My parents were both Canadian born. My father served in the Canadian army during WW2 and was deployed to Europe, where he was stationed for 3 years.
Except for telling us about some cousins he met in Paris, he never wanted to speak about his war experience.
And so the horrors of the war weren’t spoken in our home. Only before a Yom HaShoah program, when our Rabbi spoke about the holocaust, did I learn bits and piece. Truthfully, except for the fact that six million Jews were murdered, I was very ignorant.
I knew that my Bubby’s parents were murdered in a pogrom before WW1. And the only reason I knew this was because we had a kiddush cup that belonged to them. My Bubby hid their kiddush cup and lachter in-between her clothes when she and some of her 14 siblings were able to escape from Minsk.
Today, this 100+year old Kiddush cup, sits proudly on my Seder table, waiting for Eliyahu HaNavi.
The first time I heard the word Kristallnacht, was when I was a group leader for NCSY in Chomedey [suburb of Montreal], and our head group leader wanted to do program.
Six teenagers, all Canadian born, sat around the table and said, “a program for what?”
Asking my parents about Kristallnacht, the answer I got was ‘it’s over and will never happen again.”
On Shabbat and today, November 9th and 10th, is the 80th anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht [also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass] pogroms.
Overnight, non Jewish friends and neighbours turned on their Jewish neighbours and friends with delight. That night in Germany, thousands upon thousands of Jews were subject to terror and violence by the Nazis. Over 1,000 Jewish synagogues and over 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, and approximately 30,000+ Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps.
They destroyed everything Jewish. Store windows were smashed, shuls were set on fire, holy books and Torahs were burnt to a crisp.
What has the world learned in 80 years? Nothing! Anti-semitism is alive and flourishing world wide. The anti semites are crawling out of the closets, spouting their hatred words.
And what is the world’s answer? Anti-semitic laws are weak at best and not very often enforced.
Poland is erasing their history. They say they too were victims...Nonsense..The Poles hands are dripping in Jewish blood.
Today, BDS, is the modern anti-semitic movement. When someone says, “I like Jews, it is Israel I’m against, that’s an anti-semitic comment.
Anti-semitic and Anti Israel are one and the same.
Many years ago, when we were still living in Hamilton, Ontario, we had our own personal anti-semitic experiences.
One morning, my young son and I were getting ready to go to school. He opened the front door and stepped into a puddle of rotten eggs. He screamed ‘Mommy”.
On the walls and front door, in black marker were swastikas and the word Jew.
We called the police, took pictures, and our building super and building managers. They didn’t know what to say. The police sent their race relation team to speak to us. The manager said, go to work and I will have it cleaned up. When we came home there wasn’t a trace of anything. The walls had been cleaned and painted.
A few days later, the swastikas were back. But this time we had a death threat. On our front door, scribbled in black marker, Die Jew.
This was a couple of days before Yom Kippur. The building manager set up cameras by our door. We explained to the police about Yom Kippur and they said they would add extra patrols around the building.
We had our suspicion on who was responsible, but no proof. To this day, I don’t believe anyone was ever charged.
Baruch Hashem, Jews now have a homeland. Eretz Yisrael is calling you to come home. We have room for everyone.
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