web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Terrors From The Past

book-Damaged-Mirror

A Damaged Mirror: A Story of Memory and Redemption
By Ovadya ben Malka and Yael Shahar
Kasva Press

 

It’s been said that the Passover matzah takes us back to relive the Exodus from Egypt; eating it on the first night of the holiday and during the following week strengthens our faith and helps us heal from the wounds of our enslavement. In a way, A Damaged Mirror by Ovadya ben Malka and Yael Shahar was my matzah this year: I started reading it just before the first Seder and completed it in the final hours before the end of the holiday.

As a child of Holocaust survivors, I’ve heard stories of that time since the age of three; and I have read everything on the subject I could find, as far back as I can remember. But despite my familiarity with the subject, this astonishing book mesmerized me – line by line, page by page, I often found myself holding my hands to my mouth in utter amazement at the power of the writing, sometimes so engrossed I forgot to breathe.

From the horrors of the Birkenau crematoria and the dilemmas of survival that are forever etched in our hearts, to the profound dialogues of Talmudic debate, the authors reach from the past to the present – challenging us to examine ourselves as Jews, and our relation to G-d in a world gone mad.

Early on in the reading, I was tempted to grab my red pen, lest I lose sight of this superb sentence or that memorable paragraph. It was perhaps a good thing that I did not – for my copy would have ended up bleeding profusely from all the red marks I wanted to make. Shahar and ben Malka’s writing echoes with voices of Elie Wiesel, Viktor Frankl, and Primo Levi…and reaches even beyond, giving us a book of resounding impact that will surely continue to affect us for years to come.

As the Pesach week drew to its close, I tearfully and reluctantly placed A Damaged Mirror down on my table; but just as I know I will return to my Passover Haggadot, I have no doubt that I will read this unique book over and over again. It will be a long time before I can let go of Ovadya ben Malka, Rav Ish-Shalom, and Yael Shahar.

About the Author: Chaya Rosen is the author of two poetry compilations, Streaming Light and Scattered Stones.


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 “Terrors From The Past”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Mount of Olives.
Parents Speak Out Against Arab Violence on Mount of Olives
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

More Articles from Chaya Rosen
book-Damaged-Mirror

I often found myself holding my hands to my mouth in utter amazement at the power of the writing, sometimes so engrossed I forgot to breathe.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/terrors-from-the-past/2014/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: