At the Holocaust Museum

What can we do to strengthen the Jewish people.

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Comments (17)

(17) Manasseh, January 3, 2013 5:41 AM

We must not over simplify.

Very touching story. It is dangerous to over-simplify the many reasons for such a massively evil act that was the Holocaust. Even though we must analyze all of our mistakes as a nation, we benefit the most by looking forward. Positive thinking as well as kindness can spread further and faster then lies and hatred. Light a candle, share a sorry, and just in case, keep the Winchester nearby.

(16) Paulette, July 29, 2008 9:44 AM

Another Application of a beautiful thought

I was so touched as I sat and listened to you, Lori. A thought that kept coming to my mind is this: How can we stop this from ever happening, how can we stop what is happening in our world today? The woman received the name of the person, and it was her name. What if we would see others, and their lives, their situations, and it was us- if it was us, our life, how would we want others to answer it? If we feel like judging, or perhaps, ignoring someone's suffering, but rather instead, think "no, what if this was me, my problem, my mistake or misfortune... how would that change us?" How wonderful it would be if we each day - now, in the present, live for the strengthening, survival, ultimate victory of each other? What if we could even see in the eyes of those who may have hurt us, or even are our enemies, their woundedness? And what if we would be willing to release onto them, love that could only flow from God's heart into ours, onto them...I think this is where I want to go with my life from now on. Thank you, Lori

(15) Ms.Mitzvot, May 25, 2008 7:14 AM

I disagree with Yonah''s comment

I respectfully have to disagree with Mr.Ginsburg''s comments. He seems to be implying that the holocost was a punishment for not living a torah obsvervant lifestyle and that the angel of death took the observant and non-observant as a result. I must disagree. I tend not to be motivated by fear or by threats, but by love. Therefor, I am offended by what he is trying to feed us. He is forgetting that millions of jews living in England, Canada, the United States, the Latin American countries, many Arab countries were not killed. What happened was part of a facist regimen with a sick dictator. If I may recommend reading a NYT bestseller, "End of America" story to a young patriot. Ms.Wolf shows us step by step how the U.S. is well on its way to facism and importantly, what we can do to try to stop it. In the midst of our demanding lives and observances, we must stick our necks out of our enclosed worlds, seek out and "get involved" in the political dynamics of our country. This is a challenge. I don''t think Hashem would want us to simply allow such things to happen all around us and for us to be too self absorbed to notice. It almost happened to me. I own 3 tv''s and never turn them on. I do not like the news. I like to chose what to allow into my mind. I enjoy being observant I love my torah learning, I enjoy my job and my housework and family. Frankly, it takes all my time. Thanks to my young adult daughter, I have come to realize it is not enough, I/we need to know what is happening in the world and get involved some. Thank you.
Miami Beach, Fl

(14) Phyllis, May 22, 2008 8:44 PM


Dear Lori, Your stark description of the million and a half candles, each representing the snuffed-out life of a Jewish child, brought tears to my eyes.
If my parents hadn''t left Russia after the first World War, there would have been 4 more candles, for me and my 3 older brothers. It chills me to think that my amazing children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren might never have come into this world.
Why are some spared and others survive? There is no rational explanation. It is as impossible to decipher as trying, with our finite little brains, to comprehend the vastness of the universe.

(13) Joy, May 22, 2008 8:27 AM

What a great idea!

I LOVE the idea of everyone at the shabbos table telling a "hashgacha pratis" story...what a wonderful way of bringing Hashem into your every day and noticing how He takes care of you!!
Thank you Lori!

(12) yonah ginsburg, May 21, 2008 9:11 PM

we do know why the Holocaust happened

I respectfully disagree with Mrs. Palatnik''s message.

Although it is unpleasant to face up to our shortcommings -- individually & collectively-- a state of denial ensures that nothing will change.

This week''s parsha, Bechukosai, tells us once again why the Holocaust,and every expulsion, pogrom or collective disaster befell the Jewish people: We rejected H-shem and we ceased observing the Torah.

How many years will it take for this yearly message to be internalized & acted upon??!!

Not everybody who died in the Holocaust rejected H-shem and stopped observing the Torah. However, the Jewish people are unique in that we are collectively responsible for one another.

Chazal also tell us that when the Malach HaMavis (angel of death) is set loose, he is indescriminate, killing the tzaddikim along with those who rejected H-shem and His Torah.

If we ignore the "why" in "why did the Holocaust happen?", and only focus on the "what" as Mrs. Palatnik suggests, the problem H-shem identifies in parshas Bechukosai will never be solved.

Focusing on the "why" will lead us to the correct "how", the right way to solve our individual and collective problem of rejecting H-shem & the Torah.

All the best,
Yonah Ginsburg
Monsey, NY

(11) RUTH HOUSMAN, May 21, 2008 6:27 PM


Dear Lori, Thank you for this most, moving, haunting story. I am seeing something that is language-based, about words. As you know it is said God created a universe out of the Hebrew letters. Bless and the French word, blesser, are obviously closely connected, if just through the spelling. But to wound and be wounded and to be blessed are close. Why is also a letter, being Y, in English aurally. And the Y is could be the fork in the road. Which way should we go? Of course the answer is to help, to succor, to put the kind back into mankind. Every fibre of your being is saying this, beautifully, every time. I am experiencing this thing we call visible amazing coincidence in spades, so I have stories that I am recording daily that send me to my knees. This particular story, about names, is very significant to me. We are all of us more connected in more ways than we ever thought possible.

With great thanks for a very moving article that has within, deep meaning.

(10) Laurie, May 21, 2008 2:11 PM

Partial Answer

The holocaust was unbelievably horrible, but since it did happen- we have the wonderful country of Israel. I don''t believe the UN would have allowed the vote if it had not been shamed, and the Jewish people would not have had the catalyst for that special moment in time to bring about May 12, 1948.

(9) G-d, May 21, 2008 11:57 AM

If I hear this question one more time, I''ll scream.

I told you a thousand times, if you misbehave, you''ll be punished. Severely. Terribly. It''s all in the book I told you to read. So don''t blame me now. Go back to that book and then we''ll talk.

(8) Meira Lerman, May 21, 2008 10:38 AM

Best way out

Thank you Lori! You are our best Roll Model: have children and have them to have children with joy and happiness, this is the only way how we can overcome darkness!

(7) Lee Ann Calandra, May 21, 2008 9:44 AM

Thank you for your videos Lori.

I am a Roman Catholic but enjoy your videos. You inspire me Lori & help me be a better Wife, Mom, Daughter and caring Woman. Thank you for sharing your gifts. - Lee Ann

(6) Marshall, May 21, 2008 7:47 AM

Bless those who bless us

Let us not forget that it says in Genesis that G-d will bless those who bless his people and curse those who curse his people.

Where are the superpowers of the past who have turned their backs on the Jewish people and wronged them or expelled them?

All of them are now second-rate! Rome, Greece, Babylon, Egypt, Spain, England, Germany, Poland, Russia, etc.

The United States still stands by us and woe to us if they stop.

(5) Sarah C, May 20, 2008 3:15 PM

Don''t know why the Holocaust happened?

Read about the negative curses and prophecies in Chumash / 5 Books of Moses, in Parashas Bechukosai and also in Devarim, where Moses tells us from Hashem what would happen to us as a people if we reject G-d, the Torah and the commandments.

If we don''t know why the Holocaust happened or why any of our tragedies happened, we are doomed to repeat them, and we have repeated them unfortunately many many times.

Even today, we are repeating our mistakes. Look around us -- Sderot, Ashkelon, Crown Heights, everywhere where there is antisemitism.

When are we going to wake up?

(4) Rosen, May 18, 2008 8:14 PM

Education and Solidarity

The continuity of the Jewish people depends on education and solidarity. For Jews who are well-educated, especially in Torah studies, are much less likely to assimilate and intermarry. Additionally, Jewish websites like are very helpful to reduce the likelihood of Jews assimilating and intermarrying, even for those who do not regularly attend regular Torah studies.

As for why vs. what, I still think why is much more significant and profound. What comes second. However, it''s better to say what one can do to improve the Jewish community more than why.

Other than that, no one but G-d knows whether everything happens for a reason and why.

(3) Yisroel Pollack, May 18, 2008 7:11 PM

Trying to Understand

You talked about babies that died in the Holocaust. You talked about the question that springs automatically to people''s lips: Why did babies die? Innocent babies? You mentioned that we humans are unable to fathom the answer: it lies beyond our reasoning abilities. You discouraged us from focusing on the why and encouraged to focus on the what (What should we now do?) I would point out that the why question may not be wrongheaded after all. It is incumbent on us to do our best in trying to understand the Torah. And the lamentable event of babies dying, may Hashem have mercy on us, is prefigured, foretold, in the Torah. It is (also) in the portion of Torah-reading for this very week: the Tochacha (admonitions)of Bechukosai. From there we learn that when (May the A-lmighty spare us!) the A-lmighty has visited punishment on us for our transgressions, the destruction has been so comprehensive as to affect even the youngest of the young. So there it is, in the Torah. It behooves us to try and understand the Torah. Ergo: we should ponder the rightness of the punishment meted out for the sins occasioning this punishment. Then we will be able to mend our ways and be spared any more travail.

(2) moshe, May 18, 2008 6:49 PM

great message you are sending across the world!

(1) Neal A. Illinois, May 18, 2008 6:07 PM

thanks for the insights...

Lori...thanks for the terrific video and your impressions...we often get caught up with the why and not the what...much of our family perished in the shoah and many of these were very young children...but I try to be the best person and have my children do all the can to emulate HaShem on this earth so we can do the whats and move forward in helping make this a better place to live...thanks so much for your terrific thoughts and we look forward to one day hearing your live and not just almost live.


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