Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Holocaust

 

What was the Holocaust?

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from the website of Yad Vashem - Jerusalem, Israel

The Holocaust was the murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators. Between the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 and the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, Nazi Germany and its accomplices strove to murder every Jew under their domination. Because Nazi discrimination against the Jews began with Hitler's accession to power in January 1933, many historians consider this the start of the Holocaust era.

The Jews were not the only victims of Hitler's regime, but they were the only group that the Nazis sought to destroy entirely. The term Holocaust is defined by the New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (1989) as a large-scale sacrifice or destruction, especially of life, especially by fire. As the research of Jon Petrie shows, Holocaust was already used by some writers during the war itself to describe what was happening to the Jews. Alongside it, various other terms such as destruction, disaster, and catastrophe have been and are still being used today to describe the fate of the Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe, although the dominant usage in American English since the middle of the 1960s is of the word Holocaust.

In Hebrew, the word Shoah is used, and it appears more and more frequently in English-language texts. Genocide is a legal term for the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups. It may include, but does not necessarily include, the physical annihilation of the group. The Holocaust is an expression, and arguably the most extreme expression, of genocide.


 The Survivors who came to Ben David

 The Number

 The Memorials

 The Denial

 The Facts

 

Weekly Scripture Reading

 

For
Shabbat

April 22 / Aviv 26, 5777

Parashah: Shemini - "Eighth Day"

— Torah:
(Vayikra) Leviticus 9:1 — 11:47

— Haftarah:
II Samuel 6:1 — 7:17

In the evening count Omer 12


This week's Parashah speaks about obedience to God. Regardless how well intentioned are our actions, or our deeds, in serving God, they pale in comparison with obedience to Him. God, first and foremost, wants us to listen to Him and to do what He asks us to do. All our good intentions are just dirty rags – “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” says the prophet Yeshayahu 64:6. “The road to perdition is paved with good intentions,” goes the saying...

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