click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Join 400,000 Aish subscribers
Get Email Updates




Everything Is a Present

The inspiration behind an Oscar-nominated documentary, Alice Herz-Sommer passed away a week before the Academy Awards at age 110.

The inspiration behind the Oscar-nominated short documentary, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Alice Herz-Sommer passed away a week before the Academy Awards at age 110. She was the oldest living Holocaust survivor. This video below displays her unceasing optimism and zest for life.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.
Share this video
 with your friends

Published: April 6, 2013

Visitor Comments: 34

(19) Wassim, February 28, 2014 11:59 AM

108 years of Sh'ma

As she said, "I knew about the bad, but I looked for the good".
The good music can make you feel like the artist's muse, giving you a sense of companionship when you're alone. And when the theme strikes a chord with your current state of mind, a simulated empathy manifests in the mind of the listener. Whereas the bad music can make you sick. And the choice of what you allow your ears to consume is yours. I don't know if there is already, but there should probably be a kashrut guide to music. Probably safest to stick with Hassidic Hits Vol 1-6. :-)

(18) Lilian Uziel, February 28, 2014 4:21 AM

Extraordinary email and person

(17) Anonymous, February 27, 2014 1:16 PM

Music is her religion.

We can never know what people endured through this terrible part in our collective history. One cannot judge and interpret what went on through this courageous woman's life. However, the phrase: "Music is my religion." Should not be contextualized. It is what, sadly many do to justify and withstand the psychological turmoil that they faced through this period. Our 'religion' is worship of the Creator of the Universe, G-d. We do not worship music, we do not value music in-of-itself, no matter how helpful it was in affecting the lives of people. Music is a means to a goal - the goal of coming close to Hashem. This woman did not find comfort, solace and help in the religion of her ancestors - her people - the very fact that she was Jewish, was a burden, an unhelpful piece that made her life difficult. She overcame it because she was a superb, person who sought the positive in everything. Commendable yes, Torah-based no. We value gratitude and other good traits, because they are Divine - they are from G-d. We live up to the ideal of being close to G-d, we try to emulate Hashem, in every action, which can only be achieved through Torah and Mitzvah observance. This woman was an inheritor of that tradition, and instead of praising G-d, praised the music. Disappointing at best. Idolatry at worst.

Anonymous, February 28, 2014 11:13 PM

Yes. I agree with you.

Marc, March 9, 2014 9:47 PM

'Anonymous' Needs To Re-think her views

How very sad that this 17 year old has such strong views so early on in life. Strong, annoying, opinionated views which I doubt could be altered for the better - I think it's too late for someone who is thinking in this manner already. It's a pity they he/she can't be as positive and forgiving as this incredible lady - a true example of how to try to be and to live in the present. Alice was entitled to whatever her religious views were (which I assume must cover more than one sentence shown here). I'm sorry to say that this person has totally missed 'the point'. Disappointing at best. Ignorant at worst.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub
Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
Sign up today!