Divrei Torah / Memories

Parshat Vayigash

I was a rabbi in a shul built by Jews from Lodz. A man came in one Shabbos just after Shacharit and sat in the back row. Everywhere there was unease, disquiet. A congregant came up to me on the bima quite agitated. “That man was a known kapo in Auschwitz. Send him away.” I answered that all stand before the Judge. Even in community we pray solo and alone. I went down and met him; he asked if he could stay. I said, “Yes, of course, but you know there is quite a stir. Beseech the presence of ציון. Pray for שלום על ישראל.” The reading that day was ויגש.

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