During the year I spent studying in Jerusalem as a rabbinic student, it was impossible to escape the upcoming High Holy Days.
During World War II in Lithuania, the penalty for hiding Jews was death. Nonetheless, Jura’s family extended a helping hand to mine.
Today, as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I am thinking of my father, of blessed memory. He was among the Jews forcibly marched through the camp's entrance gate under the cynical Nazi motto: Arbeit Macht Frei, Work Makes (You) Free.
Growing up in rural Massachusetts, Judaism held a much different context in my life than it does now. Until college, I did Judaism, mimicking the motions of being a "good Jew." I didn't combine milk and meat in my house because my father told me not to.
The Holocaust is an important topic not only in Jewish history, but in the history of humankind. The topic is disturbing, and it is appropriate to feel uncomfortable and upset by the stories, the facts, and especially the images.
As we witness public figures dismantled by the revelation of ugly episodes from their pasts, we parents must distill these events and their aftermath for our children.