Remembering each and every person who was lost, may their memory be a blessing.
Dedicated by Mina and Suzanne Goodman

Day 28

The Symbol and the Sign

This essay is dedicated in memory of Mordechei Zev Ben Ezriel Yitschak Tennenbaum by his family as a supporter of Jewish continuity.

Reverend Leslie Hardman a”h was Minister of Hendon United Synagogue from 1946 until 1979. In those years, through his passion and zest for Jewish living, his commitment, enthusiasm and inspirational leadership, Reverend Hardman, together with his wonderful wife, Josi a”h, “grew” the community into one of the largest and most influential of Anglo-Jewry. A significant part of Reverend Hardman’s formidable personality was undoubtedly shaped by his experiences as a British Army Chaplain during the course of the Second World War and, in particular, by his personal involvement in supporting and reviving the shattered spirits of his fellow Jews who had been incarcerated in the infamous Bergen Belsen concentration camp. After Reverend Hardman’s passing in 2008, some of us in the Hendon community, galvanised by one of his grandsons, Daniel Verbov, joined with him to produce a commemorative book – My Dear Friend – which is filled with Reverend Hardman’s teachings, sayings and stories. Amongst them is one of the most poignant illustrations of the holiness of the Jewish spirit that I have thus far encountered.1 Reverend Hardman related how one Friday morning, a middle-aged man, a survivor of the unimaginable horrors of Bergen Belsen, knocked hesitantly on his office door and asked to be given something to eat. Reverend Hardman was somewhat surprised for he knew that the British authorities were doing whatever they could to provide for the material needs of the survivors. The man explained that he was looking for something a little special with which to honour the Sabbath day. Rev Hardman produced a can of sardines from a stock of tinned items which he kept in his cupboard, which was accepted with “pathetic eagerness.”


Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury

Previously the Rabbi of Prestwich Hebrew Congregation, Manchester, Rabbi Ginsbury is particularly interested in the areas of Jewish ethics; couples counselling; insights on coping with trauma and loss; and Rabbinic perspectives on community dynamics, outreach, development and leadership.

Rabbi Ginsbury has recently completed a three year term of office as Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue (RCUS) during which time he was instrumental in establishing and overseeing the innovative P’eir – Promoting Excellence In Rabbis – skills enhancement and support programme for Rabbis. He continues to be the Director of P’eir.

Fact of the Day

November 15, 1940

Warsaw Ghetto sealed. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest, with 380,000 people; the Łódź Ghetto was second, holding 160,000. They were, in effect, immensely crowded prisons, described by Michael Berenbaum as instruments of “slow, passive murder’. Though the Warsaw Ghetto contained 30% of the population of the Polish capital, it occupied only 2.4% of the city’s area, averaging 9.2 people per room.

Click to view the image.


Today's Video

Survivors singing Hatikvah during the liberation of Bergen Belsen.

70 Days for 70 Years is a project of The United Synagogue