web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

An Unassuming Hero Who Made A Difference


Before Pesach 1947 some of the 1,450 Jews of the Monchenberg DP camp complained that the Orthodox could not eat the margarine proved by the JDC. When Klausner asked what they wanted instead, they said potatoes. He arranged for five tons of potatoes to be delivered to the camp.

He also provided for many Passover sedorim including those at Merxhausen, a hospital with 160 Jews suffering from tuberculosis. A number of days before the holiday, the sick sent a representative to the office of the JDC with this request: “At least do not forget us on Passover.” The JDC turned to Klausner for help. Klausner reported, “At Merxhausen, on Passover evening there was truly a Seder with all good things to eat. There was joy and there was singing – all this at the cost of 23,500 RM, or if you will, at seventy cents per person.”

It is important to note that Klausner and the other American Jewish chaplains had not been authorized or expected to work with the survivors. Their role was to attend to the religious and spiritual needs of American Jewish soldiers. Some commanding officers approved of their work with the survivors; others did not. Each chaplain had to decide the extent of his own involvement with them.

I met Rabbi Klausner in the 1970’s while researching material for my Ph.D. dissertation at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He never compared his activities with those of the other Jewish chaplains – some who also risked their careers and others who chose not to. He would not judge the latter.

Over the years we became friends – he a Reform rabbi and I an Orthodox Jew. When the Jewish people desperately needed support and encouragement, he was there for them. Under the circumstances, how could religious affiliation have any relevance?

Whenever he came to Los Angeles for work on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Academy-Awarding winning film The Long Way Home, we would eat at Leah Adler’s restaurant, theMilky Way. When the rabbi was a rabbinical student and Leah a student at the University of Cincinnati, they dated. He went on to become a rabbi and she the mother of Steven Spielberg.

Rabbi Klausner is now reunited with all the rebbes and other Jews whom he helped in post-war Europe and throughout his rabbinical career. The Klausner family wanted him buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where he belonged. Army regulations proscribe cremation, a violation of Jewish law.

Tehey nafshoh tzerurah bitzror hachayim: May his soul be bound in the bond of everlasting life.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “An Unassuming Hero Who Made A Difference”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
cease fire!
Ceasefire Talks Again
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

IDF soldier injured in Gaza is evacuated by helicopter to Soroka hospital.

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

More Articles from Alex Grobman

Many Holocaust survivors did not know Abraham Klausner, a Reform rabbi who died last week at the age of 92, but he had a profound influence on those who lived in post-war Germany and Austria.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/an-unassuming-hero-who-made-a-difference/2007/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: