Today is Yom HaShoah, the day that the world remembers the Holocaust.
Below is one of the most powerful images I have ever seen because it describes in a single image what was taken away by the destructive powers of hate, fear, bigotry and ignorance.
And finally, as I remember today, I share this poem.
Written in Pencil in the Sealed Boxcar
Here in this [sealed] shipment (transport)
I [am] Eve
With Abel my son
If you see my older son
Cain the son of Adam
Tell him that I
From Burnnshaw, Stanley, T. Carmi, Susan Glassman, Ariel Hirschfeld, and Ezra Spicehandler, editors. The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself: A new and updated edition. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003. P. 221.
I am very excited to share a new resource for those of you readers who teach, parent, babysit, or ever encounter young people who could/should/would learn Hebrew. My colleague Rabbi Michael Sommer (aka Abba Sababa) has written an awesome book and Eric Winter has done amazing illustrations for an e-book now available on the iTunes store called Alef is for Alien. You can download this book (for the iBook app only at present) here.
The book is awesome. On every page you can hear the pronunciation of a Hebrew letter and there are VERY unique words that begin with each letter that also can be heard. (Hey is for Holographic Alien Signal, for example). At the end there is a beautiful image of all of the letters that could be used for recognition and review.
The illustrations in this book are amazing. I’m not a huge reader of children’s literature (though when I read aloud to a child I always include voices), but these are top-notch.
If my stellar review wasn’t enough of a reason for you to spend $4.99 to purchase this book, maybe the reason behind this collaboration will be, Superman Sam.
I am glad that I have this book on my iPad for the next time a young person is around and they want to read an age-appropriate book or I need to assist a young person (or ADULT) in a review of the letters of the Hebrew alef-bet and vowel sounds!
Download this book. You will be glad that you did!
I am thrilled to share California Faith for Equality’s CF4E Passover Reading with you. Please share it with your family and friends AND remember to include it in your seder!
Passover Seder Reading
Tonight we read, “in every generation each individual is obligated to see him/herself as though s/he went forth from Egypt.” While we are gathered around our seder table we experience the bitterness of slavery, the maror (bitter herb) and the sadness of injustice even as we delight in the coming spring, the karpas (fresh greens). While we recall our experiences of old we are aware of the injustices of our own time. Our hearts and thoughts turn to those who do not yet experience freedom because of discrimination. Tonight we think of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and colleagues whose freedom is undermined. We pray that when we gather around the seder table next Passover, the freedom to marry will return to California and the Defense of Marriage Act will no longer be law in our land.
May the One who delivered our people from Egypt enable the justices of the Supreme Court to hear the turning tide and embrace the freedom to marry and the end of DOMA so that all of those who are oppressed may be free!
Written by Rabbi Eleanor Steinman