Archive for April 30th, 2008

“Sanctuary in Auschwitz” by Menachem Rosensaft

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

I visited the German concentration camp at Dachau, back in 1984.
I don’t believe anything, except my acceptance of Christ, has affected me as greatly as my tour of the former Nazi death camp did. I could almost “see” the prisoners, mostly European Jews, living out their last days in that terrible place. The crematorium building brought home to me the magnitude of the number of Jews murdered there. The numbers I was quoted were no longer just figures. I felt agony as I thought about people, just like me, going into that horrible building. People like me, with a father, a mother, grandparents, siblings, many who’s histories had yet to be written, ending, dying, vanishing as their last mortal remains were reduced to a pile of ashes. Ashes swept away as if the person they once were was of no consequence. And indeed, to the keepers of that terrible place, the inhabitants were nothing of consequence. They were the walking dead, a “problem”, an “inconvenience”, something to be destroyed and swept away as soon as possible.
But these were people. Many of them were God’s chosen people, the Jews. I’m sure Satan celebrated throughout those years of Jewish annihilation.
My love for and commitment to God’s chosen people, the Jews, started the day I toured Dachau Concentration Camp and has grown greater every day since.
“Never Forget” is written on a monument at Dachau. We must make sure we never forget what happened to the Jews, God’s Chosen People.

For the past five years, I have had the privilege of serving as president of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative congregation in New York City. On most Shabbat mornings, I sit on the bima in our magnificent sanctuary listening to our rabbis and cantors. The elegant surroundings complement and enhance our centuries-old ritual.

We pray, meditate, study the weekly Torah reading, take pride in the proficiency of our bnei mitzva, say kaddish for a loved one. But sometimes, my mind drifts backward in time to other synagogues, other sanctuaries that I can only imagine.

On June 22, 1943, my father, Josef Rosensaft, was on a transport from his hometown of Bedzin in southern Poland to Auschwitz. The son and grandson of devout hassidim, followers of the rabbis of Ger, he had become a labor Zionist and one of the few Jewish members of a local sports club.

On this occasion, the train used by the Germans to deport Jews to the death camp was not made up of windowless cattle cars but consisted of normal passenger cars. My father, an excellent swimmer, escaped by diving out of one of the train’s windows into the Vistula River. Although wounded by three German bullets, he was able to return early the next morning to Bedzin where his father was waiting for him.

Six weeks later, during the liquidation of the Bedzin Ghetto, my grandfather died of natural causes in my father’s arms. After my father had buried his father, he fled to the nearby town of Zawiercie. At the end of August, he was deported from there to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

———-

THE FOLLOWING year, my father was an inmate in the notorious Block 11, also known as the Death Block, at Auschwitz. He had been there for more than five months, ever since he had been brought back to Auschwitz after escaping from a labor camp to which he had been transferred and hiding in Bedzin for six weeks with a Polish friend.

Throughout his imprisonment in Block 11, he had been continuously tortured. The Germans wanted him to betray the Poles who had helped him escape and who had hidden him, something he steadfastly refused to do.

Millions of European Jews had already perished. Thousands were dying daily. It was the most unlikely setting for prayer and devotion to God.

And yet that night, the Jewish kapo in charge of Block 11 wanted my father to conduct the Yom Kippur service. Half-naked, emaciated, starved, my father chanted Kol Nidre from memory in the Death Block of Auschwitz, and led the prayers there that evening and the following day for his fellow prisoners. As a reward, the kapo gave my father and the other inmates of Block 11 an extra bowl of soup to break the fast.

A barrack in Birkenau during Succot, 1943, and Block 11 in Auschwitz on Yom Kippur, 1944, became synagogues for a few hours, sanctuaries for Jews, many about to die, fleeting refuges from horror and agony, where my father and the Zawiercier Rov simultaneously reached out to and defied God.

AT THE outset of the 21st century, Jews throughout the world are blessed to be able to gather and pray publicly in comfort and safety. Still, we should remind ourselves every once in a while, as we sit in our elegant synagogues, that the essence of our identities and of our prayers emanate from deep within our souls.

I would like to believe that there are moments when my prayers, our prayers, transcend the years to merge with those that rose out of Block 11 and a Birkenau barrack, and that together they somehow reach their destination.

Original Link.
“Dachau Concentration Camp” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
“Auschwitz Concentration Camp” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Palestinian Factions in Gaza Agree in Principle to Cease-Fire

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Koran 47:36 says “Therefore do not falter or sue for peace when you have gained the upper hand.”

Exactly when have the Pali terrorist ever kept a cease fire? The answer is “Never”!
They are doing good to adhere to a cease fire for hours, let alone days. Having an actual long-lasting cease fire is an impossibility.
Also notice that they only agree to the Principle of a cease-fire. That means that there is no way it’s actually going to happen in reality. It will have so many lopsided conditions attached to it as to be impossible for the Israelis to support.

A dozen small Palestinian factions agreed in principle to a cease-fire with Israel on Wednesday, said two Palestinian officials involved in the negotiations in Cairo, confirming the previous day’s report in the Jerusalem Post. However, the officials expressed reservations about the details of the Egyptian-brokered deal.

But if you still want to believe that pali terrorist are actually committed to this, check out this guy’s statement:

Also Tuesday, top Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said that Israel may have 200 nuclear warheads, but Hamas has 200,000 people who want to blow themselves up inside Israel.

Zahar, who was speaking to supporters at the Islamic University in Gaza City, said Israel would pay if it rejected the Egyptian initiative for truce with the Palestinians.

“If Israel says no, it will pay a heavy price,” he said. “We are a besieged people and we will have to use all our tools to defend ourselves against Israel.”

Original Link.

Presbyterian Church Court Sides With Pro-Homosexual Pastor

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Continue to pray for the congregations of these denominations who have chosen to ignore the Bible.

TIBURON, Calif. – The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has found that a Northern California minister did not violate denominational law when she officiated at the weddings of two lesbian couples.

The ruling announced Tuesday by the Louisville, Kentucky-based court overturns a decision against Jane Spahr last year. A regional judicial committee had found Spahr guilty of misconduct and gave her a rebuke — the lightest possible punishment.

The church’s high court found that the ceremonies Spahr performed were not marriages, so she did not violate the church’s constitution. The panel reiterated the church’s position that Presbyterian ministers can bless same-sex unions as long as the ceremonies don’t too closely mimic traditional weddings.

Original Link.

Miley Cyrus Exploited at Vanity Fair Photo Shoot – Takes Racy Photos

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

It looks like another teen celeb is in a nose dive headed for a crash. Are we going to see Miley Cyrus’ name join the ranks of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan as a good girl gone bad?
What is really sad is that I always viewed her parents as being mostly responsible. They are claiming they were “horrified” when they saw the photos. But why did they leave her in the hands of photographer Annie Leibovitz, who is very well known for her racy celeb photos? What did they think was going to happen in their absence?
Michele Malkin makes this point:

“Somebody should have been there to say no. And there were ample opportunities to intervene.
Like when Leibovitz coaxed the 15-year-old into taking her clothes off.
Or when she coaxed the teenager into getting made up with smoky eyes and ruby-stained lips.
Or when she gave the girl a silk blanket and mussed up her hair and told her to look over her shoulder and look like she had just awoken after a one-night stand.
The adults surrounding Miley Cyrus shamelessly abdicated their responsibility to protect her best interests. Mom and Dad got caught up in the Vanity Fair glam. Vanity Fair didn’t see a 15-year-old girl. They saw magazine sale dollar signs. And Annie Leibovitz saw skin, skin, skin and another notch in her belt.
The parents, grandmother, and teacher are not alone in shouldering blame. Shame on Liebovitz and the pretentious left-wing editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter.
“Artists” and “literary magazine editors?” Nonsense. They’re the elitist version of Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis and his video camera operators, coaxing girls to take it all off–just with more refined tones and high-minded pretentiousness.”

So what we end up with is more teen innocence lost, all in the name of “art” and the almighty dollar.
Shame on them.

LOS ANGELES — Miley Cyrus said she’s embarrassed by an apparently racy photo spread appearing in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.

“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about,” Cyrus said Sunday in a statement through her publicist.

The photos, by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, were taken to accompany an interview with the 15-year-old pop star and her father, singer Billy Ray Cyrus. They include shots of the teen reportedly topless and wrapped in a blanket.

The Disney Channel, which airs Cyrus’ TV show “Hannah Montana,” was also critical of Vanity Fair.

“Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines,” a network statement said.

A phone message left for a Vanity Fair representative was not immediately returned Sunday night. But in a statement to the TV show “Entertainment Tonight,” Vanity Fair defended its position.

“Miley’s parents and/or minders were on the set all day,” the magazine said. “Since the photo was taken digitally, they saw it on the shoot and everyone thought it was a beautiful and natural portrait of Miley.”

Cyrus is one of the biggest _ and most G-rated _ acts in the country and is often considered a role model for young girls.

Her “Best of Both Worlds” tour sold out arenas, and her successful 3-D concert film collected $31.3 million in its opening weekend in February.

Original Link.
Link to Michelle Malkin.