Passover greetings to my Jewish friends and may you have a blessed Seder feast. The Jewish Passover celebrates the time God brought the Jews out of slavery in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus in the Torah and the Christian Old Testament. The theme of release from slavery and the pursuit of freedom remains universal, poignant, and more timely than ever. Continue reading
Today, a growing resurgence of Jewish life in Poland shines bright against the past dark decades of a nearly vanished community. As an observer and researcher, I’m still amazed at how many times current news outlets vehemently voice blame to all of Poland for Nazi crimes, with no middle ground or recognition given for the death of three million Poles from the Nazi genocide. Clearly, strong feelings of documented historical wrongs and biases influence modern-day attitudes. But this is 2016, not 1939, and the growing and vibrant modern Jewish life in Poland is supported by facts and celebrated on many active Facebook pages and social media discussions. Hopefully, the resurgence is leading towards a renewed attitude of peaceful co-existence.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began April 19, 1943. This noble ‘last stand’ by desperate Jews against the Germans became the first urban uprising in German-occupied Europe. Symbolically it stands as the most important Jewish uprising. It lasted less than a month and nearly all who participated lost their lives, but it inspired other uprisings at Sobibor and Treblinka and changed the story of millions walking in resignation to their death without a fight.
Frédéric Chopin remains an icon of Polish pride. Born March 1, 1810, he died a young man at age 39. The piano music he left behind remains a favorite among classical music fans, and a high standard for any pianist. I am a fan of classical music, and actually have two pianos in my living room. The first is a Yamaha grand piano passed down from my mother-in-law as my daughter’s inheritance, and the second is the upright Cable-Nelson piano I grew up with. Trust me – if you can play Chopin you have my utmost admiration. And you’re invited to my house for a private recital. See below for a video.