Kiel, Germany, December, 1931.

Rachel Posner, the Rabbi’s wife, took this photo in her living room, across the street from the Nazi headquarters.

It was the last night of Hanukkah.

Hate, vitriol and racist lies were sweeping across Germany.

Rachel wrote upon the back of the photo:

“Chanukah, 5692.
‘Judea dies’, thus says the banner.
‘Judea will live forever’, thus respond the lights.”

Rabbi Posner recognized the dangers of the Nazis, and encouraged any Jewish people who would listen that they needed to flee. He and his family left Germany in 1933, taking the photo and the Hanukkah Menorah with them. (For more on the history behind the photo, visit: http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/menorah-defies-nazi-flag/)

In 2017, the Trump White House held a Hanukkah service — without inviting a single Jewish Democrat. The bigotry, antisemitism, racism and sexism in the White House and Congress are at levels not seen since the United States defeated the Nazis on the streets of Berlin in May, 1945.

It’s easy to dismiss comparisons of the United States to Nazi Germany.

Nazi Germany was led by educated, articulate, experienced military men with a clear focus on world domination.

The Trump administration is filled with rubes and fools.

It’s folly to compare the leadership of the two countries. Comparisons can be found among the people of 1931 and 2018.

Both countries are brimming with Anglo-Saxons proud of their country’s history, with an over-developed sense of nationalism and a profound willingness to let government representatives get away with taking the rights, property, and the lives of citizens and residents.

Political propagandists routinely manipulate citizens into making decisions against their own best interests.

Working people blame every minority for every issue, and turn a blind eye to the racism, bigotry or violence of white men and the socioeconomic, political and legal systems that protect them.

Millions ignore economic exploitation of the working poor, while simultaneously blaming them for their situation.

In less than a heartbeat, bigotry and hate can be unleashed and focused with deadly consequences on the streets of Munich or the streets of Charlottesville.

Let us not fool ourselves into believing that it can’t happen again or that it can’t happen here.

It is happening again.

It is happening here.

Americans are victimized and victimizing everyday. Minorities are being  abused by the majority.

And yet again, goodhearted people turn a blind eye to the system of bigotry and economic exploitation.

God is not on the side of bigots.

God was on the side of the Israelites when a day’s worth of oil lasted for eight nights.

Scripture in the hands of bigots is not of God.

Scripture in the mouths of racists is like ashes.

Jesus is on the side of the victim, not on the side of an angry public enforcing unjust laws.

We must stand up for victims today, and we must stand in honor of the victims of the past, those who waited in vain for someone to stand up for them.

Germany failed their moral test. Now it is our turn.

The Unites States is in a pivotal point in history. How will we respond to the growing hatred? By responding as Christians or as Nazis?

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4 Responses to Hanukkah

  1. RD Pentson says:

    Sadly, your comments highlights my point.

    And asserting that protecting cronies while prosecuting record numbers of journalists is hardly a way to determine virtue. But I digress.

    For most of the last decade the right has been comparing Obama to National Socialists – to one degree or another; just like you are doing with Trump right now. People from both ends of the spectrum, comparing the other side to National Socialists, while quoting scripture and making judgements does not help the country, humanity or the Faith.

    Not that I am recommending it, but if you want to get a feel for how the right associates the previous administration with National Socialism, I suggest you find a copy of The Big Lie by Dinesh D’Souza.

    The right is just as confident that this administration stands for the Christian idea of Justice as you are convinced they are against it.

    I can’t offer suggestions on how to heal the political wounds this country is suffering; but I can encourage the Faithful to try and hold themselves above the worst of the fray. Yes, we are called to make the world a better place in His image. But we can’t make those changes when we focus our energy and prayers through a solitary perspective.

    And I still insist, if you are going to put those words against the man, he should be at the top of your prayer list.



    • jim says:

      It’s not ‘name calling.’ Literal Nazis, with swastikas and salutes and antisemitism walked the streets of Charlottesville, Va. and Trump couldn’t condemn them. He supports them.

      Democrats support policies opposed by Republicans and Nazis.

      Both sides aren’t equal.


  2. RD Pentson says:

    Matthew 7:1-3
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

    From Dictionary.com: Definition – Bigot: a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

    Being a political moderate and someone that does not prescribe to any particular denomination; I find this sort of speech to be amusing on the top layer, but deeply disturbing on deeper spiritual levels.

    In case you are not aware, those on the right were proscribing the same judgements against Obama and his administration.

    Obama derangement syndrome was troubling; Trump derangement syndrome is getting scary.

    The person who wrote this article comes across as much of a bigot as those he or she berates.

    If you are going to push this kind of righteous vitriol against Trump, you better be praying for him.


    • jim says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. You have a false equivalency between the current presidential administration, in office less than a year with two indictments, two convictions and multiple resignations, and the previous administration, in office eight years with zero criminal charges.

      Jesus says, “you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” I am perfectly content being judged by the same standards Nazis and Nazi sympathizer are judged.

      The president of the United States is sympathetic and supportive of white supremacists, white nationalists, Nazis and he himself is a sexist bigot by every standard.

      It’s not bigotry to single out bigotry. Do a Google search for what the Bible says about justice.

      Thanks again for your comment!


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