Today, I have been invited to preach at the Michaelis-Kirche in Kaltenkirchen.The church is very close to a former concentration camp. The Pastor of the church during the nazi era, Ernst Biberstein, was an ardent Hitler supporter, a Lt. Colonel in the SS and commanding officer of Einsatzkommando 6. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials for having overseen at least two mass murders and was sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to life, but he was released due to church pressure in 1958 and lived until 1986.
The Michaelis-Kirche displays a broken cross as a symbol of its atonement. The current Pastorin Martina Dittkrist and the congregation see my visit as part of that process. I am humbled and excited by this opportunity.
I will have more to say after I process this experience.
Published by slfuchs
Loving husband, father, grandfather and rabbi. Author of, "What's in It for Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives,” "ToraHighlights,” “Why the Kof?,” “Why Triple Chai?,” "Who Created God?," and "...And Often the First Jew."
On October 17, 2017, Rabbi Fuchs was selected as the recipient of the Vanderbilt Divinity School's Distinguished Alumnus Award. To be considered for this award, one must demonstrate excellence and distinction in justice-making through their efforts in congregational ministry, religious institutions, non-denominational/all-inclusive organizations, community–based organizations, government, or other social institutions.
Spent last four falls serving in Milan, Italy, (2013) and Germany (2014-2016). Otherwise, he enjoy writing and speaking after serving three congregations and as President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
He is currently serving as Rabbi of Bat Yam Temple of the Islands, Sanibel, Florida.
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3 thoughts on “Today’s Agenda”
Steve, this is a marvelous breakthrough and a rare opportunity bestowed on you. You have God-given gifts which are also rare and qualify you for this event. I look forward to seeing your sermon and the outcome. I recall the “Hineni” prayer during Yom Kippur. Our love & blessings.
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Stephen, may your words and presence give Sight to those who look but do not See.
I hope so, Dani. Thank you! I also hope you will have a chance to read my next essay on the experience itself. It was very powerful for me!