He Would Not Leave Them Alone

Janusz Korczak Monument, Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw. ©2018 Beth Ben-Avraham. From Wladyslaw Szpilman’s The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45:  One day, around 5 August [1942], when I had taken a brief rest from work and was walking down Gęsia Street, I happened to see Janusz Korczak and his orphans leaving … Continue reading He Would Not Leave Them Alone

Warsaw: Final Leiman Hunt

The Warsaw Jewish Cemetery on Okopowa Street contains over 250,000 graves that are marked. The cemetery, founded in 1806, is huge. It occupies over 80 acres in Warsaw. The day before our visit to the cemetery, Beth accesses the database maintained by the Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland. Her search for the … Continue reading Warsaw: Final Leiman Hunt

A Wise and Humble Language

Mausoleum of three Yiddish writers: Ansky, Dinezon, and Peretz. Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw. Eleven U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Bob Dylan won it most recently, in 2016. I still remember the first time I heard one of Dylan’s songs. It was “Lay Lady Lay.” I was riding in my car, listening to … Continue reading A Wise and Humble Language

Warsaw: Leiman to Datner

Detail from grave of Szymon Datner, Okopowa Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw, Poland. Wednesday, October 24, 2018 (continued): This is the second installment describing our visit to the Okopowa Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw. In this installment, we visit the grave of the distinguished Polish-Jewish historian Szymon Datner and trace the connection from Jakob Leiman to Szymon Datner. … Continue reading Warsaw: Leiman to Datner

Warsaw: Children and Fidelity

Janusz Korczak Monument, Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw. There are several places in Jewish writings—biblical, and extra-biblical—where we are reminded of our obligations to strangers, widows, and orphans. Often these reminders address our duty to provide for the physical needs of these three special groups, their food, clothing, and shelter. But there are, of course, other needs … Continue reading Warsaw: Children and Fidelity