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Belief in G‑d After the Holocaust

A child survivor of Auschwitz

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Belief in G-d After the Holocaust: A child survivor of Auschwitz

Rabbi Nissen Mangel was a 10-year-old child when he came to the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. There he witnessed unspeakable atrocities, but he also witnessed amazing acts of faith. In this moving and powerful talk, Rabbi Mangel tells his firsthand account of what he saw. (Many viewers may find details described to be extremely disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.)
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Faith; Belief in G-d, Auschwitz, Holocaust Survivors, Holocaust

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Rhonda Downey May 18, 2022

Encouraging, after loosing a son, it was hard to keep my faith but I held on a little bit, and G-D is healing and restoring he has never left. Reply

Gabriel Schecter Houston Texas March 23, 2021

Shalom Rabbi Tauber

After reading your article, “the Rebbe and the Holocaust” and the search for the answer to his statement, “Echoing his father-in-law, the Rebbe would say: It is not my task to justify G‑d on this. Only G‑d Himself can answer for what He allowed to happen.” It appears Hashem actually answered this question very succinctly (omek peshuto)

Deuteronomy 31:16-21

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה הִנְּךָ֥ שֹׁכֵ֖ב עִם־אֲבֹתֶ֑יךָ וְקָם֩ הָעָ֨ם הַזֶּ֜ה וְזָנָ֣ה ׀ אַחֲרֵ֣י ׀ אֱלֹהֵ֣י נֵֽכַר־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה֤וּא בָא־שָׁ֙מָּה֙ בְּקִרְבּ֔וֹ וַעֲזָבַ֕נִי וְהֵפֵר֙ אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר כָּרַ֖תִּי אִתּֽוֹ׃ וְחָרָ֣ה אַפִּ֣י ב֣וֹ בַיּוֹם־הַ֠הוּא וַעֲזַבְתִּ֞ים וְהִסְתַּרְתִּ֨י פָנַ֤י מֵהֶם֙ וְהָיָ֣ה לֶֽאֱכֹ֔ל וּמְצָאֻ֛הוּ רָע֥וֹת רַבּ֖וֹת וְצָר֑וֹת וְאָמַר֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא הֲלֹ֗א עַ֣ל כִּֽי־אֵ֤ין אֱלֹהַי֙ בְּקִרְבִּ֔י מְצָא֖וּנִי הָרָע֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה

The full answer requires more space and I cannot find your email address. Please provide Reply

Tom Reitano USA February 17, 2019

While looking for numbers of Jewish people liberated in 45, I come across this question; how can I believe in god after the Holocaust? The answer contained ' just as a child does not know why a life man would be cut up on a operating table, creation can not comprehend god. I say even a child knows when someone is trying to help vs someone trying to hurt. Reply

M January 7, 2022
in response to Tom Reitano:

You’re likening the holocaust to a surgery? That makes sense to you? Reply

Tovah Fl December 2, 2018

I fear the rise in Antisemitism in the country worldwide! The internet seems to be a hotbed of inflammatory information regarding The Jews! Most of these sites you cannot even comment on and refute what they say, and so it appears as a report or factual information.
G-d Bless this Rabbi....I cried so much during his stories!
Happy Hanukkah to all Jewish People and those who love them and celebrate along with them! Reply

Shawn Weisbart December 15, 2017

Thank you Reply

Christoph UK August 7, 2017

Thank you! Reply

Meira Shana San Diego September 9, 2016

response to: Something to think about "... Suppose that here in the United States, the government decided to restrict what we Jews could do? What would we do? ..."
You seem unaware of the history of Jews in the USA - we were restricted from schools, various clubs, and places of employment! Shiploads of Jews were not allowed to get off those ships and were forced back to Europe where most were met by Nazis.

I'm in my late 70s and remember!!
A great movie to rent and watch: "Gentleman's Agreement" starring Gregory Peck.

The USA did not protect people of Japanese heritage - even though they were born here and citizens the USA government pulled them out of their homes and businesses and into camps, much like what Hitler did in Europe.

The USA does not have clean hands, especially about Jews ... and certainly not about Blacks and Native Americans!
How the people who lived through and survived the Holocaust is beyond me. Those who I met at various Holocaust Museums were so positive and non-hating. A miracle from G-d. Reply

Cheryl USA July 14, 2016

Never again Never again can Jews &'Christians become complacent in regard to religious discrimination. It begins very subtly & then grows until it becomes out of control. I have personally witnessed horrific remarks from Muslims regarding Israel and decent people cannot allow this poison to grow anywhere in this world again. We must unite & be strong against those who wish destruction against Jews. Never again! Reply

Anonymous April 27, 2016

Luz Bone It's clear that the luz bone can be destroyed because I know many Jews who have been cremated (unfortunately). Sorry but this is just complete false whether he survived the holocaust or not. What an amazing story though!!! Reply

Patricia Kadoche thornhill November 21, 2015

Thank you Rabbi for sharing your life stories. They are truly inspiring...Baruch Hashem you were saved to show us and share with us the positive side. Reply

antonio sabella providence, r.i. March 23, 2015

It always amazes me how much faith some people can possess. During my life, my faith has wavered and at times been reduced to almost nothing. These stories make me feel ashamed at my lack of faith. Reply

anna alex Baltimore, aryland March 13, 2015

Rabbi, I am not Jewish but my heart aches with what the jewish people have gone through and what they are still going through. I agree with Pamela that you are an incredibele human being may you a nd your family's life always be blessed Reply

M. Ericson WI January 13, 2015

Listening to this heart wrenching story filled me with such pain and many, many tears for the indescribable atrocities this man suffered and endured as well as the unfathomable 6 million others. And yet when asked, "After the Holocaust how can you possibly believe in G-d?" He responds emphatically, "How can you not?" For, as he says, his very existence as a survivor is a miracle!
His faith in G-d after such unimaginable tragedy and horror remains untouched, perhaps even strengthened! For anyone who may momentarily experience doubts, his story and absolute conviction in the existence of G-d is awesomely inspiring.
May the Moshiach come soon and answer all of our questions. Reply

Doug January 19, 2014

Beverly Kurtin
I believe it can happen here when the economy collapses. Already many are blaming us. Our creator has already given a sign that the US is going to cease being the world's leading military and economic force and perhaps this is part of bringing us back to the promised land.
A beam from 9/11 hit the sycamore tree in front of the Church George Washington dedicated this country to God in, protecting the Church but uprooting the tree, on what is now called Ground Zero.

House speaker Tom Daschle as the US representative the day after 9/11 quoted Isaiah 9:10 “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”
The hearers of the speech were unaware of the context it was spoken -
Isaiah 9: 9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join Reply

Norma Martinez San Antonio May 20, 2013

A survivor The Lord allowed me the privilege of meeting a Holocaust survivor. She was a petite woman but very strong in the Lord. She told me her story. Then she showed me her tattoo. That tattoo made me feel the hopelessness , the degradation of being stripped of your humanity, worthlessness, no better than a piece of garbage. I felt all this in just one moment as I was looking at that tattoo. But this woman was living proof of a miracle . In short this is how she survived. She was in line for the crematorium. The person checking their papers was someone she knew. As she went up for her turn she was told to go the end of the line. The next day as she was coming up again the American Troops came and liberated them. She came to America and led a very successful life .Having lost her husband to these camps she remarried. I remember her often. Her story speaks of how incredible God is and His love for us. Never give up hope. Without it we have nothing. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Texas April 25, 2013

Something to think about Suppose that here in the United States, the government decided to restrict what we Jews could do? What would we do? Would we, as did the Jews in Germany just do nothing about it? The German Jews were trying to be like the other Germans. They said that they were not Jews, they were Germans and Germany would not continue to do what they were doing. Hashem virtually wrote on the walls: GET OUT AND GET OUT NOW. Rather than escaping, the majority continued to think that being good Germans trumped their being Jews. I've mentioned it before that my family tried to get our relatives out to safety. What did they do with the money? Spent it. They were sent money three time! They wound up in Hitlers furnaces.
I know that here in the USA that nothing like what happened in Germany could happen here, but Hashem has given us Israel and it is there that we can flee to if, heaven forbid, this country turns against us, we have a place to go. Baruch Hashem! Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma April 16, 2013

Shock Waves. The Boston Marathon/ April 15/2013 GRIEF The sequelae of TERROR.

Life is a marathon, and we're all in this together. That morning, before all this happened, I wrote on line, on my Facebook page, Jacques Brel: Marathon, which is the name of his song which goes, Marathon... mara mara Marathon. I was walking my dog later, feeling so burdened by what just happened, and suddenly saw that MARA, means bitter, and in fact our bitter herbs, on Passover are MAROR, which is related. Within the word, Marathon. MARA.

Those who run pass a hill on Commonwealth Avenue called Heartbreak Hill.

To accept it's all G_d is also to put G_d on trial, because within words, I see a story, that G_d wrote, not us. And I can say, everywhere I go, all that I do, is synchronous, and that my attention is visibly directed.



There are planes of existence. My willows are heavy with leaf. I weep. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Texas April 4, 2013

God did NOTHING? Being blessed by being born in the United States during the Holocaust, I cannot blame anyone who lost everything when it was going on. My family lost 47 relatives who wouldn't come to safety. They thought that they would be safe where they were. They were sent money several times and they STAYED. What should Hashem done? Their experience was not singular.

That said, my faith is not based on what human beings do. Our poor understanding of what G-d should or should not do. Yes, Europe is once again on the precipice of wide-spread Jew hate again. Why? Can you say Islam?

Denmark, once a philosemitic nation is being infected (yes, INFECTED) with an influx of Muslims who bring the their poison of Jew hate with them. An article in Tablet's website reports that Jews are told to remove their "Jew hat." They hate Israel and consider ALL Jews as being Israelis. Once again, humans are spreading the disease. Hashem is punishing Europe by replacing their Jews with Muslims. Hmmm... Reply

Rachel MI, USA April 3, 2013

Slavery in Egypt was in itself an eternal death camp. There were no gas chamber and guns, but there were cruel punishments, murder of innocent children, and no chance of ever escaping. Yet G-d stepped in and saved his people. That didn't mean that hundreds, thousands, millions even didn't suffer. But it was the hope sustained inside the Hebrew people that kept them going for hundreds of years, without a heard word from G-d. And then Moses appeared and led his people to freedom. This was echoed throughout our history. The pain, suffering, and cruelty that those in the Holocaust endured was horrific. But the Jewish people have endured this many times and every time, G-d has come through. Reply

Anonymous Fairfax, va March 21, 2013

Holocaust who do you blame You say how can HaShem do this? Then answer how do we dare do brazenly break His commandments. All through the Torah it relates this behavior to Hashem as a jilted lover or a father who's children have rebelled. It is hurtful even to HaShem who wants nothing more for the good of His Creations
But, it is true humans did this and HaShem did not shield us from the Holocaust. Note He didn't protect us NOT that he did this.

Just remember this might also be the last installment of our punishment for the Golden Calf
At any rate He did protect us from being deleted totally and for that we need to give thanks.

The fact that there are survivors who do love HaShem today has overcome the evil that was perpetrated on us. If they can have a relationship with HaShem -- then so can we all Reply

M January 7, 2022
in response to Anonymous:

We did not deserve a holocaust by strict justice we did not do that to anyone else. The level of evil was way beyond any possible sinfulness. It was completely disproportionate it was total evil. Reply

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