Tag Archives: Holocaust survivor

Inspirational Interview with 92 year old Holocaust Survivor, Sipora Groen

MOMM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you looking for inspiration, hope, and valuable life lessons, the following is a radio interview with my mother, Sipora Groen discussing her experiences as a Dutch Jewish woman in Holland during the Nazi occupation together with my father, Rabbi Nardus Groen of Blessed Memory. I’m in the interview from time to time as well, but the show is worth listening to because of the stories and accounts given by my mother.  I would like to thank my good friend Richard Solomon for putting us on his show “Taking Care of Business”, Click here to learn more about TCBRadioWCWP, with honorable mention and thanks to Richard’s brother and my friend Paul Solomon.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW WITH SIPORA GROEN.

 

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My 92 Year Old Mother Weighs in on the NFL and off the field Violence

momdayEarlier today I had a conversation with my mother regarding the violent behavior of football players in the National Football League.  It is important that I clearly indicate that the football players I am referring to play in the NFL because my mother, Sipora Groen, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, takes umbrage in the fact that we call the sport football.  I’ve heard her say countless times, ” That’s not football. They call it that but it’s not football.”  For my mother, what Americans call soccer is the REAL football.  It’s no secret how she feels about American football either.  She hates it.  And for her, the recent rash of violence from its players is vindication for her opinion.

The point she wants to make, and specifically asked me to relate to my readers, is that the nature of the sport creates an inevitability of this behavior.  She believes that a sport with constant violent hits, and men jumping on top of each other to keep the other men down, sometimes in large piles, creates such a pent-up aggression that these men are left with a need to relieve this aggression in some manner or another.  She is appalled by the domestic violence as any other normal person would be, but she also feels that the sport is not a normal sport and that as it exists in its current form will ultimately lead to more violence off the field.

She went on to say that she even believes that boxing is better because it only involves two people and the actions of these 2 people in the ring are carefully monitored.  She dismissed out of hand my notion that football is carefully monitored as well because in football men just haphazardly pile on top of each other.  She  is very clear about her opinion.  Unless the actual sport of football changes, more players will be involved in off the field violence.  She feels so strongly about this that it is her opinion that Ray Rice would not have hit his fiance, now his wife, in the elevator if it were not for his involvement in football.  I disagreed with this, but she insisted she was right, and at 92 and sharp as a tack, she very well could be.

Once my mother was done giving her opinion I promised I’d write this, but also told her I had to go.  I wanted to watch the football game.

 

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Misplaced Tolerance

Earlier on Facebook I came across a post in which people criticized Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau for his comments regarding the recent ban on circumcision.  The comment that was criticized was as follows: “I didn’t see such German sensitivity to Jewish blood during the Shoah (Holocaust).”   The following was my reply in the post in which other’s criticized Israel’s former Chief Rabbi and Holocaust survivor.

 

 

It is easy to criticize a man like Rabbi Lau, but any one of us in his position with the same experiences may have responded the same way. Yes I realize that it is a different Germany today and that not everything relates to the Holocaust, but those who went through that time are justifiably sensitive to behaviors that remind them of that time, be it due to the actual behavior or the people responsible for the behavior. It is easy for most of us who have not experienced that sort of terror to put the focus on someone like Rabbi Lau, who in fact in his commitment to the Jewish people since 1945 has been somewhat heroic despite the suffering he saw at a young age. I have tolerance for the people of Germany today because I feel this generation has earned it, but I will not make that tolerance come before the tolerance I have for an elderly Jewish man, a great man, who reacted to something that struck a deep emotional chord.