April 15, 2004
For the Kids
In Parshat Shemini, this week's portion, a very sad thing happens: the two older sons of Aaron -- Nadav and Avihu -- die. No one is quite sure why God chooses to kill them; the only clue the Torah gives us is that they have brought "strange fire" before God. Even though we never really get an answer, the Torah is very clear on something else: Aaron's grief silences him.
This coming Sunday we will observe Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day. No one will ever know why 6 million Jews were sent to their deaths by means of Hitler's "strange fire."
But we will continue to grieve for them. We will observe moments of silence and we will allow their memory to move us to be better friends, better sons and daughters and better Jews.
Those Who Fought
But there were brave people who fought back. Unscramble the name of the country that saved all of its Jews by boating them to Sweden: Not only did this country save its whole Jewish population, but it took care of their possessions until they could return at the end of the war.
Many people compare the Warsaw Ghetto uprising to the Masada revolt that occurred in Israel in 72 C.E. In fact, some say that the ghetto uprising was inspired by the story of the brave Jews of Masada. Here is an acrostic poem by Corey Gitman, 10, of Sinai Akiba Academy.
Most amazing place
Actually, the Romans forced Jews to help them build a path
So the Romans would be able to conquer Masada
And other Jews built walls to block the Romans
Disturbingly, the Romans broke through all but
the last wall, which was made of wood.;
After the Romans burned down the wall,
the Jews decided to kill themselves, rather than
become enslaved to the Romans.