Saturday, May 03, 2008


Our mini summer has retreated and the weather is back to normal for this time of year. Back to shivering at Lacrosse games and sprinting to the car. Oh well...

But today was a good day. My friend's daughter became Bat Mitzvah today. Have I told you I love that ceremony? It is such a happy time! I am always impressed by the work that goes into each child's journey to religious adulthood. I love hearing how each youngster connects the early writings of their faith to the world in which they live today proving that the words are alive and well. I love being inspired by the faith of young adult. I always hope that this day is one that they can look back on to guide them later in life.

Sitting in temple this morning was a good feeling. I have spent the last two weeks in school on the writings of the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel, Gerda Weissman Klein, and of course, Anne Frank. Normally, I go through this unit quickly. The students have generally finished the same unit of study in Social Studies and so they have a basic understanding of the period. They dutifully read the memoir excerpts and move on. But this year has been different. This year they have been listening. This year they have been feeling. And most importantly asking.

But not necessarily what you would think.

This year the question has been, "Is this real?" Not that they are questioning the authenticity of the event. But rather disbelief that such a thing was real. Is real. And what would they do? What if they were the targets? Would they help? Would they be strong enough? Brave enough? Resourceful enough?

This group. They make me feel better.

They make me proud.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller