Jan 26, 2012

How Are We Different 2

Here is a follow-up story to my post on "mi k'amcha Yisrael" click here for post which Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon heard from Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz and related at the 11th Siyum Ha'Shas.  The latter had asked a Holocaust survivor how he survived, how he retained his faith. 

The survivor said: We were not able to keep any mitzvos in the camp.  We had no Shabbos, no Yom Tov, we could not learn, we could barely daven.  We were taken out early each morning to work in the forest and marched back to our barracks after dark.

But there was one thing that the Nazis could not take away from us, the moon.  There were men who kept track of the Jewish calendar and knew when Rosh Chodesh would be.  A couple of days later, we would look in the sky to see if the moon was out.  Then, as we were being marched back to the camp, with soldiers on both sides of the column, someone in the middle would whisper, Men ken machen Kiddush Levana (we can perform Kiddush Levana).

We would join hands and as we marched we began the bracha.  We came to the words, "He said to the moon that it renew itself, as a crown of splendor for those borne [by Him] from the womb, those who are destined to renew themselves like it .."

The moon symbolizes renewal, the renewal of the Jewish people, the renewal of the Malchus Beis Dovid.  We said those words and we felt strengthened.  We told ourselves that we will one day experience renewal.

Mi k'amcha Yisrael

(from "Living the Parsha, Bo)

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