Archive for the ‘Holocaust’ Category

Auschwitzion

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Auschwitzion
(To the melody Eli Tzion)
by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

May HaMakom console the whole world
Auschwitz-tzion
(Scroll down for Hebrew version)

Alas, how poor are words to state our pain
In remembering the millions slain,
While yet upon our souls the stain
Of standing by while brothers called in vain.

Unshriven here we are depressed
As long as somewhere someone is oppressed
As long as the murderers the meek suppressed,
And grieving mothers wail distressed.

Shalt Thou, O G-d, not bear Thy guilt this day
For standing by while multitudes in blood did lay,
And silent Thou unmoved didst stay,
Thy covenant to help us didst betray.

While millions’ lives to ash were turned,
To their last breath Thine intervention yearned,
Still hoping day and night, while all the ovens burned.
Why were our prayers of desperation spurned?

If Thine own we are, O Lord, then Thou art King
If only by Thy leave occurs each thing,
Then butcher Thou, and we the offering.
Yet who, but Thou, can heal our suffering?

The help Thou sendest must renew
All of mankind, not just the Jew
The Arabs and the Russians too
Must be freed, ere peace is true.

Send Thine annointed Savior Lord,
To turn to plowshare atom’s sword.
May each in Him see One adored
And prophesied by prophet’s word.

המקום ינחם את העולם כולו
אושביציון
מאת משלם זלמן הכהן שחטר-שלומי

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Or Chadash Siddur (1989): From the Preface

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Tamid Echad / Always and Forever one.  There is a unity that extends throughout creation.

Our teacher, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Shlita launched the Jewish Renewal Movement in line with this ancient principle of unity among creation.

Reb Zalman:

“Often, when people begin conversations and they want to say ‘Our community does Judaism like this,’ and others say, ‘Ours does it like that.  Ours is different,’ and I want to say, ‘No.  Tamid Echad / Always and forever one.’ …  This oneness goes through history and it goes through Klal Yisroel / all the God wrestlers with whom we feel we share. [It goes through our connection to other religions too,] and the commonality also extends beyond human beings:  We share with the birds, we share with the mammals, [with] the chimpanzees (who [have been shown to be able to] learn how to speak to each other in American Sign Language and then pass it on to the next generation).  And when I watch the geese and the little goslings down at the lake, they also connect me with the oneness of it all.”  [From Reb Zalman, “Renewal is not Judaism-lite“, 1998]

There is an attitude in many communities, (and into which, I’m sure, each of us may sometimes lapse), which says, “We think our way is better than others’ ways.  We prefer ours.  We do not agree with the others and the way they do things.”

In 1989, Reb Zalman took aim at this way of thinking and wrote a wonderful text to encourage detractors to the Or Chadash Siddur to look with a right kind of understanding and attitude.  It was included as a Preface in the Siddur which was first published that year by ALEPH–Alliance for Jewish Renewal, (then called P’nai Or.)

Here is a freely rendered English translation from Reb Zalman’s original Rabbinic-style Hebrew.  The text was targeted at Orthodox Rabbonim and skeptics everywhere.

(NOTE: A link to the original Hebrew text is included here.
Introduction and Translation by Gabbai Seth Fishman BLOG Editor):

For Intolerance Regarding New Practices In Prayer

It is the responsibility of leadership in every generation to remove stumbling blocks from paths provided for seekers of Hashem.  The needs of the faith community have dramatically changed.  In our generation, many of the paths to Heaven that used to work very well in the past, don’t work any more.  Why is that?  For several reasons:

  1. The holy souls who perished in the Holocaust didn’t have their prayers answered by God.  How can we expect that God will listen to our prayers, especially if those who were more observant than we were killed?
  2. Great changes have come about in life principles we hold dear, in our ways of thinking, in the ways we see reality and in the qualities of our existence.

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Dirge For Auschwitz

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

As Reb Zalman writes in his book, Paradigm Shift, (pp. 68-69), “We have yet to attend to the Holocaust liturgically, with only a few notable exceptions…  I have written a Hebrew version of a lamentation prayer (kinah) on Auschwitz in the style of the medieval kinot, with an English rendition.  Both can be chanted to the melody of Eli Zion V’areha.”  Please consider including Reb Zalman’s “Dirge for Auschwitz” in your Tisha B’Av ritual.  Gabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

DOWNLOAD ENGLISH VERSION

DOWNLOAD HEBREW VERSION

aus_dirge1.jpg

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