The Synagogue

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The street was quiet in the early morning. As Jacov and Matya approached the old building, they became solemn. Reverent.

“Look, Jacov. Between the windows. Tablets like the Ten Commandments.”

“Yes. And under the arch, Hebrew letters. It shames me that I do not know them.”

“It’s one of the few synagogues that survived the Nazis. They closed it, but did not destroy it. I wonder why. “

“Why did they hate us so much, Matya?”

They were both startled by the loud voice from across the street. “Stinking Jews! Keep moving! Your kind is not welcome here!”

43 thoughts on “The Synagogue

    1. I visited Germany many years ago. One of the places my son took me was a city whose name I don’t remember, where the oldest surviving synagogue in–Germany? All of Europe? —still stands. How it escaped destruction is a question for the ages. Maybe my son Mike can fill in the gaps in my memory. This building is much bigger, I think, than the one I saw, but it put me in mind of that story.

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  1. So sad, so true. A powerful reminder of lessons not yet learned by humanity.
    I have been considering hatred and abuse recently since joining more environmental groups. The nasty ( and some are vile) comments that are thrown at us (online at least) seem to come from a place of unacknowledged fear and insecurity in the abuser, a fear of difference and change. Is it naive to say fighting back with love not hatred is the only thing that will really work?

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    1. That’s a good question. The answer depends a great deal on the motives of the “other guys.” Jesus taught us to love our neighbors the same way we love ourselves. Everyone knows the Golden Rule, although it is rarely applied in these types of disagreements.

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  2. This is powerful.

    I know Jacov’s question is rhetorical, but I’ve read Mein Kampf, and as far as I can tell, it all started because Jewish people tended to be liberal. Hitler didn’t agree with their politics. As we all know the only way to settle an argument is genocide. There obviously had to be hatred for him to stir up with his demagoguery, but… Talk about an overreaction.

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    1. Hitler was twisted, for sure. His obsession with the purity of the Aryan race could have started very early in his childhood. There is speculation that there is both Jewish and African DNA in his ancestry, and of course some would love to prove it true. I’m not sure what would be gained, at this point. I’ve always understood part of his hatred for the Jews was his belief that they grew wealthy when “true” Germans suffered poverty. But maybe the real truth is that he didn’t need a reason. It wasn’t just Jews who suffered under his rule. The disable, the mentally ill or retarded, were all considered “useless eaters” and many were put to death on that claim alone. It was a time of unbelievable horror all across Europe. No one can explain insanity.

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  3. Nothing is going to improve until we acknowledge all races have an element in their ranks that hate others. The masses shouldn’t tolerate it, but it’s what the elite seem to want (just look at the media) – divide and conquer. Thought provoking story Linda, well done.

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