Friday, August 2, 2013

Krakover's Choice


We all have it, take it for granted. It is our innate right to choose a course to live our lives. We can choose to love or to hate; to educate ourselves or to be ignorant and foolish. We can choose to live in fear and hide from ourselves or to boldly affirm our roots, our heritage, our past and our future. It's up to us!

Not my words, Moshe's.

"Behold I have placed today before you blessing and curse".

Moshe conveys God's fundamental condition for existence--before you is good and evil and within you is the capacity to choose. This basic philosophic principle has caused volumes to be written trying to balance God's omniscience, Divine providence and free will. One thing we know for sure--we choose.

This week I visited the Jewish community in Krakow and witnessed this exact phenomenon--they are choosing to (Once Again) be Jewish! Nazi occupied Poland meant physical destruction; Communist occupied Poland for 40 years afterwards meant spiritual desolation. Who would survive the fear of perpetuating their Jewish roots? Who would dare publicly avow their Jewish lineage to the 900 year old Jewish Krakow? for many decades the answer was a hush.

Today in the JCC Krakow they are choosing life! They are beholding blessing! They are emerging from anonymity and inquiring about what it means to be Jewish. They are making a choice and that choice is about building a Jewish future in Krakow. I am honored to be part of a team led by Jonathan Ornstein in Krakow and Rabbi Michael Schudrich in all of Poland who are attempting to help facilitate that choice of blessing, choice of life!

May it be God's will that the Jews of Krakow continue to choose life, education, blessing, Jewish heritage and brotherly love.

shabbat shalom.