Eric Yoffie, speech to the UAHC Executive Committee, February 1998


Religious leaders from Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, West Papua, New Caledonia, Samoa and Tonga have signed the letter, along with congregational chiefs including from the Sisters of Mercy, the Jesuits, the Quakers and the Sisters of Charity.


Book Reviews 165 country and in Israel. There the religious right, both Hasidic and nonHasidic , have also adopted a political stance which is illiberal and fraught with messianic a-historic expectations. While one may see the Holocaust as a factor in shaping the religious and political behavior ofJews today, it maywell be a minor and receding factor. The "dilemmas in modernJewish thought" may be most acute for non-onhodox Jews and those who no longer live in two worlds, in time and in eternity. Leo Strauss was such a Jew, and Morgan is panicularly good in teasing out the philosophical and personal grounds of his critique of modernity, confronting Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and others in the process. Morgan accepts Strauss's dichotomy ofAthens and Jerusalem, reason and faith, but believes that the Holocaust and the state of Israel have forged a valid synthesis of both. He thereby underestimates Strauss's profound agnosticism and distrust of the modern liberal state, even in Zion. This book thus offers a broad critique of a number of modern Jewish philosophies, and a valiant defense ofone which purpons to transcend the anguish and despair of the Holocaust, proposing it as a guide to liberal Jewish life today. It is not insignificant, however, that there is but one contemporary ethical dilemma, abonion, which Morgan discusses (p. 91). The issues of contemporary life, and the half century which has passed since the Holocaust, may well have conspired to put a problematic philosophy behind us. Alfred 1. Ivry Skirball Depanment of Hebrew and Judaic Studies New York University Leo BaeckInstitute Yearbook: Experience and Identity, VolumeXXXIX. London: Seeker & Warburg, 1994. 484 pp. 27.00. Sixteen contributors from seven different countries wrote anicles for the thirty-founh volume of the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook. The Yearbook remains the most influential and interdisciplinary of the sources on GermanJewish History. This edition contains sections on "Identity and Emancipation," "Jewish Responses to National Socialism," "Jews in Welfare," "Emigration," and "Gender and History." In addition, a memoir by a German-Jewish youth leader concludes the tome. It is always a difficult task to review such a wealth ofwide-ranging material tied together loosely by the theme of experience and identity. This volume includes 166 SHOFAR Winter 1996 Vol. 14, No.2 different ways in which German Jews attempted to integrate into the society, from Heidi Thomann Tewarson's piece on identity in the correspondence between Rachel Varnhagen and her brother, to David Meyer's analysis of Eugen Tiiubler's effort to write history and cope with life under the Nazis. This volume, like so many of its predecessors, not only offers a glimpse of a creative, if somewhat confused, community trying to assimilate without losing its separate identity, but it also provides a broader framework that makes it relevant to many minority groups that struggle with the same dilemma. Recently, excellent research has begun to probe the special situation of German Jewish women. In this collection, Katharina von Kellenbach offers a fascinating sketch of Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi, who was later murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. After sufferiJig through the formidable obstacles of trying to become a female rabbi, Jonas finally received her certificate in 1935, ironically the same year in which Jews lost their German citizenship. Jonas, however, discovered that her ordination did not end the prejudice from her own community, as throughout 1936 she was not hired by any congregation, while some prominent theologians called for Jonas to return her rabbinic diploma. Kellenbach compares this discrimination to the similar situation of Protestant women trying to earn ordination. Ironically, despite never being officially installed,Jonas's duties as a rabbi expanded because of Nazi persecution. She taught at public and Jewish schools and occasionallygave sermons. Although Kellenbach's piece is brief and does not elaborate on the rabbi's attitude on Zionism, Nazism, and Judaism, the experience and identity ofJonas serve as yet another of the wonderful examples of the opportunities and limitations within and outside the German Jewish community. A more eclectic theme is taken up by Rochelle Saidel and Guilherme Plonski, who point out the achievements brought by German refugees to scientific development in Brazil. It is well known that...


Discover, during this six-week course, the Jewish responses and rituals that take us through mourning and arrive at a place of healing. When death inevitably enters our lives, Jewish wisdom and ritual can help us cope with heartbreak and loss, the anguish of why suffering exists. We will also seek to understand the big questions of what Judaism says about life after death and its understanding of messianic times. With a wider lens, we gain a context with which to better understand l our moments of anguish as individuals and as a community.


We can understand the profound anguish at the horrific murder of young and dear friends. We can appreciate the frustration with the ongoing attacks on Jews and the lack of a decisive and effective army response. But we cannot understand or accept this.


Actions like these demonstrate the critical need for clear and strong leadership. We need to speak consistently and clearly, pledging security and a decisive response to those who commit acts of terror and violence against Jews, but absolutely condemning and decrying indiscriminate violence committed by Jews against anyone, anywhere.


The copyright of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" expires Friday, with plans by several publishers for annotated reprints sparking fierce debate over how one of the world's most controversial books should be treated seven decades after the defeat of the Nazis. The southern German state of Bavaria was handed the copyright of the book in 1945, when the Allies gave it the control of the main Nazi publishing house. For 70 years, it refused to allow the anti-Semitic manifesto to be republished out of respect for victims of the Nazis and to prevent incitement of hatred. But "Mein Kampf" -- which means "My Struggle" -- falls into the public domain on January 1, meaning that the state of Bavaria can no longer challenge reproductions or translations of the inflammatory work. For several European countries that were under Nazi occupation, including Austria and the Netherlands, the expiration of copyright will have little impact as reprints and sales of Hitler's diatribe remain banned there. But in Germany, historians have readied an annotated version to hit the bookstores on January 8, while in neighbouring France, publisher Fayard will go ahead with a new French version, sparking chagrin in some quarters. Some scholars argue in favour of the reprints, saying they will serve to demystify the notorious 800-page document, particularly given that the tract is freely available in many parts of the world, and just a few clicks away on the Internet. In India and Brazil, the book is easily found, while in Japan even a manga version of the tract is available. In Turkey, more than 30,000 copies have been sold since 2004 and the book is not prohibited in the United States. Nevertheless, opinion is split, particularly among Jewish groups, some of which want a ban maintained while others see reason in a scholarly version being made available for educational purposes. - Deconstructing Hitler - No country is as torn over the book as Germany, where all reprints have been halted since 1945 although the sale and possession of the book is not banned. Partly autobiographical, "Mein Kampf" outlines Adolf Hitler's ideology that formed the basis for Nazism. He wrote it in 1924 while he was imprisoned in Bavaria for treason after his failed beer hall putsch. The book set out two ideas that he put into practice as Germany's leader going into World War II: annexing neighbouring countries to gain "lebensraum", or "living space", for Germans; and his hatred of Jews, which led to the Holocaust. Some 12.4 million copies were published in Germany until 1945, and copies can be found in academic libraries. Germany's Jewish community leader Josef Schuster said "the despicable propaganda pamphlet 'Mein Kampf' should remain banned" although he did not oppose a scholarly version with explanations for educational and research purposes. Such an annotated version is what historians at the Institute of Contemporary History of Munich (IFZ) have prepared. The IFZ version, running to 2,000 pages in two volumes including the added commentary, has been in the works since 2009 and aims to "deconstruct and put into context Hitler's writing". The book, to retail at 59 euros ($65) from January 8, will look at key historical questions, the institute said, including: "How were his theses conceived? What objectives did he have? And most important: which counterarguments do we have, given our knowledge today of the countless claims, lies and assertions of Hitler?" Education Minister Johanna Wanka has argued that such a scholarly version should be introduced to all classrooms across Germany, saying it would serve to ensure that "Hitler's comments do not remain unchallenged". "Pupils will have questions and it is only right that these can be addressed in classes," she said. But Charlotte Knobloch, who is president of the Jewish community in Munich and Upper Bavaria, warned that even this version carries certain risks as it "contains the original text" and that it was also "in the interest of right wing militants and Islamists to spread these ideas." - 'Bedside reading?' - To these fears, Andreas Wirshing, the IFZ's director, argued that each passage of the original text is accompanied by a commentary, forcing readers "to notice the commentaries and take them into account". "Any Hitler sympathisers who might be interested in the book are better off looking elsewhere," he said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. In neighbouring France, the president of the council of Jewish institutions, Roger Cukierman, called the planned French reprints "a disaster". "Such horror can already be found on the Internet. What would happen if 'Mein Kampf' also becomes bedside reading?" he said. In Israel, where reprints have been banned, the expiration of copyright would not lift a deep-seated taboo against the anti-Semitic screed. Murray Greenfield, founder of Gefen Publishing, which focuses on books about Judaism and its history, said he wouldn't publish it "even if they paid me". 041b061a72


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