Home > Sermons > SERMON: Kristallnacht 75 Years Later: What Have We Learned?

SERMON: Kristallnacht 75 Years Later: What Have We Learned?

November 12, 2013

In my library at home I have approximately 2,500 books of Judaica, books about the Jewish people, our laws and customs and culture. If you were to ask me which of the 2,500 is my favorite book, I would have to think about it. If you asked me which one is the most important, I would have to think about it. But if you asked me which one is the saddest book, I know my immediate response. It is this book – Every Day Remembrance Day; a Chronicle of Jewish Martyrdom by Simon Wiesenthal. The book goes through every day of the year, from January 1st thru December 31st, and for each day it lists a tragedy that took place to the Jewish people on that day. There isn’t a single day where there is only one tragedy listed. It’s heartbreaking to read through this book. It tells a tale that goes to the heart of the Jewish experience. The truth is there were so many massacres and tragedies that even we Jews have forgotten about them. How many of you know that in the year 1648 and 1649 a Cossack leader, Bogdan Chmielnicki, led his forces in killing 100,000 Jews, destroying 300 Jewish communities? There used to be a fast day in the Jewish calendar to commemorate this annihilation, but over time we have done away with the fast for that day, and other fasts, because you just can’t fast every day of the year. READ MORE

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