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Thursday, April 16, 2015

The People of Israel are Responsible for One Another

We often repeat the title of this post as an empty platitude without giving it much thought.

But today in Ashdod, on the morning of Israel's annual commemoration of the Holocaust, it was put into practice in a very moving and appropriate way.

Benjamin Schlesinger (OB''M), a Holocaust survivor who had lived the latter part of his life in Israel, passed away just before the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day.  

He had only one son and very few living relatives, so the family was concerned that there wouldn't be a minyan (the quorum required for Jewish communal prayer services) to allow the recitation of Kaddish.  So they posted a request on Facebook asking for help in making the minyan for the funeral.

This morning at 9:30, more than 500 Israelis - civilians, military, and police - from all over the country showed up to escort this survivor, and support his small family, through this last ceremony with dignity and respect.

At 10:00, the funeral service paused and everyone stood while the siren wailed throughout the length and breadth of the country, joining the loss of this lone survivor with the millions of others who were lost or scarred by that dark period in our shared history.

I am so proud of my country for putting into practice this sense of shared responsibility.

Kol Yirsael Arevim Zeh Bazeh

כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה

All Israel is Responsible for One Another  

~Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shavuot 39a~

Posted by David Bogner on April 16, 2015 | Permalink

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