Tag: poland

Field of Potential

  The Maharal of Prague on Shavuot and the essence of man. by  Rabbi Doniel Baron The following is a translated excerpt adapted from the Maharal of Prague’s homily delivered in Posen, Poland on Shavuot, in 5352/1592. The full text…

A world interrupted

A 14-year-old boy’s terrifying first days of World War II.

Rabbi Simcha Shafran, whose memoir “Fire, Ice, Air” was recently published, spent most of the years of World War II in Siberia, where he was banished along with a small group of fellow yeshiva boys and their teacher, Rabbi Leib Nekritz, of blessed memory. The following is excerpted from Rabbi Shafran’s book, and recounts events that took place in Poland shortly after the Nazi invasion of that country. I was supposed to travel to Bialystok in the fall of 1939, to attend the higher-level Novardhok Yeshiva there, and I had returned home to see my parents before going off to that place of higher Jewish learning. On September 1, 1939, however, my plans, like so many people’s, were interrupted by the Second World War. The Nazis invaded Poland and we were told to expect bombing. I remember how, that Friday afternoon, people taped over their windows so that any glass that broke wouldn’t shatter and hit those inside the houses. We listened to a radio until the Sabbath arrived.