Three Defining Responses to the Holocaust

October 19, 2014

The Holocaust—an event that both demands and nullifies human and Jewish understanding—has catalyzed some of the most radical experiments in Jewish theology and philosophy.

This lecture by Rabbi Ariel Burger will explore three of these responses that had particularly profound impacts on Jewish communities and beyond in the 20th century. They offer new conceptions of God, humanity and the Jewish people, and continue to shape the way we think about the Holocaust, other tragedies and the role of human agency and hope in making the world better.

Ariel Burger is a teacher, rabbi and artist, and for the past six years directed the Commission on Life and Learning at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, creating strategies for educational and organizational change across the Greater Boston area. Most recently he developed and launched an adult learning initiative to engage many more first-time participants in Jewish learning. He completed his doctorate in Jewish Studies and Conflict Resolution with Elie Wiesel at Boston University, where he served as Wiesel’s teaching fellow for five years. He lives in Sharon with his family.

This free lecture will be held Sunday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 25 Canton St., Sharon. As the temple’s annual Vera Marshall Lecture, the event is sponsored in her memory. Light kosher refreshments will be served.

But this lecture also is part of a much larger, exciting series of programs being held throughout the year in connection with Temple Sinai’s Holocaust Torah Scroll Restoration Project. The temple is embarking on a year-long project to restore its Holocaust Torah Scroll, number 655, one of 1,564 scrolls recovered in Prague after the Holocaust. It dates back to the late 1700s and is one of the last remaining artifacts of the Jewish community of Prestice, Czechoslovakia.

Currently marred by holes, missing letters and seams that need to be re-sewn, this precious scroll remains beautiful, with both Ashkenazi and Sephardic elements and hidden mystical symbols waiting to be discovered.

Trained Torah scribe Rabbi Kevin Hale will be restoring the Torah. During this process, community members and children in the Temple’s Religious School will have the opportunity to participate in a special Torah letter writing session with Rabbi Hale.

Other events in this year-long series will include programs on the art of the sofer, Jewish genealogy, music of Eastern Europe and a Holocaust survivor speaker. For more information, contact the temple office at 781-784-6081, or visit

Event Location: Temple Sinai
25 Canton St., Sharon, Massachusetts, 02067

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Sunday, October 19, 2014, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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