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Reflection On Kristallnacht

11/11/2022 05:37:39 PM


Rabbi Weill

Dear Friends,

Today is the eighty-fourth anniversary of Kristallnacht, the two-day Nazi-sponsored pogrom against the Jews.

Last night we commemorated this dark day with an examination of what the Nazis considered “degenerate” art and music. Amy Claver offered a thorough description of how that campaign impacted one particular Jewish composer, Hans Gal. Gal was lucky; he escaped.

But on Kristallnacht, nearly one hundred Jews died. Nearly one hundred: a number that, unbelievably, pales beside the millions who died during the impending doom.

Examples of inhumanity on a mass scale are legion. Yet the person of faith must never believe they are natural to humanity. For the religious person knows there is a divine spark within every human being. She therefore rebels, from a deep part of her soul, against the cynical notion that hateful prejudice is natural. It is, on the contrary, a perversion and corruption of true humanity. Hate-laced prejudice and violence are the enticements of humanity’s great adversary, of a dark force loosed upon those desperate societies.

May we never fall prey to such enticements. May we always stand for a more exalted notion of what it means to be human, which is to love the other as ourselves.  And may vicious, violent hatred never again darken any corner of this planet.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784