The Meaning of Passover

Each Passover, Jews retell the story of the exodus from Egypt. This is a story of a people who emerged from slavery to freedom and from oppression to liberty. The Passover story gives us pause to reflect upon a spiritual adventure that began with Moses and ended in the promised land of Israel. It fabricates the basis of contemporary Judaism and Christianity. The Passover story describes the Jews’ seemingly insurmountable victory over a vastly superior enemy, a tale of wandering in the wilderness and of redemption with God’s Ten Commandments. Those Ten Commandments lie at the heart of contemporary Judeo-Christian beliefs. They are the groundwork of our morality and the foundation of desired ethical behavior. And, when the Jews wandered for forty years in the wilderness – when they became idolaters and lost their moral compass, it was the Ten Commandments that brought them back, figuratively and literally.

Like the victory of the Hebrew Maccabi, the exodus from Egypt seemed impossible. Yet, somehow the Jews survived. In every generation, the enemies of the Hebrew nation have attempted to annihilate them. Time after time, the Jews have been defeated, evicted and enslaved. Yet, each time, they manage to survive as a people. Each time, they return to Israel from the Diaspora. The rallying cry at each Passover Seder is, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Every Jew is bound to retell the Passover story each year as though it was happening to them. And the physical focus for this goal is always the land of Israel. Despite the fact that Jews are less than 2% of the global religious community, they somehow manage to survive and maintain their hold upon this tiny fragment of land. Today, surrounded by enemies, the Hebrew nation is in the same predicament. How do they survive? How does their spirit continue through pogroms and genocide? And, what is the true meaning of Passover?

Persecution is intensely malevolent and pervasive. Humans are particularly wicked with each other. Three thousand years ago, Moses pleaded with Pharaoh to free his people from persecution and slavery. The ten plagues that followed forced him to release the Jews. Yet even after the worst plague of all, the destruction of the firstborn of Egypt, Pharaoh pursued the Jews into the Red Sea, where his soldiers were swept away. Evil can be just as powerful a motivator as love is. During the Spanish Inquisition, anyone suspected of being a Jew was imprisoned, tortured and put to death. Nazi Germany systematically annihilated millions of Jews. What purpose is served by inflicting pain and suffering upon innocent people? What promotes such evil hatred? Why is animosity aimed at the Jewish people? And, how do the Jews manage to survive repeated attempts to destroy them?

Like Easter, Passover occurs each year in the springtime. The concept of renaissance is ubiquitous. From sacrificial lambs to the presence of an egg on the Seder plate, the symbolism of devotion and rebirth is palpable. While the overriding message of Passover is freedom, gratitude and spiritual devotion, the concept of renewal allows each of us to observe the holiday by perform acts of kindness. From generation to generation, Jews retell the Passover story and revel in the miracles that led to their redemption as a people. The Passover Seder requires that each Jew place himself or herself in the position of being a slave in Egypt. Every Jew must experience the plagues and walk through the wilderness. The Seder brims with imagery and metaphors. But what does this mean for us today? Can we identify with our three thousand year old ancestors?

Good and evil exist in the world. We don’t need to look very far to see it or feel it. The exodus of the Jews from Egypt is an example for us to follow forever. Yet, humanity continues to enslave, maltreat and murder the innocent. One might have guessed that the Holocaust would put such immorality to an end. Surely humankind should be repelled by the vast horror and the murder of millions of innocent people. Yet, holocausts continue unabated. Since the Nazi Holocaust, we have experienced holocausts in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. Anti-Semitism is again growing throughout the world. Why don’t we learn? When will it end? Why do the Jewish people play a significant historical role as victims in genocides? And, what can be done to stop it? What can any of us do to reduce religious persecution?

Prejudice, bigotry and racism create an environment in which persecution thrives. This Easter and Passover, each of us can vow to promote goodwill and acceptance. The foundation of freedom lies in our value for liberty and unity in the face of hatred and intolerance. Instead of waiting for a miracle, let us create our own. Let each of us retell the story of the Passover as though we were personally a part of it. Moreover, as we retell the Passover story and celebrate Easter, we can place ourselves in the minds of current victims of genocide, slavery and intolerance. We have the power to defy fanaticism. We have the courage to fight for freedom. This is the meaning of Passover. We can make our own miracles by fighting to free the oppressed.

Humans are not God. But we have the power of choice. We can use it to enslave or to liberate. We can persecute or accept others. This Easter and Passover, let us vow to use our power of choice to fight for mercy, justice and liberty. If the meaning of Passover is spiritual redemption and rebirth, then let us be reborn to stop prejudice. Let us promote tolerance and encourage everyone to value the differences among us. In this way, the spirit of Passover will live on through our progeny. As we enjoy Passover and Easter this spring with our families, let us pause for a moment to ask what each of us can do to eradicate the evil that surrounds us. The rebirth of this spirit is the true meaning of Passover.

Charles S. Weinblatt
Author, “Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story”
http://jacobscourage.wordpress.com/
Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story

Charles S. Weinblatt, a retired university administrator, is the author of an epic novel, Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story (Mazo Publishers, 2007; ISBN-978-965-7344-24-8). This book is sold through all major booksellers, and is distributed in The United States through Ingram.

Jacob's Courage chronicles the dazzling beauty of passionate love and enduring bravery in a lurid world where the innocent are brutally murdered (Amazon site). This is a tender coming of age story of two young adults living in Salzburg at the time when the Nazi war machine enters Austria. The historical novel presents accurate scenes and situations of Jews in ghettos and concentration camps, with particular attention to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Follow Jacob and Rachael from their comfortable Salzburg homes to a decrepit ghetto, from there to a prison camp where they became man and wife. Revel in their excitement as they escape and join the local partisans. Finally ride the fetid train with them to the terror of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Stung by the death of loved-ones, enslaved and starved, they have nothing to count on but faith, love and courage.

A Holocaust center director had this to say about Jacob's Courage: “In each setting, the vivid portrayals of the travails of the characters bring the experience of the Holocaust to life on a personal level. The people that populate the novel are not merely two-dimensional archetypes or clich├ęs but fully formed humans with frailties and shortcomings in addition to positive qualities. The characters are faced with hard choices of life and death, betrayal and loyalty. The events of the novel are gut wrenching and heart rending. At the end of the read one feels both hope and admiration for the human spirit.”

One editor described the novel as, “Gone with the Wind for the Holocaust.” Jewish Book World had this to say, “Mixed among the detailed descriptions of the surreal atrocities inflicted upon the Jews of Europe is a tender coming of age tale.” The Association of Jewish Libraries wrote, “The reader sees events through the eyes of archetypal participants: a doctor forced to experiment on his own, a Sonderkommando, and a hero. The length of the book might deter some readers, but the work is well worth the effort.” An Amazon reader said, “The historic references appear to be well researched. Hats off to a fine effort from Mr. Weinblatt.” A reviewer commented that it is “well researched, well thought out and thought provoking.” Yet another editor said, “The author maintains a driving, relentless pace as Jacob and his beloved Rachael try to escape the madness of Nazi Germany while maintaining their humanity.”

Charles S. Weinblatt was an administrator at The University of Toledo, retiring in 2004. He created and led the Division of Organization Development, was a program manager in the University of Toledo's Human Resource Development Center and an education & training counselor for UAW-Chrysler. He was also a successful regional employment consultant, a vocational rehabilitation counselor and a psychiatric counselor. Weinblatt appeared dozens of times on Toledo television news stations as an expert on business and labor-management issues. He is also the author of Job Seeking Skills for Students (Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company, 1986: ISBN-0-8403-4445-7). Weinblatt received his Bachelor of Arts degree (Psychology) from The University of Toledo in 1974. His biography appears in the Marquis Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Education. More information is available here.

Weinblatt continues to write in retirement and is currently creating additional works of fiction. He lives in Ohio.

Why We Must Always Speak of the Holocaust

We spell the Holocaust with a capital “H” because it represents the single most vast and devastating example of genocide in history. It was not “a’ holocaust, but “THE” Holocaust. At the behest of the German government, more than 6 million Jews were systematically exterminated. That’s not to mention the murder of at least four million additional undesirables (gypsies, homosexuals, political prisoners, Russian prisoners, criminals, etc.) But for the moment, let’s just consider the plight of European Jews. They were not hung or shot to death. They were not given an injection to speed their way into a painless death. They were exterminated, like annoying insects. They were gassed to death, because that was the most efficient way to dispose of six million men, women and children – who happened to be Jewish.

Because of the way they praised God; six million innocent people were murdered. Women, the elderly, the sick, the frail and children were often the first into the gas chambers. Men and hardy women were kept barely alive for their value as forced labor. Those able to work were employed as slaves for the benefit of the military and German industrialists. Some of those German companies exist today, albeit with different names. Some still have the same name. When there was no more work, they too were murdered.

My mother experienced brutal anti-Semitism as a child in Russia. I heard many stories about the brutal Cossacks, who persecuted Jews in the towns and villages of the Ukraine. My mother and her sisters barely survived, and then flourished in America. However, most of her remaining family perished in the Holocaust. So, genocide is close to my heart. I hold it for eternity, as a cumbersome stone attached to my soul. It is a burden of remarkable proportions. My ancestors cry out for justice. They want you to know what happened to them and their children. But, I cannot tell this story without revealing the Holocaust in every possible way. It is a terrible and beautiful story, filled with heroes and villains. I called it, “Jacob's Courage.”

I wrote the novel precisely because I had to tell a story that no one wanted to hear. Why would anyone want to think about the Holocaust, particularly when they can listen to their iPod or tune out the poignant world with movies, laptops and television? Yet, the death of six million innocent people MUST be told. If not, there would be nothing to prevent more genocide, and then more after that! Everyone must hear this tragedy. Otherwise, our progeny might embrace the worst of human nature.

This does not demean the importance of other Holocausts. Those innocent people who were murdered in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur were just as blameless. When will we lose apprehension over those who are dissimilar? When will we learn to value the differences among us, rather than fear them? When will we stop ostracizing people because of their religion, race or ethnic heritage? After all, this is the 21st century! We’re better than that. We must be better than that.

I appreciate books that offer a frank, emotional examination of morality. Humans are not good or bad, but good and bad. We surround ourselves with romance and comedy, playing to the healthier parts of our emotional identity. Yet, repugnance, despair and obscurity exist within human nature. We learn nothing about ourselves if we do not examine the dark side of our psyche.

My novel explores how humans behaved during the most brutal and horrendous genocide in history. If any benefit can come from the Holocaust it is that we can examine the furthermost extent of human depravity. We can measure its immorality, degeneracy and wickedness. Yet, humans are complex beings. There is a great deal more to our nature than the ubiquitous battleground of virtue versus malevolence. We are not one or the other, but a combination of both. We are beautiful and ugly, soothing and terrifying, brutal and caring, kind and iniquitous; we love and we despise.

Deep within the fear and panic of the Holocaust were vastly critical decisions about ethical behavior and our concept of morality. Unlike animals, humans are governed by principles, ethical beliefs and veracity. We are not clouded by delusions of integrity, but governed by them. In "Jacob's Courage," my characters explore the human response to terror, as well as the alluring beauty of passionate young love and the driving power of religious devotion. Our lives are complex - even within the garish trap of the Holocaust. Not all Jews were innocent victims. Not all Germans were rabid anti-Semtites, bent upon the destruction of the Jewish "race."

In reality, the world is seldom seen in black and white, or shades of gray - especially during the Holocaust. In the midst of terrible anguish, beauty existed. Within beauty, despair can exist. And, while many Jews in the abyss of the Holocaust worshipped God, some condemned God. While it might be easy to claim that God works in mysterious ways, how is one to focus such conviction when the veneer of all that is good in life has been stripped away? How does one continue to love a God who allows the murder of every loved one, who allows us to be starved, beaten, tortured, denigrated, disfigured and emotionally destroyed? Could this be the ultimate test of faith?

Holocaust survivors lost everything, but perhaps somehow gained something as well. Certainly an honest examination of the Holocaust must reveal torturous brutality and death. Most Holocaust survivors lost all of their loved ones. The facade of life’s beauty had been stripped away, revealing an incomprehensible abyss of revulsion. Yet here, in the bowels of horror, the Jews of the Holocaust hit a wall and continued to run. Despite the onslaught of evil, in the face of certain death, these Jews fabricated a make-believe world for their children. Deep within the horrid concentration camps of Nazi Germany, the Jews of Europe continued to practice their religion, to teach their children and to love one another. Here, among the gas chambers and crematoria, one can feel hope for the survival of the human spirit. These singular individuals rise like a fabulous phoenix, from the ashes of annihilation.

Those poor souls trapped within the terror of the Holocaust were faced with the most perfidious forces. Deceit, brutality, cruelty, sickness, starvation and the death of loved-ones were the daily companions of Holocaust victims. Yet, in the midst of utter despair, there was life, love, passion, desire, religious fervor and the excitement known only to children. Even in such hopeless desolation, there was love of God, infatuation, romance, passion and longing for all of the things that humans crave. Jews fabricated their ethnicity within the drumbeat of the slow, steady march to the gas chambers. They refused to allow the fabric of Jewish society be torn by relocation and the threat of demise. They created schools, orchestras, athletic events, synagogue and prayer, weddings and funerals, dances and theatre, study groups and debates; to every hell-hole the Jews were sent; they took their lifestyle with them. Rather than give in to the Nazis, Jews trapped within ghettos and concentration camps courageously re-created their culture. Some of the most ardent examples of constructive human nature can be found in these terrifying Holocaust moments.

Hidden from the SS, concentration camp Jews observed all of the covenants and rituals of Judaism, including prayer services on the Sabbath and during the major holidays, marriage ceremonies, burials and circumcisions. Along the dark, terrifying, relentless path to the gas chambers of Nazi-occupied Europe, Jews lived, loved, learned and died, behaving as though their lives would continue unabated. In their darkest moments, the Jews of Nazi concentration camps fabricated a “normal” life for their progeny. Despite their impending mortality, they created an ordinary world on the inside to protect children from the raging genocide on the outside. Such was the nature of their love, faith and devotion. Indeed, this worship transcended parental affection. Into the gas chambers and crematoria, the Jews of the Holocaust emptied their faith and continued to worship the God of their ancestors.

The human spirit strives for autonomy and freedom. Yet, to understand human nature, one must descend into the depths of depravity and terror. We cannot appreciate humanity without comprehending its wicked flaws. Deep within the darkest recesses of brutal genocide, we discover a faint flicker of light representing love, passion, desire, hope, worship and reverence. Here is the essence of humanity – a flicker of light representing morality, faith, love and righteousness, in the midst of the dark whirlwind of malevolence.

This is why we must always tell the stories of the Holocaust. Such stories represent the very worst of human vilification and the very best of our compassion. Holocaust stories teach us how to recognize the worst examples of humanity, but also how to be a good person. The terror of genocide is not necessarily an inevitable human outcome. We must learn from the mistakes of our past, rather than repeat them. As long as we teach our children about the Holocaust, there is hope that it will never happen again.


Charles S. Weinblatt
Author, “Jacob's Courage” (2007, Mazo Publishers)

The Characterization of the Human Spirit

As the author of a Holocaust novel ("Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story"), I appreciate books that offer a frank, emotional examination of morality. Repugnance, despair and darkness exist within human nature. We therefore learn nothing about ourselves if we do not examine this part of our psyche.

"Jacob's Courage" explores how humans behaved during the most brutal and horrendous genocide in history. We are complex beings. There is a great deal more to us than the ubiquitous battleground of good versus evil. We are not one or the other, but a combination of both. We are beautiful and ugly, soothing and terrifying, brutal and caring; we love and we despise.

Deep within the fear and panic of the Holocaust were decisions about ethical behavior and our concept of integrity. Unlike animals, humans are governed by principles, moral beliefs and veracity. We are not clouded by delusions of morality, but governed by them. In "Jacob's Courage," my characters explore the human response to terror and morality, as well as the alluring beauty of passionate young love and the driving power of religious devotion. Our lives are complex - even within the garish midst of the Holocaust. Powerful passion and tender love also existed during times of horror and despair. So did a deep commitment to our relationship with faith and God. These powerful motivators churn within the consciousness of my characters, creating powerful new relationships and inspiring virtuous behavior. Yet, the world is seldom seen in black and white, or shades of gray - even during the Holocaust. In the midst of terrible anguish, beauty exists. Within beauty, despair can exist.Holocaust survivors lost everything, but perhaps somehow gained something as well. Certainly an honest examination of the Holocaust must reveal torturous brutality and death. Yes, many Holocaust survivors lost all of their loved ones. However, life is not always so simple. Deep within the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, the Jews of Europe continued to practice their religion, to teach their children and to love one another. Here, one can feel hope for the survival of the human spirit, among the ashes of destruction. In an age of realism, readers seem to have a passion for books about real-life characters. As a child of this generation, I tend to agree. I have nothing against classic stories about good versus evil. Certainly good and evil exist always. Yet, today's more discerning reader expects characters to be more like themselves – multifaceted, often chaotic individuals who possess characteristics both good and bad. Novels should not always be about traditional heroes and villains. If we wish to emulate reality, then our good characters should become complex humans, with flaws, limitations, imperfections and faults. Our villains should possess some good qualities, as well. No emotion pushes us to behave in a stronger sense than does guilt. I constructed characters aggravated constantly and aggressively by guilt. We are forever tortured by our past and guilt is the primary motivator in our decisions about the future. We can ignore it or learn from it, but we can never escape from it.

I believe that it is impossible to write about the Holocaust, or any human nature, without exploring guilt. In “Jacob's Courage” all of my characters are burdened by guilt – even the most innocent. Holocaust victims were faced with the most perfidious forces; deceit, brutality, cruelty, sickness, starvation and the death of loved-ones were the daily companions of concentration camp prisoners. The victims felt guilt for living when their loved ones had been murdered. Each of them must have wondered why they deserved to live when those they worshipped were gone. Worse yet were the prisoners who assisted the Nazi guards. These "kapos" must have born unwavering guilt. And, then we have the "Sonnderkommando," prisoners forced to undress, beat gas, carry and burn their fellow prisoners. And., there were others. In "Jacob's Courage," Jacob was forced to play in the Auschwitz orchestra every day as the trains unloaded new prisoners. He was massively burdened by guilt while playing violin for the everpresent queue, waiting their turn to die. The survivors carried lifelong guilt for surviving. At least subconsciously, many must surely have wished that they had perished with their loved ones.

Novels about this time are by causality dark and precarious. Yet, in the midst of this despair, there was life, love, passion, desire, religious fervor and the excitement known only to children. Even in such hopeless desolation, there was love of God, infatuation, romance and passion and longing for all of the things that humans crave. Characters such as these must by nature embellish the wide range of human attributes. Such was the complex state of being in a Nazi death camp."Jacob's Courage” describes the Holocaust through the eyes of a normal Jewish family. If we speak only of heroic individuals battling against dark forces, then we dismiss the truth of our nature. Humans are far more complex than such generic characters imply. Not all Jews imprisoned and tortured by Nazi Germany were good. Some became “kapos,” more ruthless than the SS. Not all Germans were bad. Some Germans were riddled with guilt and some expressed tender compassion for the imprisoned Jews. Yet, below the surface of brutality, we find the human instinct for life, liberty, love and compassion.

Most of the Jews in Nazi concentration camps comprehended that they would not survive. Yet, within the camps, the Jews constructed synagogues, schools, and orchestras. They had civic leaders, medical clinics, commerce and religious celebrations. Hidden from the SS, the Jews observed all of the covenants and rituals of Judaism, including holidays, marriage ceremonies, burials and circumcisions. Along the terrifying, dark path to the gas chambers of Nazi-occupied Europe, Jews lived, loved, learned and died. Yet, in their darkest moments, the Jews of Nazi concentration camps fabricated a “normal” life for their progeny. Despite their impending mortality, they created a normal world on the inside to protect children from the raging genocide on the outside. Such was the nature of their love. Yet this love transcended parental affection. Judaism cannot survive without Jewish children.

The Holocaust cannot be described without inflicting horror upon the reader. Such books are not for the faint of heart. The human spirit strives for autonomy and freedom, of course. Yet, if one is to search for an understanding of human nature, then one must descend into the depths of depravity and terror. We cannot understand humanity without comprehending its wicked flaws. Deep within the darkest recesses of brutal genocide, the reader will discover a faint flicker of light representing love, passion, desire, hope and reverence. Here is the essence of "Jacob's Courage" - an examination of morality, love and righteousness, in the midst of the dark whirlwind of malevolence.

Why Were Jews Persecuted?

The Holocaust is the worst episode of genocide in history, not because of its brutality, but because of its remarkable scope. The Holocaust is spelled with a capital “H” because it represents the single most vast and devastating example of religious genocide in history. Six million Jews (and at least four million gypsies, homosexuals, political and Russian prisoners) were systematically exterminated. No merciful, quick ending was in store for these poor souls. They were not shot to death or hung. They were exterminated, like annoying insects or disgusting rodents. They were gassed to death, because that was the most efficient way to dispose of millions of innocent people.

These Jews were not criminals. They had broken no laws. They represented a threat to no one – but were instead a valuable resource for their societies. For countless generations, Jewish men served and died in the German armed forces. German Jews were counted among the leaders of business, government, education, science and the arts. However, because of the way they served God, millions Jews were systematically murdered. The elderly, frail women and children were often first into the gas chambers. Able-bodied men and women were kept barely alive for their value as forced labor. Those able to work were employed as slaves for the benefit of the military and German industrialists. Some German companies that used Jews as slaves exist today. When there was no more work to perform, or when the brutalized prisoners became sick and frail, they were gassed and burned, like bothersome pests.

My mother experienced vile anti-Semitism as a child in Russia. I heard many stories about vicious Cossacks who persecuted Jews in the Ukraine. She and her sisters survived and later flourished in America. Most of the remaining family, however, perished in the Holocaust. So, you see, the Holocaust is close to my heart. I bear it as a cumbersome stone attached to my soul - a lifelong burden of significant proportions. My ancestors cry out for justice. They lost everything that they treasured - their homes, valuables, jobs, freedom, relatives and finally – their children. They want you to comprehend the unspeakable evil that utterly destroyed them. I wonder what their precious progeny might have accomplished, had they been allowed to live. What lost treasures were burned with those tender, young bodies? Might one of them have cured cancer or discovered a swift end to global warming? Those innocent children deserved a chance to live, to love, to learn and to share their faith. Rather than a danger to society, they represented its best hope.

I cannot tell this story without revealing the Holocaust, in every possible way. To gloss over the devastating brutality of the Nazi genocide, or the overwhelming psychological demoralization, would inflict yet another injustice upon my relatives. The only way that I can tell this story is with the truth. But, tales of shocking violence are not everyone’s cup of tea. In essence, I had to tell a story that no one wants to hear. Why would anyone yearn for a novel about the Holocaust, when they can tune out the world’s problems with their iPod or dismiss the fabric of cruelty with light-hearted movies and television comedy? Yet, the death of six million innocent people MUST be told. If not, there would be nothing to prevent more genocide, and then more after that! Everyone must hear this tragedy. Otherwise, we might one day again embrace the worst of human nature.

Jacob's Courage explores how humans behaved during the most brutal and horrendous genocide in history. We are complex beings. There is a great deal more to us than the ubiquitous battleground of good versus evil. We are not one or the other, but both. We are attractive and hideous, comforting and horrifying, vicious and compassionate; we worship and we loathe. We are not clouded by delusions of morality, but governed by them. So, when will we stop ostracizing people because of the way they praise God, or by virtue of the color of their skin? When will we learn to value the differences among us rather than fear them? We’re better than that. We must be better than that.

Perhaps above all, Jacob's Courage is a powerful and passionate love story. In 1939, seventeen-year-old Austrians Jacob Silverman and Rachael Goldberg are bright, talented, and deeply in love. Because they are Jews, their families lose everything; their jobs, possessions and money, contact with loved ones, and finally their liberty at the hands of the Nazis. Jacob and Rachael "grow up" during the Holocaust. As teenagers, they survive the beatings, rapes, and murderous acts of the Nazis, enjoy the physical and spiritual pleasure of being in love and are able to become husband and wife in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, before being imprisoned in Auschwitz. Eventually Jacob and Rachael become Partisans to fight the Nazi enemy. Theirs was a love for the ages. Stung by the death of loved-ones, enslaved and starved, they have nothing to count on but faith, love and courage.

Holocaust survivors were forced to examine every aspect of life, while they endured the unendurable, waiting for a slow, torturous death. This horror led some to curse God, even while others continue to praise God. Within this impenetrable abyss, many Jews continued to live out their faith, to practice the religion as best they could. The managed to summon the courage necessary to continue living, to suffer the intolerable. They refused to allow the foundation of their society to be destroyed. Within the Nazi camps, Jews created their own schools, orchestras, political leadership and medical clinics. On the road to certain death, they found a way to teach their children how to fulfill their religious commandments. This is profound courage not seen elsewhere in history, except for those brave Jews at Masada. Some of the most ardent examples of constructive human nature can be found in these terrifying Holocaust stories.

We must always tell the stories of the Holocaust. They represent the devastatingly worst and the extraordinarily best examples of the human spirit. These stories instruct us to recognize the inherent evil of humanity, lest it never be used again. As long as we teach our progeny about the Holocaust, there is hope for the future.

Jacob's Courage is available at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Jacobs-Courage-Holocaust-Love-Story/dp/9657344247/ref=sr_1_1/002-8189239-3149614?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1174846034&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Jacobs-Courage/Charles-S-Weinblatt/e/9789657344248/?itm=1