In the first NLE Morasha Syllabus shiur on the Holocaust, we developed a rudimentary understanding of the horrors of the Holocaust and its irrevocable impact on the Jewish people. We will now turn our attention to some of the glimmers of hope that appeared during those dark days.
It is important to dispel the myth that Jews went to their deaths passively, “like lambs to the slaughter.” For reasons that will be mentioned below, Jewish resistance was often spiritual rather than physical; the manner in which they retained their human spirit, and even their Jewish spirit, demonstrates strength of character that we can barely imagine. Most of the stories of Jewish courage were lost with their heroes. Some have been passed on to us. It is our duty to remember these stories, and internalize their messages. Furthermore, the history of the Holocaust is replete with miracles, evidence that God was still with us even during that time of suffering.
Finally, it is important to mention some of the non-Jewish heroes who risked their own lives to save Jews from certain death.