life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kristallnacht

The Night of Broken Glass.  November 9-10, 1938.  The beginning of the Holocaust.

Commemorated tonight, as we do every year, in the synagogue.

The swirl of emotions as we recite ancient prayers.  Interspersed among the holy words are remembrances, snippets of diaries and letters written by the survivors of that night.  The prayers are comforting, the memories haunting.

The speaker takes the podium.  He is 90 years old, a member of The Greatest Generation.  Born in Brooklyn, he served in the  Army and was stationed in Germany.  Fluent in Yiddish, he was called upon to be part of the force that liberated Dachau.  What he saw so disturbed him that he blocked out the memories for decades, but now wants to share his experiences.


I find myself teary-eyed, shaken by the past and despairing of the future.  Our world has changed...

And yet the words of the prayers, written over the course of 2,000 years of our history, give me hope.


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