“Project Witness” Holds Symposium at Holocaust Museum

By: Fern Sidman

On Sunday May 29th, “Project Witness” sponsored a unique symposium entitled “The Untold Story: Religious Faith and Practice during the Holocaust,” held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage near Battery Park in lower Manhattan. As a non-profit Holocaust resource center, “Project Witness” merges lucid scholarship with cutting-edge media to provide thought-provoking Holocaust educational tools for schools, community centers and lay readers. While remaining deeply committed to the exploration of the spiritual, ethical and intellectual responses of Holocaust survivors and victims, “Project Witness” focuses on the character, identity and faith of survivors and victims and serves to ensure that their legacy is transformed into an eternal guide toward a more hopeful future.

Poignant and inspirational narratives abound about those who tenaciously clung to their belief in G-d and religious observance during the maelstrom of the Holocaust, but the vast repository of nuanced details on the personalities that shaped these values has yet to be given ample examination. Thus, the exceptionally informative day-long seminar centered around themes expounded upon in the new “Project Witness” book entitled, “Witness to History,” the nation-by-nation history of the Holocaust.

The editor-in-chief of this weighty tome is Ruth Lichtenstein, the founder and director of “Project Witness.” A noted author, journalist and history instructor, Mrs. Lichtenstein is also the publisher of the HaModia newspaper. She has been the recipient of a litany of journalism and teaching awards, including the Agudath Israel’s Reb Elimelech Tress Memorial Award, the Joseph Gruss Excellence in Teaching Award and the Council of Jewish Organizations’ Excellence in Media Award. She holds an MA in Jewish history, has written extensively on the Jewish experience in World War II and lectures internationally on the Holocaust

Jews are often known as “the people of the book” and their constant predilection towards intellectual curiosity and the desire for knowledge was elucidated upon in the scholarly lecture entitled, “Thirsty, but not for Water”: – The Battle for the Jewish Book.” Delivered by Esther Farbstein, author of “Hidden in Thunder” and Director of the Holocaust Education Center at Michlala College in Israel, the seminar not only spoke volumes about the lengths to which Jews were willing to place their lives on the line in order to preserve their sacred texts but the concerted effort by the Nazis to vanquish all remnants of Jewish literature.

“The book represented Judaism; the Jewish spirit,” said Mrs. Farbstein. “If the Nazis were to rule the world, they could nto allow this spirit to survive,” she intoned. Speaking of the Jewish readiness to sacrifice everything for their sources of all wisdom, she said, “In all of the ghettos, including Kovno and Vilna, Jews tried to bury their books and they took their books with them when hiding out in the bunkers of the Warsaw ghetto. Librarians in Vilna were killed by the Nazis when they refused to hand over Jewish books. A lot of Jews took their books with them until they got to the gates of Auschwitz. They took siddurim, mishnayos and Sifrei Torah into the camps as these books represented the sum total of their spiritual sustenance.”

During the organized systematic destruction of Jewish books, those that were not set ablaze in the infamous “book burnings” were collected, categorized and transported via cattle cars to Frankfurt where they were stored. Mrs. Farbstein said, “After the war, it was discovered that the Frankfurt storeroom had Torah scrolls that were still open to the very place where the Torah portion was to be read that week, so many years ago.”

An awe inspiring story of Jewish dedication to learning was told through the eyes and ears of Holocaust survivor Chaim Hollander in a powerful video presentation. As a child inmate at the Bergen Belsen death camp, Mr. Hollander was awoken every morning at 4:00 am by Rav Shimon Dasberg who had smuggled in a small Torah scroll from his native Holland. Each morning the rabbi would sit and learn from this Torah with the young Hollander in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah.

“One morning,” said Mr. Hollander “the rabbi conducted a real service and there were people around and I knew this was going to be my Bar Mitzvah.” In a voice reverberating with great emotion, Mr. Hollander recalled that “suddenly I saw my mother. The rabbi had found her as she was smuggled from camp to camp to be with me on this day. I read from the Torah, made my Bar Mitzvah speech and someone gave me a small piece of chocolate.”

It was then that Rabbi Dasberg handed the tiny Torah scroll to Mr. Hollander and asked him to take it. Protesting that he was too young to be the overseer of a Torah, Mr. Hollander tried in vein to convince the rabbi that he should not be responsible for it. Said Rabbi Dasberg, “I don’t expect to survive this war, but you may indeed survive and I am giving you this Torah scroll with the promise that you will tell this story after you are released.” Deeply moved by the rabbi’s gesture, Mr. Hollander promised that he would relay this story and decades later that little Torah scroll was taken into space by an Israeli astronaut who told of its history to the entire world from the cockpit of his vessel.

Mrs. Farbstein told her audience that survivors of the Holocaust printed religious books in Germany and while taking up temporary residence in Shang Chai in 1943, they published the works of the Sfas Emes. While in the displaced persons camps, survivors took upon themselves “the complicated and expensive process” of printing the entire Gemorra and Mrs. Farbstein spoke of the efforts of Rabbi Shmuel Rose who initiated of the “Munich Talmud” which was representative of the “survivors spiritual survival.”

Through the means of an outstanding slide presentation, Paul Radensky, Museum Educator for Jewish Schools at the Museum of Jewish Heritage addressed the subject of “Artifacts of Spiritual Resistance.” “Judaism is a religion of practice; a religion of deeds. We need certain objects to perform mitzvos and these religious artifacts were essential to the continuity of our belief system,” said Mr. Radensky. If pictures speak a thousand words, then each one displayed tells their own heart wrenching story. In 1932, a photo was taken in Krel, Germany of a brightly lit Chanukah menorah. The eerie backdrop, however, was one of a Nazi swastika flag reading “Death to Judah.”

Telling his audience that under the draconian dictates of the Nuremberg laws, Jews were prohibited from displaying the German flag, Mr. Radensky added that “they were permitted, however to display the Jewish flag” and rare photos were shown of Jewish flags being proudly flown throughout Europe. Other photos included a Megillas Esther scroll that was surreptitiously published in underground quarters, a ticket to a Rosh HaShana service written in both German and Hebrew with the words, “Give bread to the poor” on it, a photo of a joyous Simchas Torah celebration in Lodz, Poland, a ketubah (marriage certificate) drawn up by Jewish partisans, a Passover Haggadah used in the Leipzig labor camp that was written from memory, a shechitah knife (used for ritual slaughter) from Salonica and a pair of tefillin that was snatched out of a Nazi inspired bon fire.

Other photos told of the rare kind of “mesiras nefesh” (self-sacrifice) that was the mainstay of Jewish life in the ghettos. Mr. Radensky imparted a touching narrative of a rabbi who had feverishly raced to rescue a Torah scroll from a synagogue in Hanover, Germany during Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938). While on his way to retrieve the Torah, the Nazis had come to his home to arrest him but he could not be found as he was in the synagogue.


Creepy Homeland Security Mobile ‘Malcontent Pre-Crime Screening System to Scan Americans

By: NakedEmperorNews

Minority Report Realized: Creepy Homeland Security Mobile ‘Malcontent Pre-Crime Screening System to Scan Americans At Large Events Passes First Round Of Testing



Obama’s Wounded Wars

By: AJ

Obama took over as Commander In Chief twenty-eight months ago and, from then until now, the number of soldiers being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan has increased by 1000%.

That’s right – a 1000% increase. 8,502 of our brave soldiers have been wounded in the last 28 months compared to 2,689 during the entire 88 months prior (October 2001 through January 2009).

Average per month wounded…

For the 7 years and 4 months that Bush presided over the wars, the average number of soldiers being wounded per month was 30.56.

For the 2 years and 4 months that Obama has presided over the wars, the average number of soldiers being wounded per month is 303.64.

I wonder if this is what Obama meant by “CHANGE.”

The media won’t tell you about this, will they?



From: Chris Muir at Day by Day Cartoon

Statement from Gennette Cordova, student who was sent lewd Twitter photo from Rep. Weiner’s account

Weiner goes to great lengths

Gennette Was Not Alone… Weiner’s Twitter Friends Include Pages of Young Lucious Fans

Monday Weiner Roast… NY Post Doesn’t Believe Rep. Weiner Either

It’s On!… Breitbart Confronts Anthony Weiner

Weinergate “Victim” Releases Weird Statement

Oh My, Weiner Is Soooo Busted… He Was Tweeting a Porn Star, Too …Update: Weiner Was Following a Teenage Girl on Twitter, Too


Broken Promises: Tornado Victim Blasts Obama

Hat Tip: Brian B.

By: HotAirPundit

Read more at Hot Air Pundit…

A telling comment from Joplin off Hot Air Pundit:

Anonymous said…

We here in Joplin are not waiting for the obama and his lies.

WE are handling our destruction by that evil cliche’ of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.

Yes there will be the whiny welfare “entitlemennt” crowd. The hell with them! The rest of us will take care of ourselves and our neighbors.We pool resourses and work together, we don’t sit on a bridge waiting for President Bush to swoop down and rescue us like Katrina vistims did. We have our streets clear 2 days after the storm.

We have new construction already under way in less than a week!


Questions Concerning the Arrests at the Jefferson Memorial

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Since I posted the videos of police arresting numerous individuals at the Jefferson Memorial for dancing, questions have arisen as to the validity of the protesters.

I am fully aware that those arrested are progressive leftists. Adam Kokesh and Medea Benjamin are the two primaries I am referring to.

Kokesh works for the Russia Today TV Channel and at one time tried to align himself with the Tea Party. He is an Iraq war vet. When the Tea Party found out he was a leftist trying to stir up revolution, they chased him out.

Medea Benjamin is with Code Pink – enough said.

I am as far apart from these whackos as you can get. But no one should get beaten for dancing. Yep, they may be annoying and they may have been trying to irritate the cops, but listen to me carefully… The Constitution is NOT selective.

There are a lot of good cops out there. There are a few bad ones. DC evidently feels that it can pass laws for its jurisdiction that are outside of Constitutional limits – ordinances that direct their police officers to do things that are not based on Constitutional law. Witness the DC Gun Ban that was just recently overturned.

If Constitutional rights are violated concerning those you do not agree with, it is only a matter of time before it comes home to you. So it does not help Americans to say it is okay to come down on the left as long as you don’t touch the right, because the right is next, trust me.

Now if what the dancers were doing impinged on the rights of others there, the police certainly have the duty and obligation to ask them to desist. But not the right to beat someone’s head against the pavement unless they are trying to harm the policeman and there is imminent danger at hand.

There is a fine line between Constitutional rights and activism. I realize there were signs displayed asking people to keep quiet out of respect for the Memorial and for others. Obviously, the police believe this was being violated and the dancers were asked to stop. And just because there is a court ruling that says they can’t dance, doesn’t automatically make it right folks. How many liberal judges have we seen recently that forwarded judicial activism from the bench? My big issue here is the amount of force that was used and the fact that it appeared these individuals were not bothering anyone.

There have also been questions on whether this was staged with the police. I highly doubt that, but since I was not there, there is no way I can know.

I stand by the fact that the government is getting more and more tyrannical and heavy handed. It is showing up in places all over the country. It would seem no one on either side is immune to governmental tyranny and people better learn to stand up and object whether it is someone in their camp or not, or we will all lose our freedom.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. ~Thomas Paine

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 17, 1775

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.

John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

We lay it down as a fundamental, that laws, to be just, must give a reciprocation of right; that, without this, they are mere arbitrary rules of conduct, founded in force, and not in conscience.

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the state of Virginia, 1782

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.

Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, Circa 1774