Tag Archives: Kiddush Hashem

A Shining Light for us all








This past Sunday afternoon I was looking forward to watching the football game between Dallas and Green Bay when I decided to take a quick look at the major cable news channels’ coverage of the Paris terror attacks.  One hour later I was still watching CNN.  Part of the reason was the fact that I was somewhat moved by the significant coverage given to the murder of 4 Jewish people, something we as Jews are not accustomed to nowadays.  The main reason however was the courageous and eloquent representation of the plight of French Jews as put forth by Simone Rodan-Benzaquen.

Simone is the Director of the AJC, “American Jewish Committee”, and a long-time resident of Paris.  Her representation as a Jewish citizen of France  was what is known in Jewish teachings as a “Kiddush Hashem”.   Literally translated as a “Sanctification of God”, a Kiddush Hashem speaks to when a Jew’s behavior represents the people in a positive light, particularly to fellow Jews.  In the case of Simone, her representation was a Kiddush Hashem to the entire world.

Her accounting of the anti-Semitism that the Jews of France have been dealing with for many years was important for everyone to hear.  Thanks to people like Simone, we no longer live in a world where Jews remain silent when attacked, and no longer do they quietly hope it just goes away.  In fact, the most inspiring words she spoke were the words that spoke of French Jews not fleeing the country, but rather staying, fighting, and remaining in the country they have called home for quite some time.  She spoke positively of those who choose to go to Israel for ideological and positive reasons, but strongly encouraged no one to leave out of fear.  As someone who is staying and fighting, she has every right to make this bold and courageous statement.

I want to thank Simone Rodan-Benzaquen for her permission to write this piece, but most of all for standing up for all of us in defense of good over evil.  She is a shining light in this very dark world and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for what she has done, and continues to do for all of us.  France may be in the forefront today, but we are all in this together.











They are Sanctified through Our Unity

img65649Sanctification is an important word in the Jewish religion.  The Sabbath is celebrated and made holy, partially through the blessing of the wine, known as Kiddush or sanctification.  To behave in a decent and good way and represent Judaism in a strong manner is referred to as a Kiddush Hashem, or Sanctification of God’s name.  And the prayer uttered in mourning is know as the Kaddish, because it sanctifies the memory of the lost soul and lifts them to a higher level before God.

Not everyone has the same reaction to the murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, but what strikes me is the similarity with which we have all been devastated.  Regardless of one’s political leanings, opinions on a response to the murders, or connections to Jewish faith and practice, the horrible events brought to light have united not only Jews, but decent people everywhere in a way that truly sanctifies these boys’ memories.  They should never have been taken so young, but the way in which they have brought us together their souls are truly raised to the highest level.