The Lakewood View

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Krystyna's Story - Children of the Holocaust Discussion Guide

Krystyna's Story - Children of the Holocaust Discussion Guide: "On February 6, 1947, 11 1/2-year-old Krystyna Chiger was interviewed by Magistrate Maria Holender. During the war, she had been hidden with her family in the sewers of Lvov, a city in Poland. Here is what she said. When Daddy found out that there would be a liquidation of the Ghetto, we hid in the cellar. We usually went there in the afternoon when Mommy would come back from work. I was 7 years old then and I knew about everything. Krystyna Chiger in 1941. Later we headed for the sewer. It was very wet and dark. I was very scared and I was shaking, but I tried to be calm and only asked Daddy if we still had far to go. There were stones with yellow worms crawling all over. We put all our things over the stones and sat on top of them. It was awful there. Water seeped from the walls and it smelled bad. I saw large, red rats which ran by us just like chickens. At first I was very afraid, but later I got used to it. My little brother, Pawelek, was not scared at all. "

Krystyna's Story - Children of the Holocaust Discussion Guide

Krystyna's Story - Children of the Holocaust Discussion Guide: "This feeling of shame has stayed with me throughout my adult life. It is only recently that I came to understand the precariousness and limitations of the human existence. A man can't control his feelings and, in time of danger, he rarely controls his deeds. I often think of my friend Willy with whom I survived this dreadful day. Willy, the indestructible, with his raspy voice and charming smile, was a fighter. In December 1942, Willy was caught, stripped naked and sent to the gas chambers. With bleeding fingernails, he pried open the planks of the cattle car and jumped off the train. After the liquidation of the ghetto, Willy survived the raids, the hunger and the cold of the forest. He was drafted into the Russian Army, and on May 9, 1945, one day before the signing of the Armistice, Willy Bloch died in the Battle for Berlin. For Willy, Esterka, Rachel, Mottel and all the other victims, I do recite Kaddish now."

Lurianic Kabbalah

Lurianic Kabbalah: "On this page, Luria's theosophy is described in outline form, with links connecting the reader to fuller descriptions and interpretations of the major Kabbalistic symbols, as well as to matters of comparative interest. Readers interested in more detailed discussions of these topics are referred to the 'Books' and 'Articles' links on this website. When it arose within Ein-sof (the Infinite) to weave Yesh (Something) from its Ayin (Nothing) Ein-sof performed an act of Tzimtzum, contracting and concealing itself from a point, thereby forming a central, metaphysical void. It is in this void that the Primordial Man, Adam Kadmon, and all the countless Worlds(Olamot) emerge. "

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

שִׁירָת דְּבורָה: chassidus

שִׁירָת דְּבורָה: chassidus: "'If you believe that you can damage, then believe that you can fix..... If you believe that you can harm, then believe that you can heal....' Rebbe Nachman of Breslov"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Day the silence Won!

AhMbDvd....(Picking up the idea started on the previous page- the title is a link to where this piece starts).

The man looked at me with a straight face and said, "You know the entire Holocaust as we know it never happened". Many things went throuh my mind in a fleeting moment of shocked silence. My first thought was that I would be justified in throwing a good right hook right to his face, right now. Luckily it was just a thought. Then I wondered, of course this man has no way of knowing that my Grandfather (he should rest in peace)who was alive at the time somewhere in the early 80's, was a proud survivor of the Holocaust , and he managed to keep himself and his family, out of the concentration camps, and alive!

My Grandfather (he should rest in peace) shared his stories frequently, but these days I wonder what sort of secrets he might have carried with him to his grave.

Today my thoughts are much different but right then, it was only shock. Today I see people every now and then try to surpress the truth about this tragic event, but why?

Sometimes I hear this incredible tales at shul, of great man, tzadikim, who kept certain precious mitzvahs, even though they most assuredly faced their own death. For every story be it a man who's name we know, one can not help but wondering how many others, also had to give up their lives for the simple reason that they were jewish.

Every jew, be they frum or not frum, has an important personal responsibility to see that this dark period in our history must always be remembered and never forgotten

Then there were others, who miraculously managed to stay of the concentration camps, and survive.

I met one such survivor about a week ago, who affiliated himself with the Hidden Children Foundation. When he started to briefly tell me his story, as he was being appologetic about not being frum, he found a way to try to lessen his experince. In some manner I told him that he did not have to appologize for not ending up in a concentration camp, that my mom had survived in hiding, in Poland.

He started to tell me that he survived in Russia. I told him that his experience must "not have been a cake-walk" and that "you must have been hungry and cold. Then he began to share some details, all of which of course were uniquely his own. We were there on a Bikur Cholem call, so I was not truly trying to bring him into a depressive state. I did get a smile out of him with my "cake walk" comment. I also understand that the man has written a book.

Maybe years ago, as a young adult on a college campus I was shocked into silence, however I feel that this man was working on sharing his important story, and I know I did my part in getting him to share at least a small piece of his story with me.

Aharon Moshe October 14, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Aharon's Ark

Aharon's Ark: "Aharon's Ark This Vessel is being created to preserve what is good. The World rests on three pillars: Torah, Service to Hashem (G-d) and Acts of Chesed (kindness)"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

ScienceDaily: Rare Dolphin Driven To Extinction By Human Activities, Scientists Fear

ScienceDaily: Rare Dolphin Driven To Extinction By Human Activities, Scientists Fear: "Scientists are also concerned that this could just be the first of many human-caused extinctions of marine mammals that are under stress around the world. 'We are concerned about several vulnerable species of dolphin and porpoise around the world, including the vaquita,' said Nicole Le Boeuf, international fisheries biologist for NOAA Fisheries. The vaquita is a critically endangered porpoise found only in the uppermost part of Mexico's Gulf of California. Vaquita have been reduced to only a few hundred animals because of accidental deaths in small-scale fishing nets. In addition to the vaquita, many coastal dolphins and porpoises in other parts of the world are highly vulnerable to being accidentally caught in similar fishing gear. 'The vaquita and other highly imperiled marine mammals represent a major conservation challenge,' said Le Boeuf. 'There is very real global concern for these species, especially with the all but certain loss of the bajii in China. NOAA and its international partners are working together to lend their support to Mexico and other nations with similar species in their coastal and inland waters.' In the end, it may come down to conserving not just dolphins and porpoises, but local communities as well. 'We have to find a way to let local fishermen put food on their tables that doesn't involve putting nets in the water that decimate these coastal dolphin species,' said Taylor."

The Beginning Is Connected to The End!

Last Night in The Nesivor Shalom!

In our regular Nesivor Shalom class our Teacher (also our host who provided some nice home cooked kosher to nosh on) was giving over a section regarding the upcoming Parsha-Noach.

Suffice it to say by way of introduction that our Holy Torah gives an account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. Many details are given, many things (including living things) come to exist before Adam Rishon (the first man on the earth).

The entrance point of this particular maymar (I usually just ry to pronounce the words correctly-spelling to be checked later) is from the perspective of the three major pillars that support the earth which are:
Torah, Avodah (service to G-d) and Chesed (acts of kindness), Gemara is cited for the source of the pillars which the earth rests upon, although not a specific book or page (I believe Chagigah page 11, 12 or 13).

Additionally the maymer explains that darkness preceeds the light (with all its metaphoric interpretations). The well documented example is: Vayihi Erev (darkness) Vayihi Voker (day) Yom Echod! (Day One!)
Bereishis 1:5

Additionally that maymer stated that the Klippot (another kabbalsitic concept-a shell-a negative thing) precceds the fruit-(goodness) of the Eytz. In other words the concept of the darkness (negativity/evil/absence of light/) preceeds the light. The pop culture melody would be: They say, they say..... the darkest hour....., always...always.., always..before the dawn. (Crosby,Stills,Nash, and Young)- By the time we got to Woodstock?

The Maymer did not go into an extended discussion of Tohu and Bohu Bereishsis 1:2), nor did it comment on Yihi Or (let there be light) Bereishis 1:3), for these ideas were germane to the topic at hand.

A source from the Holy Zohar was used to explain how there is a connection to the Sphierot of Chesed to Avraham, Yakov to Tiferet, and
Yitzchak to Gevurah. The word Tikkune was also read which our host translated as "fixing" and also the concept of Tikkune Olam (the fixing or correction of the World) was brought out, I believe from our Holy Zohar ( A primay Kabbalistic source).

Readers Digest type synopsis:

The sin of Kayin (Cain) killing his brother Abel, had its foundation in Envy. Kayin was jealous that his brother's offering was accepted and not his. The sin which was crouching at Kayins door was that of envy. It was brought out that envy can even rot the bones. Suffice it to say that envy is a very serious negative quality, which is capable of taking a person out of this world!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Whales A difficult Existance!

Life is not Easy!

Life for the Creatures of the Sea is difficult as well. We should not forget that humans have no natural predators. What follows is a brief excerpt from a bilogical paper on a particular species of Whales which fall into the Toothed Whale category.
AhMbdvd 10/9/07

The rate of predation on narwhals by killer whales and polar bears is unknown but may be significant. When killer whales are present narwhals hide in broken pack ice or shallow nearshore waters (Freuchen and Salomonsen 1958; Steltner et al. 1984; Campbell et al. 1988; Reeves and Mitchell 1988; Gonzalez 2001). They breathe quietly to avoid detection and stop vocalizing instantly when killer whales approach (Ford 1987). Their fear is such that they will ignore humans.

Killer whales appear to prefer non-tusked narwhals (Gonzalez 2001). Hunters in the Repulse Bay area see killer whales more frequently now than in the past and have expressed concern about killer whale predation on narwhals (Gonzalez 2001). The frequency of seasonal visits by killer whales to Hudson Bay, and their effect on the narwhals is unknown (Reeves and Mitchell 1988; DFO 1998a; Stewart et al. 1991). Killer whales may have driven narwhals close to Cape Dorset in the 1960s (Higgins 1968), south to Arviat in 1988 (W. Angalik, pers. comm. in Stewart et al. 1991), and into shallow water in the Repulse Bay area in 1999 (Gonzalez 2001). The latter resulted in an unusually large harvest of narwhals by Repulse Bay ...

The narwhal’s ability to dive deeply and hold their breaths for long periods enables them to move long distances under water to avoid hunters and to locate areas where they can surface to breathe. In the deep waters of Baffin Bay, narwhals dive to at least 1500 m and daily make dives to depths of over 500 m (Heide-Jørgensen and Dietz 1995; Heide-Jørgensen et al. 2002). They can remain under water for at least 26.2 minutes when foraging (Laidre et al. 2002) and up to 30 minutes when pursued by Inuit (Gonzalez 2001). Their diving ability makes it difficult to obtain accurate population estimates. Variations in narwhal diving behaviour related to season, location, and sex of the animal complicate the correction of population survey data for animals that were submerged deeply enough to be invisible to the survey...

residents of 13 communities hunt animals from the Baffin Bay population, while the Hudson Bay narwhals are hunted mainly by residents of Repulse Bay and sometimes by residents of 6 other communities (Table 1). Narwhal are also hunted by the Kugaaruk community following the community-based management system, while Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven have a yearly limit of 10 narwhals each. Most narwhals are harvested in July and August (Donaldson 1988; Gamble 1988; Guin and Stewart 1988; J. Pattimore, pers. comm. 1986). The hunts begin earlier in the year in Pangnirtung (April), Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay (May) and end later in the year in Clyde River and Qikiqtardjuak (October).

The actual number of narwhals killed during these hunts is higher than the number landed, but unknown because few data were collected on the number of animals that were killed and lost. These losses vary depending upon the location, weather, hunter experience, and type of hunt (e.g. floe edge, ice crack, open water). They also vary from year to year. Thus loss rates cannot be extrapolated from one season to another or from one community to another (Weaver and Walker 1988; Roberge and Dunn 1990). Loss rates are typically highest at the floe edge and lowest during the open water hunt (Roberge and Dunn 1990).

Comparison of these rates between studies is confounded by the fact that some studies considered only whales killed and lost, while others also considered whales that were wounded and escaped. The former method tends to underestimate the total kill, and the latter to overestimate it. These two extremes provide a range within which the actual loss rates should lie. Loss estimates from the community-based management hunts in 2001 suggest that on average at least 19 (SD 11; killed and lost only) and perhaps as many as 46 (SD 5; killed and lost plus struck and escaped) animals are lost for every 100 landed (Table 2).

These crude annual loss rate estimates are comparable to those from earlier studies, most of which were for portions of the annual hunt (e.g. Hay and Sergeant 1976; Finley et al. 1980; Kemper 1980; Finley and Miller 1982; Weaver and Walker 1988; Roberge and Dunn 1990). The collection of struck and lost data is a key contribution of the community-based management program to improving estimates of hunting mortality. Losses result in part from the fact that narwhals are often shot before they are harpooned (Bruemmer 1971; Stewart et al. 1995). Loss rates are greater among animals that are not harpooned (Gonzalez 2001). In 1979, Pond Inlet hunters tried using harpoon guns to reduce loss rates.

This technology proved to be much less practical than .303 calibre rifles and hand-thrown harpoons for killing and securing narwhals (Finley and Miller 1982). In the Pond Inlet area, a high proportion of harvested animals have old bullet wounds
(42% Finley et al. 1980; 23% Finley and Miller 1982). Many of the communities participating in community-based management require hunters to use harpoons as a means of reducing the number of whales that are struck and lost

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Beis of Creation.

The Beis of Creation.: " first line of Bereishis contains 7 words. The seven words correspond to the seven days of the week. The opening remark ends with Ha-Eretz, which is translated as the earth. I know none of this is Earth Shattering kind of content. The expalnation then continues with Ha-Eretz we can actually count the hebrew words that are contained within the 1st 5 lines of Bereishis. Try it each and every time there should be no surprise that there are 52. So, we have the first sentence of Bereishis which contains seven words which sets an important cycle, the week. Then by the end of the Torah's description Bereishis 1-5, we have the completion of the first day of creation Yom Echod! I might be looking for holidays here but Yom Echod- the first day, seems like something worth celebrating. "